Joe Scarborough to Rick Santorum: Name one Marco Rubio accomplishment

posted at 2:41 pm on February 4, 2016 by Allahpundit

You can chalk this up to Scarborough’s weird grudge against Rubio if you like, but he’s asked this question about Hillary Clinton too and, er … it happens to be a fair cop. What is the big Rubio accomplishment that qualifies him to be president? The closest thing he has to an “achievement” is the Gang of Eight bill, which is like saying that Hillary’s big achievement as Secretary of State was reducing Libya to anarchy. The bill didn’t even pass, leaving Rubio with nothing to point to for his efforts except conservative rage. This is the guy we’re going to put in charge of outfoxing the Democrats nationally, Chuck Schumer’s junior partner on Amnesty 2.0?

It’s amazing that Santorum’s unprepared for this question given that Bush and Christie have been hammering Rubio for his lack of experience for weeks. It’s the first point in the case against him. He could have said, “Take it from me, it’s difficult as a senator to get bills passed, especially as a freshman. Should we rule out legislators categorically from the presidency because they’re unlikely to have silver-bullet ‘accomplishments’ there? I like his agenda and want to give him a better chance to enact it.” Or he could have rejected the premise of the question and argued that a candidate’s CV is just one item in a basket of factors a voter considers when voting for president — intelligence, likability, electability, organizational skill, and so on. In my opinion, Santorum could have said, Rubio’s basket is fuller than everyone else’s. If he wanted to get really cute, he could have channeled the messianism that some Rubio fans feel for their candidate and thrown this back at him: What was Lincoln’s big “accomplishment” before he got elected president? You vote for a man, not for his resume.

Mike Murphy, who leads Jeb Bush’s Super PAC Death Star, is making this argument today too, although characteristically poorly:

It’s one thing to say, accurately, that Rubio is a lot like Obama in lacking major accomplishments, it’s another thing to say he’s unelectable because of that after Obama won two national elections going away. Was Murphy in a coma from 2008 through 2012? Moreover, since when does Hillary Clinton, of all people, win a battle of the CVs with anyone? As noted, Scarborough’s own program has had fun in the past highlighting how, for someone who’s spent the last 25 years in positions of power in Washington, she has shockingly little to point to as proof of how she’s made things better for her constituents. Who’s worse, the freshman senator who hasn’t passed a major bill or the First Lady turned Senate two-termer turned Secretary of State who, to this day, tends to fall back on how many miles she flew in diplomatic travel when asked what her big achievements were?

One other weird thing about Murphy’s tweet: Jeb Bush was a fan of the Gang of Eight and undoubtedly would have considered it a major accomplishment had the bill passed. Rubio helped get it through the Senate, no small feat in an age of gridlock. He did his part and risked his viability in a national primary in doing so, which should be worth something if you’re an amnesty fan. Not to Jeb, oddly enough. Relatedly, I’ve heard Rubio critics online say lately that if he had skipped the Gang of Eight and voted no with Cruz, he’d already be the runaway frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, which may be true on the theory that he’d win a straight-up personality contest with Cruz if their records in the Senate were more or less identical. I’m not so sure, though. Cruz would still be Cruz, and Rubio wouldn’t be an establishment favorite to the degree he is now if he had tried to sink the GOP’s latest big push on immigration in 2013. He might have struggled for major donors, and that might have weakened him too much early for him to be viable now. In fact, it’s worth considering another counterfactual: What if Boehner had bit the bullet and passed the Gang of Eight bill, which he surely had the votes to do? Rubio would have been the darling of the donor class, the “tea-party senator” who helped grant the establishment one of its greatest political wishes. He’d be such a star among big money that Jeb might not have gotten in after all, leaving Rubio a strong frontrunner on the center-right. Grassroots righties would have despised him, but then many on the right despise him now anyway. Plus, with the Gang of Eight bill in effect, he’d have some security improvements to point to as proof that the bill was a good compromise, which would have placated some border hawks. It’s unquestionable that the Gang of Eight debacle hurt him badly on the right, but it’s highly questionable, I think, that it damaged his presidential chances more than lining up with Cruz against the bill would have done.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Nobody “owns” the national borders. The national borders are an abstract concept defining the limits of jurisdiction of the US government, not a piece of property.

TBSchemer on February 4, 2016 at 7:24 PM

Are you in this country legally???

Dick Richard on February 4, 2016 at 7:38 PM

I noticed when the Rubio campaign responded with a list of so-called achievements, there was nothing of consequence.

Rubio is nothing but a smiling, smooth talker. The perfect gigolo.

huckleberryfriend on February 4, 2016 at 7:09 PM
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/263396-spending-bill-includes-rubio-ban-on-obamacare-bailout
This should answer your question. Really easy to look up.

Ta111 on February 4, 2016 at 7:59 PM

This should answer your question. Really easy to look up.

Ta111 on February 4, 2016 at 7:59 PM

Five years as a Senator and he inserted language into 1 bill?

And for that he deserves to be President?

huckleberryfriend on February 4, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Ta111 on February 4, 2016 at 7:59 PM

Most importantly, experts also said Rubio did not necessarily save that money in the long run. His best argument is he temporarily limited one way CMS could have tried to pay for insurance companies’ losses. The program has two more years to cover its expenses. If any bills are due after that time, CMS or Congress will have to find a way to pay them because they are obligated to do so.

Rubio oversimplified a complex process that is still largely unresolved. We rate his statement Mostly False.

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/dec/07/marco-rubio/rubio-says-he-prevented-25-billion-obamacare-bailo/

JannyMae on February 4, 2016 at 8:39 PM

This should answer your question. Really easy to look up.

Ta111 on February 4, 2016 at 7:59 PM

Five years as a Senator and he inserted language into 1 bill?

And for that he deserves to be President?

huckleberryfriend on February 4, 2016 at 8:14 PM

someone debunked this up-thread. It was Sessions, Hawkins, and Kingston who inserted language against the risk corridors…not rubio.

texasmagnolia on February 4, 2016 at 9:27 PM

Rubio is the anti-Cruz.

More style than substance. He has shown his judgment is bad when it comes to taking a leadership position.

Amnesty, widening the scope of NSA power, and a Bush foreign policy are his big ideas. Sure he has shown some conservative traits but i never trust a guy who veers from the Constitution on emotional issues. His instincts are to trust Chuck Schumer. I cant throw in with that kind of candidate.

Rubio is weak and easy nudged. He lies a bit too energetically. Most of all, he has turned his back on a lot of good people who helped get him to the Senate.

Rubio is like a small town stripper. From far away, in low light, the view is decent because, hey…i see naked (or to strain the analogy -hey…i see conservative), but the closer you look, under a spotlight, the scarier it gets. Never mind the array of terrible things happening back stage that would leave you entirely repulsed.

alecj on February 4, 2016 at 10:22 PM

Nobody “owns” the national borders. The national borders are an abstract concept defining the limits of jurisdiction of the US government, not a piece of property.

TBSchemer on February 4, 2016 at 7:24 PM

The Constitution of the United States of America

PREAMBLE

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Well, I tried my best but could not find the words “and guests” after “We the People” and/or “liberty to ourselves”….bummer.

tanked59 on February 4, 2016 at 11:33 PM

TBSchemer

Nobody “owns” the national borders. The national borders are an abstract concept defining the limits of jurisdiction of the US government, not a piece of property.

I think the North Koreans, Iranians and virtually every single nation outside of the United States would disagree with you.

1redshirtxlg on February 5, 2016 at 3:46 AM

Oh, Oh, I know! I know!

He went for amnesty until the polls said that was not a good idea.

TerryW on February 5, 2016 at 2:37 PM

This story tells us more about Rick Santorum and his general cluelessness, than it does Marco Rubio.

Perhaps if Santorum was still in the Senate, he might have some idea of what happens there. But it’s been nearly ten years since Santorum served in government.

J Baustian on February 6, 2016 at 1:34 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3