Video: Rubio rips Cuba, Venezuela … and Tom Harkin

posted at 8:41 am on February 25, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

One would think that American politicians would, by this time, have learned to keep their positive thoughts about the Fidel/Raul Castro regime to their drinking circles. That’s especially true in the US Senate, where not one but two members with Cuban heritage now serve. After Tom Harkin offered a rosy view of Cuba’s efforts on literacy and health care, Marco Rubio took fourteen minutes to destroy Harkin and remind Americans of what Cuba really is like, and how they support oppression in North Korea and especially Venezuela.

Marc Caputo calls this “the best oration of [Rubio's] career” in today’s Miami Herald:

The U.S. Senator from Florida had listened patiently to Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa speak favorably about his recent trip to Cuba, all the while omitting any real references to the oppression of the totalitarian government there.

To Rubio, like many Cuban exiles and their descendants, it was too much to bear.

“Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at,” Rubio said Monday when he took to the Senate floor. “What they are really good at is repression…They have exported repression in real time, in our hemisphere, right now.”

This wasn’t some Cold War-era fulmination about Castro’s regime.

Rubio’s speech was about current events: the protests in Venezuela, the Maduro government and the ties it has with the Castros, who repress their own people and helped inspire the suppression in Caracas.

Venezuela is becoming the new Cuba.

For 14 minutes and 16 seconds, Rubio gave the best oration of his political career, speaking largely off the top of his head and with only the barest of notes. Rubio sometimes dripped with sarcasm or simmered with indignation as he made the case to Congress that the United States needs to continue Cuba sanctions and punish Venezuela.

Caputo isn’t kidding. Rubio spoke with passion and intent, dismantling the attempt to rehabilitate the Castro regime in Havana and re-emphasizing the danger Cuba represents not just in this hemisphere, but around the world. Ever few years, the Left tries to claim that Cuba is merely another poor republic struggling to get along in the world, but that’s going to be a lot more difficult with Rubio and Ted Cruz in the Senate.

Be sure to watch it all. It’s well worth your time.

Update: My friend Javier Manjarres headlines the video: “Rubio Carpet-Bombs Communist Regimes, U.S. Legislators For Supporting Venezuelan Socialist Regime”. Sounds about right.

Full speech below:

A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I’d like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him, informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they’re not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don’t count against the mortality rate.

I wonder if our visitors to Cuba were informed that in Cuba, any time there is any sort of problem with the child in utero they are strongly encouraged to undergo abortions, and that’s why they have an abortion rate that skyrockets, and some say, is perhaps the highest the world. I heard him also talk about these great doctors that they have in Cuba. I have no doubt they’re very talented. I’ve met a bunch of them. You know where I met them? In the United States because they defected. Because in Cuba, doctors would rather drive a taxi cab or work in a hotel than be a doctor. I wonder if they spoke to him about the outbreak of cholera that they’ve been unable to control, or about the three-tiered system of health care that exists where foreigners and government officials get health care much better than that that’s available to the general population.

I also heard him speak about baseball and I know that Cubans love baseball, since my parents were from there and I grew up in a community surrounded by it. He talked about these great baseball players that are coming from Cuba — and they are. But I wonder if they informed him — in fact, I bet you they didn’t talk about those players to him because every single one of those guys playing in the Major Leagues defected. They left Cuba to play here.

He also talked about how people would come up to him in the streets and not a single person said anything negative about America. Nobody came up to him wagging their fingers saying, ‘You Americans and your embargo is hurting us.’ I’m glad to hear that. Because everyone who wants to lift the embargo is constantly telling us that the Castros use that to turn the people against us. So obviously, that’s not true. So I’m glad to hear confirmation of what I already knew to be true. I heard about their wonderful literacy rate, how everyone in Cuba knows how to read. That’s fantastic. Here’s the problem: they can only read censored stuff. They’re not allowed access to the Internet. The only newspapers they’re allowed to read are Granma or the ones produced by the government.

I wish that someone on that trip would have asked the average Cuban, ‘With your wonderful literacy skills, are you allowed to read The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or any blog, for that matter?’ Because the answer’s, ‘No.’ So it’s great to have literacy, but if you don’t have access to the information, what’s the point of it? So I wish somebody would have asked about that on that trip. We heard about Mr. Gross, who is not in jail. He’s not a prisoner. He is a hostage. He is a hostage. And in the speech I heard a moment ago, I heard allusions to the idea that maybe we should — he didn’t say it, but I know the language, I know the code in this — that maybe there should be a spy swap. Here’s the problem: Mr. Gross was not a spy. You know what his crime was, if that’s what you can call it? He went to Cuba to hand out satellite radios to the Jewish community. But, we’re glad to hear that the Cubans are so nice to him that they let him walk 10,000 steps a day and do pull-ups and they let him build a necklace out of bottle cap tops. Very nice of them to allow him to do those things. How generous.

I wonder if anybody asked about terrorism, because Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. I wonder if anybody asked about the fact that, just a few months ago, a North Korean ship going from Cuba to North Korea was stopped in the Panama Canal and it contained items in violation of international sanctions against a government in North Korea that, a report just came out confirming what we already knew, has death camps and prison camps. And the Cubans are allowing them to evade these sanctions. Did that come up in any of the wonderful conversations in this socialist paradise in the Caribbean? I bet you it didn’t.

Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at, because they don’t know how to run their economy, they don’t know how to build, they don’t know how to govern a people. What they are really good at is repression. What they are really good at is shutting off information to the Internet and to radio and television and social media. That’s what they’re really good at. And they’re not just good at it domestically, they’re good exporters of these things. And you want to see exhibit A, B, C and D? I’m going to show them to you right now. They have exported repression in real-time, in our hemisphere, right now.

Let me show you the first slide here. This gentleman here is the former mayor of a municipality in Caracas. His name is Leopoldo Lopez. And this is the National Guard of Venezuela pulling him into an armored truck last week. You know why? Because he’s protesting against the government. He’s protesting against the government of Venezuela, which are puppets of Havana, completely infiltrated by Cubans and agents from Havana. Not agents, openly, foreign military affairs officials involved in Venezuela. You know why? Because the Venezuela government is giving them cheap oil and free oil, in exchange for help during these sorts of repressions. So here he is, he’s sitting in jail right now because he’s protesting against the government. He’s sitting in jail right now.

So here’s the next slide. This is Genesis Carmona. She’s a beauty queen and a student in a city called Valencia. She’s on that motorcycle because the government in Venezuela and the thug, these so-called civilian groups that they’ve armed — another export from Cuba, a model the Cubans follow — they shot her in the head. She died last week. This is the government that the Cubans support. Not just verbally, not just emotionally, but with training and tactics. This is who they export — this is what they do. And she’s dead. And this is her being taken on a motorcycle to the hospital where they were unable to save her life because she was shot in the head by Venezuelan security forces.

Here’s another slide. Remember I showed you Mr. Lopez? These are his supporters being hit with water cannons — by water cannons in the street because they’re protesting against the government. This has been going on now for two weeks. This is the allies of Cuba, Venezuela, the puppets of Cuba. And this is what they do to their own people. Water cannons knocking people to the ground. Why? Because they’re protesting the government.

Let me show you the next slide. Here’s a demonstrator detained by police. Look how they drag him through the streets. This is in Caracas, Venezuela.

Let me show you another demonstrator. This is a student — by the way, these are all students in the street. You see this young man here? He was also shot in the head by security forces and pro-government groups in Caracas. This happened on February 11. This is what they do in Venezuela. This is what the allies of the Castro regime does, this is what they export. This is what they teach. This is what they support. And it doesn’t stop here.

Who are Cuba’s allies in the world? North Korea. Before he fell, the dictator in Libya, the dictator in Syria, the tyrant in Moscow. This is who they line up with. This is this wonderful paradise? By the way, this in and of itself deserves attention, what’s happening in Venezuela, in our own hemisphere. It is shameful that only three heads of state in this hemisphere have spoken out forcefully against what’s happening. It is shameful that many members of Congress who traveled to Venezuela and were friendly with Chavez, some even went to his funeral, sit by saying nothing while this is happening in our own hemisphere. And this wonderful Cuban paradise government that we heard about? This is what they support. Just this morning, the dictator that calls himself a president — never been elected to anything, Raul Castro — announced he is there for whatever they need to help them do this.

I listen to this stuff about Cuba and I listen to what’s happening in Venezuela, they’re very similar. Not just in the repression part, but the economics part. You know Venezuela’s an oil-rich country with hardworking people? They have a shortage — we don’t have an embargo against Venezuela. They have a shortage of toilet paper and tooth paste. Why? Because they are incompetent. Because communism doesn’t work. They look more and more like Cuba economically and politically every single day.

What’s the first thing the Venezuelan government did when these broke out? They cut off access to Twitter and Facebook and the Internet. They ran CNN out of there. They closed down the only Colombian station. Years before, they had closed down all the independent media outlets that criticized the government. Where did they learn that from? From Cuba. And yet we have to listen to what a paradise Cuba is. Well, I wonder how come I never read about boatloads of American refugees going to Cuba? Why have close to one and a half million people left Cuba to come here? But the only people that leave here to move there, are fugitives from the law and people that steal money from Medicare that go there to hide? Why? How come no American baseball players defect to Cuba? Why don’t any American doctors defect to Cuba if it’s such a paradise?

He cited a poll, ‘More Americans want normal relations with Cuba.’ So do I — a democratic and free Cuba. But you want us to reach out and develop friendly relationships with a serial violator of human rights, who supports what’s going on in Venezuela and every other atrocity on the planet? On issue after issue, they are always on the side of the tyrants. Look it up. And this is who we should be opening up to? Why don’t they change? Why doesn’t the Cuban government change? Why doesn’t the Venezuelan government change?

Throughout this week, I will be outlining proposals and ideas about what we need to do, the sanctions we should be pursuing against the individuals responsible for these atrocities. So with North Korea, we have sanctions. Why? Because they’re a terrorist government and an illegitimate one. Against Iran we have sanctions. Why? Because they support terrorism and they’re an illegitimate government. And against the Cubans we have sanctions. Why? Well, you just saw why. Sanctions are a tool in our foreign policy toolbox, and we, as the freest nation on Earth, are looked to by people in this country, and all around the world, to stand by them in their moment of need when they clamor for freedom and liberty and human rights. They look for America to be on their side, not for America to be cutting geopolitical deals or making it easier to sell tractors to the government there. We should be clear about these things.

But here’s the great news. I don’t know if they get C-SPAN in Cuba. I bet you the government people do. I hope you see that in America, we’re a free society. You’re allowed to come on the floor and you’re allowed to say and spread whatever you want. You think Cuba’s a paradise? You think it’s an example and a model that we should be following? You’re free to say that, here, in the press and anywhere you want. But we’re also free to come here and tell the truth. We’re also free to come here and denounce the violations of human rights and brutality. And I would suggest to my colleagues, the next time they go to Cuba, ask to meet with the Ladies in White. Ask to meet with the Yoani Sanchez. Ask to meet with the dissidents and the human rights activists that are jailed and repressed and exiled. Ask to meet with them. I bet you’re going to hear something very different than what you got from your hosts on your last trip to the wonderful Cuba, this extraordinary socialist paradise. Because it’s a joke. It’s a farce.

And I don’t think we should stand by here with our arms crossed, watching these things happen in our hemisphere and say nothing about them. I can close by saying this: Over the last week, I have tweeted about these issues. I get thousands of retweets from students and young people, until they shut them out, in Venezuela who are encouraged by the fact that we are on their side. What they want is what we have, the freedom and the liberty. That’s what all people want. And if America and its policy-makers are not going to be firmly on the side of freedom and liberty, who in the world is? Who on this planet will? If this nation is not firmly on the side of human rights and freedom and the dignity of all people, what nation on the Earth will? And if we’re prepared to walk away from that, then I submit to you that this century is going to be a dangerous and dark one. But I don’t believe that’s what the American people want from us. Nor the majority of my colleagues.

Transcript courtesy of Sen Rubio’s office.


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Harkin is right there next to Durbin as one of the premier leftist douchebags in our nation, what a POS he is and Iowa is stained for keeping the effhead in office for so long.

What do all these pinheads who get glassy-eyed over totalitarian countries have in common: They’ve never actually lived in the places they tell us are so awesome.

Bishop on February 25, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Next reply Senator Rubio.

jake-the-goose on February 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Screw Rubio. He’s a treasonous little worm. I couldn’t care less who he ripped about whatever. Rubio is like the Hollywood morons who supported Barky and his America-hating insanity but now think they can put a little distance bewteen themselves and the destroyer of America and hater of all things decent. Rubio is the same. He supports destroying any concept of national sovereignty and all pretense of borders, making him an enemy of Western civilization (at the very least) so his opinion about Castro or Chavez or any other hispanic tinpot dictators (who he would like to help rise in this nation as he wants to allow the free importation into our land of any moron south of the border who feels like it, to reshape this nation as the rest of the Western hemisphere is and has always been).

Rubio can go straight to friggin hell with Tom Harkin. They are really just treasonous birds of a feather.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Mr. Harkin,

If Cuba is such a wonderful place, why don’t you take up residence there for a year, and get back to us with a “real” report on the conditions of the Cuban people.

Rovin on February 25, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Harkin is right there next to Durbin as one of the premier leftist douchebags in our nation, what a POS he is and Iowa is stained for keeping the effhead in office for so long.

Bishop on February 25, 2014 at 8:50 AM

But hey! Cuba has socialized medicine, there is that. And if you contract HIV/AIDS, well brother Fidel makes sure you are comfortable in a camp far away from the distractions of the world.

All of this reminds me of the stupid Patty Murray who was lauding the Taliban’s efforts at building hospitals and schools even as body parts were being removed from the still smoldering remains of the World Trade Center.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Here, Here!

Mini-14 on February 25, 2014 at 9:00 AM

If only he wasn’t a squish on amnesty.

rbj on February 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Good job, Senator Rubio.

(I’m still not voting for you for Prez. That ship has sailed.)

Bitter Clinger on February 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM

This video shows the reason my state voted for Senator Rubio.

So disappointing that he let us down on other issues.

Flora Duh on February 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM

not a rubio fan but he nailed it this time.
he’s right.

dmacleo on February 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Kudos to Senator Rubio, that’s a great speech.

For all of Rubio’s faults, I’ll still take him at his worst over any leftwinger at his best.

jwolf on February 25, 2014 at 9:19 AM

In Cuba the trains run on time. I mean, if they had trains, they’d run on time. Or not.

Akzed on February 25, 2014 at 9:22 AM

If only he wasn’t a squish on amnesty.

rbj on February 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Yeah, he coulda been a contender. Maybe he’ll get lucky and Gov. Walker will throw him a bone and make him his VP candidate in 2016.

Doughboy on February 25, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Senator, so-called immigration reform is going to make us more like Venezuela.

Wigglesworth on February 25, 2014 at 9:32 AM

In Cuba the trains run on time. I mean, if they had trains, they’d run on time. Or not.

Akzed on February 25, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Cuba has trains. They head east full of people and come back empty.

Bishop on February 25, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Wow 15 comments. Rubio is baked. Not much HA appetite for him at all.

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Doughboy on February 25, 2014 at 9:32 AM

yep rubio and walker…..the darling of the open borders rinos.

conservatives will stay home in droves.

you betcha.

renalin on February 25, 2014 at 9:37 AM

If Harkin even stayed in the Senate chamber to hear the entire reply, he was probably wishing he had one of the Venezuelan water canons to turn on Rubio.

To Tom, the litany of repressive actions cited in Cuba and Venezuela by Rubio aren’t bugs, they’re features, and he’s thinking if only they could be used here he wouldn’t be retiring as a Senator at the end of 2014.

jon1979 on February 25, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Of course Democrats love Cuba:

1) Free healthcare
2) Abortions encouraged
3) Government officials are a class unto themselves
4) Support repressive regimes

It’s paradise to them…

Micah68 on February 25, 2014 at 9:38 AM

All of this reminds me of the stupid Patty Murray who was lauding the Taliban’s efforts at building hospitals and schools even as body parts were being removed from the still smoldering remains of the World Trade Center.

Let us not forget the wonderful DAY CARE CENTERS that the Taliban supposedly (according to Patty Murray) built – you know – so that women could work outside the home while their children were well cared for. Women under the Taliban cannot go anywhere without a male relative, they are forbidden to work outside the home, they are forbidden to get any education. And Senator Murray speaks of DAY CARE centers. Their ignorance really is fathomless.

Mordaukar on February 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

…so Rubio got his panties in a bunch?

KOOLAID2 on February 25, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Let us not forget the wonderful DAY CARE CENTERS that the Taliban supposedly (according to Patty Murray) built – you know – so that women could work outside the home while their children were well cared for.

Mordaukar on February 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Despite the fact that we were mere weeks beyond the nation’s worst domestic terrorist attack (thanks to Killary’s husband); that stupid witch was lauding the Taliban for building infrastructure- which they were doing to further their power base and not for any sort of altruistic reasons.

The left is truly reprehensible. This gutting of the military yesterday is just the latest proof that these people are evil.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Rubio: My election wont happen unless people like me again
Pollster: You can fight Cuba and Venzuela to make immigration eventually a positive.
Rubio: That is BRILLIANT! Quick get the Rubiomobile!
nah nah nah ann nah!

Rubio is suddenly re-transformed to a caring social conservative with the blink of an eye and we are supposed to forget his sniveling efforts to push something we do not want down our throats as if it was medicine and not poison.

OregonPolitician on February 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Wow 15 comments. Rubio is baked. Not much HA appetite for him at all.

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Because blogs are a real good way to gauge support.

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Very good speech. Now if he can just do the right thing about immigration reform (and not trying to be squishy, but we do need to do something, like sending them ALL to the back of the line, expect those that have committed felonies and just send those back) he might go places

ConservativePartyNow on February 25, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Wow 15 comments. Rubio is baked. Not much HA appetite for him at all.

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

You noticed that too?

Yeah, i’ll tell you what…Republican party, whatever you do,
never EVER nominate those individuals who truly inspire people
to discuss them….either For or Against…

They’re TOO POLARIZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We need more MILKSOPS!!

Get yer Joe Scarborough Bumper Stickers now!!

ToddPA on February 25, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I don’t know of another Republican candidate that communicate like Rubio.

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Rubio is suddenly re-transformed to a caring social conservative with the blink of an eye and we are supposed to forget his sniveling efforts to push something we do not want down our throats as if it was medicine and not poison.

OregonPolitician on February 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

I was neutral on Rubio up until he got caught having a totally different take on his amnesty bill when he was being interviewed on Spanish language television than what he was saying on English language networks. It shows a dishonesty that can’t be ignored, overlooked, or forgiven.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I don’t know of another Republican candidate that communicate like Rubio.

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Ted Cruz.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2014 at 10:01 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Relaxing the border patrol and rules for immigration would not be such a problem if it wasn’t for fact that we have judges who can’t even see that a government mandate is unconstitutional. It wouldn’t be such a hot topic if it wasn’t for the policy makers who believe there job is to set wage limits and regulate company mergers and acquisitions. If we had more integrity and were more principled in our devotion to freedom, the founding and the U.S. constitution, relaxing immigration rules and bringing immigrants into the fold would not be the controversial issue it is today. But, since we lack that integrity, we do have to be careful with our immigration policy. Mr. Rubio was, at worst, too naive and, your condemnation was too strong. I like to think he realized that the view of immigration policy he supported works only if one’s “house” is in order. Given his speech above, I believe his was an honest mistake (it’s also helpful that Repub caucus doesn’t trust B.O. to enforce any law).

beselfish on February 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM

He’s given a lot of great speeches, but this might be his best yet.

nicktjacob on February 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Rubio has destroyed what was a really promising career.
I watched this video in its entirety and wished that it wasn’t so, but it is what it is. The man LIED about his position on amnesty. He LIED boldly and without shame.

So yeah, it was great to watch somebody call out Tom Harkin and the left on Cuba, and if Marco Rubio hadn’t proved himself to be untrustworthy, we’d all be applauding him. But he did.

Murf76 on February 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Wow 15 comments. Rubio is baked. Not much HA appetite for him at all.

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Yeah… the HA crowd isn’t really indicative of the voting populace of the entire country. A lot of purists here. A lot of “Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle in 2010″ types.

nicktjacob on February 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM

I don’t measure people by their worst day. I measure them by their best because it shows what they are capable of.

This aptly displays the enormous potential of Mr. Rubio.

That was truly from the heart. You don’t see that very much in Washington.

Marcus Traianus on February 25, 2014 at 10:13 AM

34 and counting. 50?

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Good speech. I think he is genuine on this because he believes in it.

Rubio’s fault is he bit off more than he could chew in terms of immigration, trusted the wrong people in the Senate (McCain and Schumer…god), and is too stage managed.

When someone speaks from their heart on something, with good knowledge of the subject they are talking about it makes a world of difference. He needs to educate himself about immigration policy better, and nation building in the Islamic world so he can give speeches about those subjects like he just gave about Cuba and Communism.

The reason why Paul and Cruz are so well like by their biggest supporters is they actually believe what they are talking about, or sound like it. They are not stage managed by political consultants. They manage themselves…

William Eaton on February 25, 2014 at 10:16 AM

I’ve been fed up with that Leftist Harkin for years, nay, decades. It warms my heart to see him ripped a new one as he slithers out of the Senate.

WannabeAnglican on February 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Ted Cruz.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Cruz is smart but I don’t think he has what Rubio has.

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Well done, Rubio. At least he got this right. Now, if he’d only get on board, truly, with securing our borders BEFORE playing patsy with Aztlan crowd…

vnvet on February 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Rubio is one of the most effective communicators we have. He can rip Harkin for 14 minutes, and he can go on Jon Stewart’s show and debate and defend conservative principles for 35+ minutes.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-25-2012/exclusive—marco-rubio-extended-interview-pt–1

nicktjacob on February 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM

A lot of “Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle in 2010″ types. nicktjacob on February 25, 2014 at 10:11

Still got my tee shirt.

Akzed on February 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Still got my tee shirt.

Akzed on February 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

And the Dems still have that Senate seat.

nicktjacob on February 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

nicktjacob on February 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM

I hadn’t seen that interview. Thanks for sharing!

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

On this issue I totally agree with Rubio.

I am curious about the reaction by the pro-Cuban lefties.

Johnny 100 Pesos on February 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM

I hadn’t seen that interview. Thanks for sharing!

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

My pleasure! It’s immensely enjoyable. Great debate.

nicktjacob on February 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM

And then he can walk into the halls of power and sell the American people down the river.

Murphy9 on February 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM

the US Senate, where not one but two members with Cuban heritage now serve.

Actually, three. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is also Cuban-American. And while there are plenty of issues we may disagree with Menendez about, he is a strong supporter of the embargo and he is definitely opposed to the Castro regime.

J.S.K. on February 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Did I mention there is a door prize. That’s right. A lovely piece of wall art for all you Rubio supporters. The 50th commenter receives this lovely piece. Unframed of course. P.S. Don’t forget to subtract 4 comments for your total. That’s right my four comments don’t count. I don’t support Rubio. Not trustworthy. Trust is a funny little thing. Difficult as hell to repair. Rubio is the one between Flake and Gramnasty in case you have any trouble making him out. ; )

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Wonder if Harkin stayed to listen to Rubio?

ctmom on February 25, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Harkin = Rodman

tommer74 on February 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

That was a great speech and a great rebuttal to what Harkin was selling. It doesn’t really do any good, but it was a great speech.

cptacek on February 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I don’t know of another Republican candidate that communicate like Rubio.

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Candidate for what?

Flora Duh on February 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Candidate for what?

Flora Duh on February 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Should have said prospective candidate for presidential.

Of course, we don’t know if he’s running yet.

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Harkin was origianlly elected to Congress by claiming that he had been a fighter pilot in Viet Nam. The press gave him a free ride the same way they did with Obama and Clinton and all other Democrats. Then after he was elected, it was “discovered” that he had been a ferry pilot in Korea – no where near combat. Despite being a proved liar, the people of Iowa have consistently reelected him because he votes for Ethanol subsidies, and he cozies up to the liberals in Iowa City. What a very sad reflection on Iowa and the US

bagger1956 on February 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Did I mention there is a door prize. That’s right. A lovely piece of wall art for all you Rubio supporters. The 50th commenter receives this lovely piece. Unframed of course. P.S. Don’t forget to subtract 4 comments for your total. That’s right my four comments don’t count. I don’t support Rubio. Not trustworthy. Trust is a funny little thing. Difficult as hell to repair. Rubio is the one between Flake and Gramnasty in case you have any trouble making him out. ; )

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 10:33 AM

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!

ToddPA on February 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

I understand where everyone’s coming from regarding his RINO squishiness and support for amnesty, but come one fellas.

A take down is a take down.

CurtZHP on February 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!

ToddPA on February 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Congratulations Todd!!! May I recommend a blue frame. Not a dimes worth of difference to the eight, red or blue. Lolz! You can pick up your prize here. ; )

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Rubio can go straight to friggin hell with Tom Harkin. They are really just treasonous birds of a feather.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Been reading your posts for a long time and I know I ain’t armed with enough wit to argue with you and I am only asking a question. Who do you support and let’s say you and me agree on everything but Amnesty, would you work with me on over turning The ACA or would my reputation be tainted? Again, not trolling or wanting to start a fight.

HonestLib on February 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

You were so close at 53. Look. I like you. Tell you what, don’t let Todd know this. I’ll comp you one, it will look real nice over the sofa. ; )

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

HonestLib on February 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Probably a wise move on your part to couch your comment that way. ThePrimordialOrderedPair is very capable. ; )

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I don’t measure people by their worst day. I measure them by their best because it shows what they are capable of.

This aptly displays the enormous potential of Mr. Rubio.

That was truly from the heart. You don’t see that very much in Washington.

Marcus Traianus on February 25, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Well said.

SailorMark on February 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Marco Rubio took fourteen minutes to destroy Harkin

Good for Rubio. Harkin’s always been a despicable cretin.

ddrintn on February 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

infant mortality rate reporting is a tricky thing.

Some countries don’t count infants that die in the first 3 days, instead including those deaths as miscarriages.

J_Crater on February 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

That was a great speech and a great rebuttal to what Harkin was selling. It doesn’t really do any good, but it was a great speech.

cptacek on February 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I wonder. Although President Reagan was able to do more about the Evil Empire than just talk, Eastern Europeans will be the first to tell you that his speeches did as much to inspire hope and resolve as anything action he ever took.

Harkin and Durbin are headed for history’s dustbin. Rubio’s speech was for Cubans and Venezuelans. Credit where credit it due. Rubio may have killed his Presidential prospects, but this is worth his election to the Senate.

de rigueur on February 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I don’t know of another Republican candidate that communicate like Rubio.

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 9:53 AM

…you need to listen…to others… maybe?

KOOLAID2 on February 25, 2014 at 11:13 AM

terryannonline on February 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

You were so close at 53. Look. I like you. Tell you what, don’t let Todd know this. I’ll comp you one, it will look real nice over the sofa. ; )

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Strike that. Tell you what. You can have this for your wall. ; ) *clink!* We good? Yes you can use a red frame.

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Will this be discussed on CNN with as much intensity as gay bashing in Az or Russia?

Neo on February 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Look at that. 66 and promoted to the left lane. Schweet!

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Wow 15 comments. Rubio is baked. Not much HA appetite for him at all.

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Don’t assume the loudest are the majority.

rhombus on February 25, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Mr. Rubio was, at worst, too naive and, your condemnation was too strong. I like to think he realized that the view of immigration policy he supported works only if one’s “house” is in order. Given his speech above, I believe his was an honest mistake (it’s also helpful that Repub caucus doesn’t trust B.O. to enforce any law).

beselfish on February 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM

No. This wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t naivety. It was a complete reversal, the polar opposite of what he told Florida voters in order to get their vote.

LOOK at what he said. There’s no equivocation, no room for misinterpretation. Rubio was very clear in his meaning. And of course, just like now, his words were red meat to the conservative he was speaking to.

Here’s the problem…. In this age of information, a politician’s words are recorded for posterity, impossible to escape. And we’re not a pack of hyenas living in the zoo for Mr. Rubio to toss an occasional raw steak to. That’s what we’re seeing now, you know… raw meat. He knows fully well what our attitude to Harkin slobbering away over Cuba is going to be. Not to mix metaphors, but this is low-hanging fruit for Rubio.

RUBIO: First of all, earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty. It’s what they call it. And the reality of it is this. This has to do with the bottom line that America cannot be the only country in the world that does not enforce its immigration laws.

It is unfair to the people that have legally entered this country to create an alternative pathway for individuals who entered illegally and knowingly did so.

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/13/paul-ryan-ill-debate-anyone-who-says-earned-legalization-under-the-gang-of-eight-bill-is-amnesty/

Murf76 on February 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Don’t assume the loudest are the majority.

rhombus on February 25, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Never! You know the old saying about assume, I presume. ; )

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Gracias Senador. Se lo agradecemos mucho

latina on February 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Bravo, Sen. Rubio!

I am sick unto death of the Leftists who celebrate the repressive regime of Cuba and other such nations of the same ilk. The tourists who visit these “paradises” build the coffer of the tyrants who run them while their citizens suffer.

onlineanalyst on February 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Who do you support

I support a national divorce.

and let’s say you and me agree on everything but Amnesty, would you work with me on over turning The ACA or would my reputation be tainted? Again, not trolling or wanting to start a fight.

HonestLib on February 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

First of all, legalizing illegals is not “amnesty”. Amnesty involves merely allowing one to escape without punishment for ones crimes, but not to keep the ill-gotten gains. Legalizing illegals is giving them exactly what they were stealing – residency and work permits in this nation. That is aiding and abetting. Amnesty would involve merely deporting them but not holding their illegal presence against them – i.e. they could then apply, legally, to come on visas, green cards, etc, as if they had never breached our borders. THAT would be amnesty.

As to legalizing illegals and the treasonous move of bestowing citizenship on them (not that you proposed that, but most of the people arguing to give aid and comfort to illegals have, in one way or another), those are total deal-breakers. They show a lack of respect for the idea of national sovereignty and, therefore, a hostility to the very idea of the nation-state. A person with such ideas is not my political ally in anything. I don’t care if I agree with his viewpoint on other issues, showing such little care or respect for the foundational notions of the nation-state pretty much does away with any possibility of getting much about the American Constitutional Republic and our governmental architecture correct, since just the idea of a sovereign American nation has been thrown away. Once first principles are lost, there is nothing to build upon.

For an analogy, if one refuses to acknowledge the rights of ownership of private property then there is not much reason to bother discussing the floor plan of the house with him, since he thinks that anyone is allowed to come onto the property, add his name to the title, and do whatever he wants. The idea of national sovereignty is first and foremost. If one cannot accept that, and one cannot defend that without apology, then there is precious little regarding a nation, or the governance of, to discuss.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

I see the Rehabilitate Rubio project is in full swing.

rrpjr on February 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

That’s especially true in the US Senate, where not one but two members with Cuban heritage now serve

Actually, there are three Cuban-Americans in the Senate. Menendez (D), Rubio (R) and Cruz (R).

solo4alvarez on February 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Sen. Harkin once ran for President and touted his fighter pilot experience fighting the North Vietnamese air force. Senator Barry Goldwater went after him for lying since he had just ferried repaired aircraft from Japan to the Philippines. Harkin is a fraud and beyond his ideology why the good people of Iowa continued to reelect him is beyond my imagination. But if they continuously reelect him, that explains the ignorance of our general population when voting, especially in federal elections. You get the government you deserve and unfortunately the majority will seemingly buy any BS if it is sugar coated enough; and we all suffer for it.

amr on February 25, 2014 at 12:09 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Thumbs up.

Fathom on February 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Mr. Rubio was, at worst, too naive and, your condemnation was too strong. I like to think he realized that the view of immigration policy he supported works only if one’s “house” is in order. Given his speech above, I believe his was an honest mistake (it’s also helpful that Repub caucus doesn’t trust B.O. to enforce any law).

beselfish on February 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Given Mr. Rubio’s opinion of Venezuela, Cuba, and other Latin American failed states, he may consider that increased (or unpunished) immigration to the USA is the only way to save their oppressed citizens.
He approached solving their problems in the wrong way and got burned, because he gave insufficient consideration to our problems.
(I am not familiar with the two-language-versions controversy; if true, that is a serious charge against him.)

I believe that a better way to solve Latin America’s problems is to improve conditions in their countries by exporting classical American ideals of freedom, liberty, market economies, and governance by consent (in a mirror-image of the oppression exported by Cuba and championed by the Left).

That’s a lot harder to accomplish, and we all want the easy out, politicians most of all.

AesopFan on February 25, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Hmmm… this reminds me of someone. Folks talking about a speech (not something with an actual vote required) from a first-term US Senator, rumored to be a Presidential candidate, whose previous experience was in a state legislature.

Just sayin’

DOOF on February 25, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I understand where everyone’s coming from regarding his RINO squishiness and support for amnesty, but come one fellas.

A take down is a take down.

CurtZHP on February 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Agreed..which is why he’s up to about 90 comments…

ToddPA on February 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Thumbs down. You are what gives Conservatism a bad name. You probably would bad mouth Reagan just the same as you are bad mouthing Rubio. If you could focus on rationally fixing a problem I would be amazed. You are as bad an idealogue as Obysmal, just on a different side. I guess Purity is all that matters to you. I remember a mid 20th Century madman dictator who felt the same way.

And, by the way, I have been a staunch Right Wing Conservative longer than you have been alive.

NOMOBO on February 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Your response is just what I was expecting if you answered……well thought out, clear, fair in presentation, straight forward, factual correct and of course honest. Just to let you know I learned a few things from your answer that I had been pondering.

To me what makes the US different is of course out rights do not come from the government. I do not define the term “rights” outside of constitutional boundaries. For existence, health care, food, shelter are not a right. Laws can be passed to provide those things, but the government can give and can take those benefits away at will. Not so with rights. Don’t care how folks define Socialism, Fascism, or Communism if they do not understand the right of private property ownership. You cannot have a constitutional republic without the ownership of private property being a right. I think we agree enough to work together on the problem of illegal immigration.

My take……most of American turned a blind eye to the illegal immigration problem as times were mostly good and the numbers manageable. Not saying you did by the way. Also, they did come here illegally and we should not forget that in the solution. If they have committed a felony other than being here illegally; good bye when they are caught. Stay with me please. We need true immigration reform that secures the boarder (for some reasons not much talk about OTM’s but we have CIA working with NHS/Boarder Patrol for a reason), reform and enforce the visa system, define if we are going to have chained immigration or immigration based on our needs, and then find a workable solution for those already in country. I have no problem discussing which steps come first.

I think our disagreement will be over the 11million (I have heard larger numbers) that are here currently. Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886), Wong Wing v. U.S. (1896) and Plyer v. Doe (1982) decided that the undocumented status of these illegal aliens does not establish a sufficient rational basis for denying them benefits that the State affords other residents. I know you will place these decisions under the guise of “living document”, but it is recognized law as I understand. As you know due to Marbury v. Madison, our Supreme Court operates with broad “Judicial Review”.

If I am wrong on any of the above, as I ain’t all that smart about the Constitution, please let me know as I want to better understand these things.

So if we allow the 11 million or so illegal aliens stay, they now have Constitutional coverage, so to speak. I will stop here as maybe I have placed myself in the “can’t work with the idiot” category. If possible, I would like to talk about how we handle the 11 million and as a basis…..I don’t want their vote…..I don’t gave a hoot about politics…….I want what is best for America.

Again, thanks so much for the response.

HonestLib on February 25, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Rubio for the win! Also the GOP’s, and by the way, Conservatism’s best hope for 2016.

GreenBlade on February 25, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Just wait. When the embargo finally ends, and tourists are allowed back in, American liberals will scream “AY! CARAMBA! We never knew things were so bad here!”

Labamigo on February 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM

OT – explains a lot

Schadenfreude on February 25, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Rubio thread, sub-100, earns early promotion to ‘top picks’.

Pushing the GOPe candidates early, I see.

Midas on February 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Midas on February 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Nah, it’s me. Used to post on a hobby site and my unofficial nic was “Thread Killer”. Got so bad I would not even post on my own threads!

HonestLib on February 25, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Harkin should retire to Cuba.

He is one of the worst of the Watergate era Democrats, openly sympathetic with not only Castro, but the Sandinistas, the Soviets, and the far left in America. His retirement is welcome news.

Don’t be long, Tom – Satan is keeping your room nice and warm.

Adjoran on February 25, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Rubio is a person who could be president one day. Give him a little more experience, and he could get elected easily. I thought I was listening to Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” It’s about time somebody in the Republican Party stood for something, rather than simply trying to find the easiest way to get elected or re-elected. We need a lot more of this, my friends.

Libertyship46 on February 25, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Fantastic response from Senator Rubio. Say what you will, there is no single person who will fit every political need of each and every person. Do I disagree with him on issues? Yes. Would I rather have CHarlie Crist? Absolutely not.

He is a fine Senator and it would not surprise me at all to see him go farther in the future.

USNCVN on February 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM

If only he’d stuck to that crusade over immigration.

Ukiah on February 25, 2014 at 2:29 PM

As to legalizing illegals and the treasonous move of bestowing citizenship on them (not that you proposed that, but most of the people arguing to give aid and comfort to illegals have, in one way or another), those are total deal-breakers. They show a lack of respect for the idea of national sovereignty and, therefore, a hostility to the very idea of the nation-state. A person with such ideas is not my political ally in anything. I don’t care if I agree with his viewpoint on other issues, showing such little care or respect for the foundational notions of the nation-state pretty much does away with any possibility of getting much about the American Constitutional Republic and our governmental architecture correct, since just the idea of a sovereign American nation has been thrown away. Once first principles are lost, there is nothing to build upon.

For an analogy, if one refuses to acknowledge the rights of ownership of private property then there is not much reason to bother discussing the floor plan of the house with him, since he thinks that anyone is allowed to come onto the property, add his name to the title, and do whatever he wants. The idea of national sovereignty is first and foremost. If one cannot accept that, and one cannot defend that without apology, then there is precious little regarding a nation, or the governance of, to discuss.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Totally agree. Rubio burned his bridges when he not only signed onto Democrats destroying our sovereignty but also the comfortable way he lied about what he was doing while doing so.

I might feel he is an improvement over someone like Crist but… no, he could never gain my support for President. Even if he was the only alternative to a Democrat… because a knife in the gut at least you can see coming, unlike one in the back.

Ukiah on February 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

I understand where everyone’s coming from regarding his RINO squishiness and support for amnesty, but come one fellas.

A take down is a take down.

CurtZHP on February 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I think it is a real reflection on how much damage he has done to himself politically. At least here at HA. The mistake he made shows brightly. His attempt to rebuild his cred will continue to have difficulty. It was a huge blunder to start off his career with. Too bad really.

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 2:47 PM

That’s especially true in the US Senate, where not one but two members with Cuban heritage now serve.

That’s three, Ed.

Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bob Menendez.

eaglephin on February 25, 2014 at 3:20 PM

All of this reminds me of the stupid Patty Murray who was lauding the Taliban’s efforts at building hospitals and schools even as body parts were being removed from the still smoldering remains of the World Trade Center.

Let us not forget the wonderful DAY CARE CENTERS that the Taliban supposedly (according to Patty Murray) built – you know – so that women could work outside the home while their children were well cared for. Women under the Taliban cannot go anywhere without a male relative, they are forbidden to work outside the home, they are forbidden to get any education. And Senator Murray speaks of DAY CARE centers. Their ignorance really is fathomless.

Mordaukar on February 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Congressman Johnson heard of this debate, & he defended Harkin by warning that freedom might cause the island of Cuba to tip over.

itsnotaboutme on February 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

I understand where everyone’s coming from regarding his RINO squishiness and support for amnesty, but come one fellas.

A take down is a take down.

CurtZHP on February 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

“Take down” is a huge understatement.

Too many HotAir comment posters have knee-jerk reactions every time they see names of moderate or flawed Republicans.

Their fingers automatically fly across the keyboard, sending out chants such as:

“He can do no good!”
“He can say no good!”
“He must be destroyed!”

If a guy votes with us 80% or 85% of the time, he’s not our worst enemy.

itsnotaboutme on February 25, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I think it is a real reflection on how much damage he has done to himself politically. At least here at HA

Bmore on February 25, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Key phrase is “at least here at HA”. Look, I dislike liberal/progressives and their lame brained America damaging ideas as much as any Conservative, but, geez, this is getting to be such an echo chamber. Good luck winning an election, or even gaining back America.

NOMOBO on February 25, 2014 at 3:41 PM

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