They’d be attacking him no matter what just because he’s a rising star from the other party, but yes, of course it’s true that a rising star who’s Latino complicates Democratic plans for a permanent majority in a way that some other Republican wouldn’t. (In theory. At this very early moment, Rubio’s favorable rating among Democrats is 15/41.) Rubio’s prominence in the immigration debate is, by design, a way for the GOP to advertise that Latinos are not only welcome in the party but among its leaders. The man himself hasn’t been shy about touting his ability to convert Americans to the GOP cause, including Americans who belong to demographics currently out of the party’s reach:
I am confident that, given a fair chance, I can convince most Americans, including Americans of Hispanic descent, that limited government and free enterprise is better for them and better for their upward mobility than big government is. Because that’s the reason why they came here.
Nothing newsy about any of this. What’s newsworthy is that it’s Cruz saying it after two weeks of withering criticism from Democrats over his role in the Hagel hearings. Rubio’s surely not the only senator he has in mind when he dismisses Democratic attacks on a young Latino Republican rock star as illegitimate:
Sen. Ted Cruz says some of the attacks on fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio by Democrats are motivated by race. Cruz said today the fact that Rubio is a Republican Latino poses a threat to political adversaries. “I think Democrats and the media are afraid of Marco Rubio because he is a smart, intelligent, conservative Hispanic. And they are looking for any excuse they can to attack him, because that threatens them,” Cruz told reporters during a tour of a Texas gun manufacturing plant north of Austin. “Look, he took a drink of water in a speech. And it dominated the news for days with one network saying it was a career ender.”
Cruz said the criticism of Rubio’s GOP response following last week’s State of the Union was about more than his being a promising young Republican. “It’s not just a promising Republican. I think the Democrats view Marco Rubio as a particular threat because of his background, his life story. I think it they believe it is in their interest to inflict as much damage as possible and blow things wildly out of proportion.”
The only way this could have been better calculated to endear him to conservatives is if he’d specifically mentioned Alinsky in talking about it. He’s basically accusing them of following Rule 13 against Rubio (and, implicitly, against him) and now he’s giving them a snoutful of Rule 4. Washington really is “a rough-and-tumble place.”
Via Mediaite, here’s Toure basically proving Cruz’s point.