For Rubio, the question is a no-brainer. “Women already are in combat to begin with. We should be putting our best soldiers forward regardless of their gender,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said Thursday evening.

Likewise, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon also came out in favor of the Defense Department’s announcement that the ban on women in combat would be lifted.

“After a decade of critical military service in hostile environments, women have demonstrated a wide range of capabilities in combat operations and we welcome this review,” McKeon said in a statement. …

But Rubio, in particular, represents the shift of many conservatives away from notions about women and other aspects of society that were orthodoxy for their movement a decade ago.