A common narrative that has emerged that Donald Trump serves as the ideological heir rhetorically to the likes of George Wallace and Ronald Reagan in pushing buttons using racial code to garner voters. But Florida’s Junior Senator who is anxious to be nominated by the GOP and has been able to maneuver behind a cloak of respectability created by the media and Republican establishment is giving Trump a run for his money on this score.
Rubio’s coded racial appeals are among the elements that have allowed him to surge in the polls and record a surprisingly strong 3rd placed finish in the Iowa Caucus. Rand Paul seems determined to serve as the ideological heir to the likes of Barry Goldwater while Jeb Bush at least recently had adopted a more William F. Buckley/George F. Will tone. Ted Cruz appears to be sounding more and more like a more respectable version of religious leaders James Dobson or Gary Bauer. Cruz’s appeal to religious conservatives also could be supplemented with some economic conservative backing because his ability to articulate the conservative message in a hopeful and positive way exceeds that of his rivals.
On the other hand, Rubio is incapable of such high intellectual thought and simply repeats messages like one of those pull-string toys you buy at Target. Rubio is programmed with platitudes and coded racial hits at the current President and sometimes he is capable of delivering his lines masterfully. This should serve Rubio well in South Carolina and the coming SEC primaries.
Upon reflection I have come to realization that Rubio’s controversial statements about President Obama, the ones the national media seem asleep to but if made by Trump would lead to hour long breaking news segments on CNN, were probably designed to race-bait.
Judge for yourself on the below quotes:
“He (Obama) has made an intentional effort to humble us back to size as if to say ‘We no longer need to be so powerful because our power has done more harm than good,’” Rubio said. “America is in far greater danger today than it was eight years ago.”
“We already have a president now that has no class. I mean we have a president now that does selfie stick videos, that invites YouTube stars there, people that you know, eat cereal out of a bathtub that accuses his. You just saw the interview he did right now where he goes on comedy shows to talk about something as serious as Iran. The list goes on and on.”
“(Obama) has deliberately weakened America.”
“I’m tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president’s done. Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today—he gave a speech at a mosque. ”
“Barack Obama released terrorists from Guantanamo, and now they are plotting to attack us. Instead of fighting to fund our troops, he fights to fund Planned Parenthood. He spies on Israel, and cut a deal with Iran. His plan after the attack in San Bernardino: take away our guns. While ISIS is beheading people, burning them in cages, he says climate change is our greatest threat. I’m Marco Rubio. I approve this message because America needs a real commander-in-chief and a president that will keep us safe.”
Interestingly he has made odd claims about his Republican rivals also, in a very Nixon/Reaganesque style. This quote I believe was directed at Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
“have isolationist candidates who are apparently more passionate about weakening our military and intelligence capabilities than about destroying our enemies. They talk tough, yet they would strip us of the ability to keep our people safe.”
Some of these quotes also can explain while Rubio seeks to appeal to voters that find race a motivating issue while being pushed along with few questions asked by the GOP establishment and a mainstream press that has long proven that they believe patriotism and war sells and is good for ratings.