Limbaugh: Why aren’t they begging Rubio to run?
posted at 4:10 pm on September 30, 2011 by Tina Korbe
While Michael Reagan and Newt Gingrich plead with Republicans to cut each other some slack, Rush Limbaugh is in a camp with Michele Bachmann and others who believe the GOP doesn’t have to settle for a less-than-completely-conservative candidate in 2012. On his program yesterday, the radio talker reiterated that position — and cited the Republican establishment’s lack of demands for a Marco Rubio candidacy as evidence that Republican operatives are more concerned with electability than conservatism at a time when it should be the other way around:
Let me ask you, why do you think they’re not begging Rubio to run? Rubio has been just as adamant as Christie that he doesn’t want to run. In a contest of conservatism, Rubio wins versus Christie. So why are they not asking Rubio to run? …
Part of it is, I think, that they genuinely believe that whoever the other nominees are can’t win. That’s another thing that frosts me. I think Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd could beat Obama in this election coming up because I think this is going to largely be about Obama. It’s going to be a referendum on his outright destruction of the wealth-creating genius of this country. I think Elmer Fudd could win, but I’m more concerned than that. I don’t want to just get rid of Obama, I want to take advantage of the opportunity we have to finally get a genuine, full-fledged, unapologetic conservative because this is going to be a major task … rolling this stuff back. It’s going to take more than one election, and it’s going to take somebody fearless. And we’re not going to roll this stuff back having compromise and bipartisanship as our primary objectives. …
But Rubio, Rubio would win in a walkover. He’s conservative. He’s articulate. He’s great-looking. He’s Hispanic and sounds very smart. How can he possibly lose? If this were the Democrat Party, the party father would probably tell Obama to step aside and let Rubio run, if Rubio were a Democrat. There are more Hispanic voters now than there are blacks, and Rubio’s got more experience than Obama had when he decided to run. I don’t know how many times Rubio has voted “present” versus Obama. …
Anyway, look, the reason why they’re not pushing Rubio… I’m going to answer my own question. That’s what I do. I ask myself the best questions I’m ever asked and, therefore, I give the best answers. They’re not pushing Rubio because while they praise him, they don’t think he has had enough experience yet.
And Rubio is — sorry to say this, folks — another example of the RINOs being wrong.
Is it too soon for Rubio to run? As Rush points out, Rubio has more experience than Obama did. Detractors of candidates like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain repeatedly cite Obama’s inexperience as a reason to not select as the GOP nominee anyone without a meaningful legislative or executive political record. But isn’t that pinning the blame on the wrong part of Obama’s persona? Does the country feel burned for electing a glib, inexperienced senator — or does the country feel burned for electing a professorial progressive? I think it’s the latter — and Rubio, while inexperienced and eloquent, is neither professorial nor progressive. He’s a compelling, relatable, hard-working conservative. He’s someone I actually want to be the president — not just someone I’d rather have as president than Obama. And he’s not someone I want to waste on the vice presidential position, all conventional wisdom right now to the contrary.
It’s clear we can’t afford another four years of Obama. But can we afford four or eight years of a Republican president who might hold the line on government spending but won’t aggressively reverse the problematic progressive gains of the past four years? Four or eight years of that until Rubio is “seasoned” enough to be the president?
Maybe. Rush hasn’t quite convinced me. I want a conservative candidate in 2012 — but I want the best possible Rubio if and when he does become president someday down the line. And, for that, I think a few more years won’t hurt. Reagan’s age was surely an asset in the presidency, enabling him to keep in perspective what might panic younger politicians. It doesn’t have anything to do with political experience; it has to do with life experience and the wisdom that comes with it. Rush has gotten better and better and better over time — and so will Rubio. If even Elmer Fudd could win in 2012, let’s not encourage Rubio to waste his talents on a throwaway election (or in a throwaway position like the vice presidency). Let’s wait for him to run when he’s ready. That time, whenever it is, will be the Age of Rubio.