Arianna Huffington called him "the Obama of the right."
Bill O'Reilly described him as "a moderate."
Birthers say that he is not "a natural born citizen."
Judson Phillips, the owner of renowned Tea Party Nation blog, recently said a friend called Rubio "a Democrat wearing a Republican suit."
Conservatives grind their teeth when thinking of his role in the "Gang of Ocho."
So what gives? Has the Marco Rubio of 2010 morphed into something of a different persuasion?
For those who have read his book, not to mention followed his votes, you know. Marco continues to be one of the most reliable conservative voices on the hill. Yet, his position on immigration reform is moderate. Especially when compared to that of Tom Tancredo!
Rubio does support the Dream Act, up to a point. He favors a "path" to citizenship for children illegally in the country, through no fault of their own. He draws the line where extended family members are concerned. This is decidedly to the right of George W. Bush, Jeb Bush and John McCain.
Rubio recently introduced "the War on Poverty." It smacks of Federalism. He is critical of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society." He touts vocational education. His vision follows the Chinese proverb, "give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life."
Some recall 2006 when then House Speaker Rubio introduced a "Tax Swap," that would have eliminated property taxes for all homesteaded Floridians. In 2008, he supported Governor Mike Huckabee's "Fair Tax" proposal.
An advocate of Supply Side Economics, Marco Rubio speaks of his admiration for Ronald Reagan. Largely influenced by his Grandfather, Rubio took the American Dream literally. He has always seen small business as the key job creator. He lovingly talks of "business' being started in bedrooms and basements."
Born in Miami in 1971, most of his life was spent in West Miami, an enclave of middle class, Cuban Americans. There was a six-year hiatus, when the family moved to Las Vegas. He speaks fondly of life there as "the son of a bartender and a hotel maid."
Marco Rubio loves football. An avid Dolphin's fan, he actually attended his freshmen year on a football scholarship at a small college in Missouri. Later, after meeting Michael Irving in the tunnell of Pro Players stadium, and noting his size, he decided that a future in the NFL was out of reach. His wife, the former Jeanette Dousdebes, was later a Dolphin's cheerleader.
From Tarkio college, Rubio transferred to Santa Fe Juco, before finishing at the University of Florida at Gainesville. He then attended Law School at the University of Miami. In the end, he had a monster student loan debt on his back and continues to make the $900 per month payment.
His book, "An American Son," details his 2010 Senatorial campaign against then Governor, Charlie Crist. Those close to Rubio's camp will admit that there was a lot of "bad blood" that remained afterward between them and Stuart Stevens. Stevens managed Crist's and later Mitt Romney's campaign.
Many recall Rubio's extremely late endorsement of Romney. Both Dick Morris and Karl Rove urged Romney to take Rubio as his running mate. Most suspect that there still may be lingering bad feelings from the Senate campaign.
In retrospect, Rubio's not running with Romney may prove to be a blessing! The two men's backgrounds and ideologies are quite different. In fact, Rubio's positions on states rights and the 10th amendment are more reflective of Rick Perry's.
Like Perry, Rubio is a strong social conservative. A devout Roman Catholic, he has been more inclined as of late, to attend the Evangelical,"Christ Fellowship" church with Jeanette. His book reveals a man of deep faith and a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.
Where Democrats are most concerned is how Rubio is perceived by the "low interest" voters. As one Louisville Kentucky based, Democrat strategist coined, "he doesn't fall into your classic Republican stereotype. Against Hillary Clinton, we could end up with a 2008; in reverse!"
America has traditionally favored the underdog. In November 2016, Rubio will be 45 years-old. That's older than both John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton were when they ran in 1960 and 1992 respectively. In 2016, Hillary Clinton will be 69.
Worse still for Dems is the perception that Rubio is a true Centrist. Conservatives say that they don't trust him. Birthers say that he is not eligible to be President. Even Fox News calls him a Moderate.
By the same token, immigrants adore Marco Rubio. To Millennials, he is a "rock star." It must also be noted that in the Florida Senate race he received 58% of the "female under 40" vote. All three groups were won decisively by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Will Marco Rubio run for President? I think it's safe to say "no," if Jeb Bush throws his hat into the ring. However, if Jeb passes, the possibilities are excellent.
Jeb was Marco's original mentor, calling Rubio "the greatest orator that he had seen." As with immigration, the two greatly differ on Education. Jeb is vocally supportive of "Common Core." Rubio opposes it, agreeing with Perry that the best solution for the Department of Education is "abolishment."
As Rubio pointed out in his book, Obama was "a compelling figure, with an extraordinary gift for public speaking." Yet,"hidden beneath his centrist message, was a decidedly left-of-center policy agenda. His personality and language gave the impression of moderation. But his ideas and voting record revealed a dogmatic, big-government liberal."
Yet, the low interest voters gave him the keys to the White House!
It is certainly understandable why Democrats fear Marco Rubio.
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