By: Ben Kamisar, TheHill.com
January 7, 2016
The GOP establishment is beginning to coalesce around Marco Rubio’s presidential bid amid fears that a victory by Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would sink the party in November.
Weeks before the first round of primary voting, the Florida senator’s campaign has rolled out a series of high-profile congressional endorsements, including from House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Wednesday. Rubio is now just a handful of congressional endorsements behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the onetime GOP front-runner and establishment pick.
The 44-year-old Cuban-American senator has long been seen by Republicans as the party’s best hope against Hillary Clinton. Many political observers believe Rubio, who has more than held his own on the debate stage, would be a solid contrast to Clinton, the top pick to win the Democratic nomination.
Polls bear that out. The RealClearPolitics average in head-to-head surveys shows Rubio with a 1.3 percent lead over Clinton, while she is tied with Texas Sen. Cruz and holds a 4.8-point lead on business mogul Trump.
RINOTRACKER RESPONSE FROM CHRIS ADAMO:
For quite some time, the “movers and shakers” in the back rooms of the Republican Party had conspired to pre-select former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee. Grassroots conservatives would instantly recognize such a move as political suicide by party insiders whose only goal must be to lose the general election. Yet the GOP “experts” view the situation quite differently, clinging to a delusional notion that their misbegotten “strategy” could actually win this time around.
These GOP insiders are hardly dissuaded by the grim consistency of past failures, from Bob Dole to John McCain to Mitt Romney. Instead, they remain blindly confident that they can win an election with a strategy based entirely on the negatives of the Democrat candidate. Fortunately, the American people feel no compunction to play along in 2016. Consequently, despite being incredibly well-funded by big-monied special interests, Jeb Bush’s candidacy has been a total dud from the start, and shows no signs of improving.
In light of this, it became inevitable for RINOs to pick a candidate with more potential for success. And so they predictably landed on Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Young, and charismatic, it was believed that Rubio portended a greater appeal to the current generation of voters. Unfortunately, beneath the veneer of faux “conservatism,” Rubio has proven himself to be the quintessential standard bearer for the GOP “Establishment.” This was inarguably revealed by his treacherous “Gang of Eight” amnesty plot, aided and abetted by such notorious Senators as John McCain (R.-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D.-NY) in 2013.
Nevertheless, “Ruling Class” Republicans are currently left with no alternative but to rally to Rubio, in hopes that he can tap dance his way out of the amnesty morass, at least until Election Day in November. After that of course, it is a certainty that a “President Rubio” would pivot directly back to the pro-amnesty, open borders ideology that he truly embraces.
It would be foolish to contend otherwise, since the entire political apparatus driving any potential Rubio surge will be made up of rich, big-business types who have their own agenda. Operating in defiance of the grassroots, and with no interest in the fate of America, they seek a massive influx of cheap labor to fuel their financial endeavors. Rubio will owe any ensuing success to them and them alone; a fact of which he is keenly aware.
With absolute predictability, the GOP “Establishment” is once again employing that tired maxim of “electability” as the incontrovertible reason that Americans should abandon other candidates, along with their principles, to support Rubio. According to Mr. Kamisar (in the above piece), the same GOP Establishment that lauds the treachery of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former House Speaker John Boehner (now Paul Ryan) worries that a Trump or Cruz candidacy might “sink the party in November.” In their world, RINO treachery isn’t the problem. Boldness and real conservatism is.
Rather than contrasting Rubio’s political ideology against that of the far more successful Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, Republican “experts” are insisting that he stands the best chance of defeating Hillary Clinton. And while fear of the soulless Clinton might be a good motivator, resurrecting the empty premise of “electability” rings hollow, particularly after it was employed with such disastrous results for John McCain and Mitt Romney in the previous two election cycles.
It might seem self-evident that Republican insiders need to change tactics, given that their track record has been so abysmal. However, their singular goal is to maintain their place at the political table, with the future of America being little more than a distracting annoyance. Against that backdrop, Rubio is racking up an impressive list of party endorsements, from such notables as Trey Gowdy and Jim Inhofe.
Unfortunately for the Republican Establishment, such an exhibition of “politics as usual” is doing little to impress potential voters. Despite the intensity of top-down efforts to promote Rubio, he is increasingly perceived by the American people as “Jeb version 2.0.” Not surprisingly has barely risen above single digits in polling, and then only occasionally.
Thankfully, Americans are no longer willing to ignore the reality glaring in their faces. Nor will they accept more platitudes fed to them by the GOP Establishment. For far too long, and despite which party might hold majority status in Capitol Hill, Democrat voters have gotten results, while conservatives only get excuses for inaction from the GOP. Having been thoroughly betrayed by “Republicans” who ostensibly are in control of both houses of Congress, the people are looking for something more substantial than RINO “business as usual.”
A Rubio presidency would be guaranteed to yield two dismal outcomes. First, despite Rubio’s “eloquent articulation” of the conservative message, his inevitable importation of thirty-million (or more) undocumented Democrats would guarantee that the conservative agenda is stopped dead in its tracks. Secondly, to the delight of career politicians of both parties, the GOP would never again have to worry about real conservatism being on the table. Thus the party insiders believe they could dodge any future Democrat/media backlash.
Outside of Washington however, it is widely understood that such a course would spell the end of America. “We the People” must not overlook that dire, looming possibility.
E-mail Christopher G. Adamo at: firstname.lastname@example.org