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Marco Rubio's career is in trouble. That will teach Republicans to play ethnic politics.

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:07 AM
Original message
Marco Rubio's career is in trouble. That will teach Republicans to play ethnic politics.
Tim Stanley, a U.S. historian at Oxford University writes:

October 26, 2011


Rubio first came to national attention in 2010, when he branded himself as a Tea Party maverick in that years Florida senate race. His take on the ethnic card was original and compelling. Immigrants, he said, make natural conservatives. Their reliance on the charity of others teaches them the value of church and family, and the fact that so many have fled failed socialist regimes makes them reluctant to vote for big spending liberals. Much as Herman Cain has argued that African-American loyalty to the Democratic Party is out of date and undeserved, Rubio made a strong case that Latinos truly belonged in the GOP. His candidacy drew 45 percent of the Latino vote, far ahead of independent Charlie Crist (33 percent) and Democrat Kendrick Meek (22 percent).

The pundits were convinced that the GOP had struck upon a strategy for winning in 2012: put Rubio on the ticket, eat into the ordinarily Democratic Latino vote and the election would be all but over. In fact, Rubios strong showing in Florida proved nothing. The states Latinos tend to be of Cuban decent and, largely for foreign policy reasons, far more conservative than Latinos elsewhere. That year, Florida's Republican gubernatorial candidate, despite being a Caucasian, actually ran ahead of Rubio among Latinos (he took 50 percent of their vote). Nationwide, Latinos rallied behind the Democrats in a midterm election cycle that otherwise went overwhelmingly against the governing party. In California's senate race, Democrat Barbara Boxer won 66 percent of the Latino vote to Republican Carly Fiorinas 31 percent. In Nevada, Democrat Harry Reid won 69 percent to Republican Sharron Angles 27 percent. A Latino candidate for the governorship of Nevada drew just 33 percent of their ballots.


But the story does add to the impression that Rubio has leveraged his Cuban heritage to gain attention on the national stage. Throughout 2010, the candidate took every opportunity to mention his family history. It wasnt just a play for Cuban votes; it was a transparent effort to draw donations from ideological conservatives who were delighted and flattered by his journey up from communism. Likewise, he repeatedly said that he was a Roman Catholic, even though he attended a Protestant church that is part of an organisation with anti-Catholic leanings. Its not unreasonable to infer that Rubio was playing two crowds: Catholic Cubans and white evangelicals. Its a classic conservative strategy, but it undermines his ethnic pitch. Just as its very hard to imagine that Rubio never asked his parents what year they arrived in the United States, its very hard to imagine that he hasnt noticed his new churchs opposition to idol worship and popery.

The Republican flirtation with a Rubio candidacy was fuelled by a mix of romance and cynicism. On the one hand, Tea Partiers fell in love with a man who said what they always believed to be true that the best interests of hard working, patriotic ethnic minorities are actually served by the Right. On the other hand, they thought he could chisel away a few Latino votes and win them the presidential election by demographic default. The strategy was a misfire from the start. Latino Democrats were never going to vote for a man they didnt agree with from a party they didnt like just because he spoke Spanish. It was insulting to think that they would.

It has been deeply angering to watch Rubio play both ends against the middle in deceiving voters during his U. S. Senate campaign last year-- first, repeatedly and falsely claiming his parents were exiles of the Fidel Castro regime; in addition, he claimed on his Florida Legislative website to be Roman Catholic, at the same time he and his family have attended a hardline Protestant church that is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for the past 6 years. This church, the Christ Fellowship nondenominational Church of West Kendall, Florida, has received thousands of dollars donated to it by Rubio.

According to the St. Petersburg Times:

May 22, 2010


(Rubio's) campaign said his taxes from 2000 to 2008 totaled more than $410,000 and that he contributed over $66,000 to charity, much of it going to Christ Fellowship Church. Rubio did not release his 2009 tax return because he has filed for an extension.


Seems like Mr. Rubio misled people about many things with the carefully cultivated narrative that he used last year to propel himself into the U. S. Senate.

Seems he also held (holds) himself out to be Catholic for one set of voters, while demonstrating to evangelical voters that he regularly attends and financially supports a church tied to the Southern Baptist Convention, which is anti-Catholic in its theology.

So, which is it, Mr. Rubio?

Didn't you think the voters deserved to know last November what guides your views and principles as they made the decision on who to send to represent them in the U. S. Senate?

Apparently not.

This story faded quickly after the election, but it is one that will return to haunt Mr. Rubio.

Marco Rubio tries to still debate over his religion

12 Nov 2010


During Mr Rubios campaign for the Senate he received the endorsement of the Catholic Advocate Candidate Fund. According to the funds website, Mr Rubio is a Catholic candidate who will not compromise. He has not been shy about mentioning his Catholic faith on the campaign trail, it reports.

Eric Giunta, a leading Florida Catholic blogger, last week wrote an article on Renew America, a conservative website, suggesting that the senator-elect should clear up the confusion.
Mr Rubios office replied with a prickly email suggesting that, instead of asking questions about his religious faith, he should focus on Mr Rubios conservative social and fiscal policies such as his pro-life stance.


Mr Giunta said that he still regarded Mr Rubio as a man of strong Christian faith and that he was taking advice from strategists in the mould of Karl Rove, who was one of George W Bushs principal advisers. I assume (he) is following the advice of Rovian manipulators, who are advising him that these ambiguities are what is best for him to keep culling Catholic and Evangelical votes.

Mr Giunta added: Mr Rubio, so these advisers probably think, has to tread a thin line. Catholics do not like to hear that one of their political heroes is a defector from their religion, and Evangelicals (especially Southern Baptists) would not be happy to hear that their hero is an unsaved idol-worshipper ie, a Catholic.

The Catholic Church teaches that abandoning the faith for a non-Catholic denomination is a mortal sin.

Also from Damian Thompson at the Telegraph, who has also been following this story:

November 11th, 2010


Rubio's office is not pleased at all by this focus on their man's apparent double religious identity. Giunta reproduces the following email he says he has received from one Mr J R Sanchez of Rubio's office:

Dear Mr Giunta,

Thank you for your recent e-mail. I appreciate your interest in Senator-elect Rubio's religion. However, I do not have any new information to convey to you; Mr. Rubio is still a Roman Catholic. He was baptized, confirmed and married in the Roman Catholic Church. If you find that there is a dearth of pertinent material to write about, perhaps you can focus on the many serious issues facing our nation, and the reasons why the citizens of Florida overwhelmingly elected Mr. Rubio as their next United States Senator. You may wish to highlight Senator-elect Rubio's consistent and conservative social and fiscal policies such as his pro-life stance, his commitment to reducing the national debt, enacting a balanced budget amendment, lowering the tax burden for Americans and maintaining a strong military presence to defend our nation from the various threats abroad.

I hope that you find this e-mail helpful, and that you focus your future writings on salient matters that face our nation. Good luck on your final exams, and have a great Christmas.

In other words, "Could we please change the subject?" Or, to quote Giunta's rather colourful headline to his article in RenewAmerica: "Rubio campaign to religious voters: Screw you, get a life!"

(Eric Giunta's article here)

As we can now see very clearly, the story of the great and mythical Marco Rubio, a carefully groomed fabrication for the national spotlight and heralded as the great Hispanic hope of the hardline Republican establishment, is melting into a thin and cynical illusion.

And the people strongly reject it.

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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Very well-written and compelling...
May the people continue to reject his illusory story...

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thank you, CaliforniaPeggy. Couldn't sleep.
This guy's slick ride on the gravy train is nearing its end.

Sorry, Jeb. It ain't gonna be this one.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Every couple of months it should bubble to the surface....
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. There is much more dirt that Rubio has on him.
All will surface on the press takes a close look at him. I would love to see republicans put Rubio on their Presidential ticket, but even they are not that stupid.
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:41 AM
Response to Original message
4. In trouble? Hell, it's over! He'll never be re-elected now.
Do you have any idea how many Cubans that live in Florida actually did flee from Castro?
1000s upon 1000s.
And now Marco is faced with a choice -- either he has to face up to reality and apologize for lying, and then ask for forgiveness, or try to stick to this bullshit story.

He's a Republican, so I predict he will do the latter, which will be his undoing.
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. he's trying to do this one different and claim
he mispoke and "hey, my folks never talked about Castro, so how would I know?"

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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. He's been using the "we're all exiles" argument
Cuban exceptionalism y'know
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CanonRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
6. Just another Rethug playing his voters like puppets.
Nothing new here, folks.
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
7. I would love to say he is toast
But the Florida democrats are that incompetent, where they fell for slick Charlie Crist and shafted kendrick Meek. There is a move to admit Chain gang charlie as a demcorat now.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Florida is a moderate-conservative state.
I would love to see it on the progressive, or even dead moderate part of the political spectrum. But the reality is the state is on the right side of moderate.

I would take a moderate-conservative democrat over a Rubio any day. Only blind purists would not make the same choice.
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Crist is a REPUBLICAN
It does not matter that they kicked him out, he has not abandoned ONE policy he had when he was "chain-gang charlie."
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
8. journey up from communism?
When his parents arrived in the USA late 1956 the Revolution had barely started. Castro and chums had only just reached Santiago de Cuba from Mexico by then.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
9. He is a sneaky calculating jerk, isn't he?
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Rubio is corrupt, always has been. nt
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
10. Rubio is a first class Scumbag.
Much more on his lack of ethics exists and will come out. Florida would have been better off electing Meek, or if not Meek, Christ. Rubio has the moral of a snake, and will turn on those that voted for him if their interests conflict with his interests.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. What he said almost!
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
16. Rubio defends his amendment's attempt to restrict flights to Cuba from other FL cities except Miami
Steering the "goodies" to his cronies didn't stop when Marco Rubio rode the tea party train to the U. S. Senate. Especially when the goodies benefit himself as well.

"Absurd!" or "Outrageous!", Rubio cries, when people notice.

Rubio: Im not protecting Miami flights to Cuba

October 27, 2011


But during a visit (to the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce) Thursday, the Miami Republican (Marco Rubio) bristled at a reporters suggestion that he tried to block flights from Tampa to protect Miami travel businesses.

The idea that Im a friend of the fly-to-Cuba-from-Miami crowd is absurd, he said at a press conference. No one would criticize someone going to Cuba to see their dying mother. What were opposed to is expansion of these new flights from Miami or anywhere else. They add more money to the regime.

In February, Rubio proposed an amendment to a Federal Aviation Authority funding bill that would have prohibited any additional flights between the United States and countries, such as Cuba, designated as state sponsors of terrorism by the State Department.

At the time, charter flights to Cuba were restricted to three gateway cities: Miami, New York and Los Angeles.

Chamber CEO Robert Rohrlach fired off a letter to Rubio, saying that Rubios position benefitted his hometown of Miami at the expense of Tampa Bay and four other Florida metro areas that were seeking non-stop flights to the island nation.
I sincerely hope that you will withdraw (the amendment) in order to more accurately reflect the resolve of the entire state as opposed to the interests of a few.


Rubio's proposed amendment failed in the Senate earlier this year.

And since then, the cities of Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Key West have received federal approval for flights to Cuba.

With Mr. Rubio, it has always been about serving the interests of a few. Leading his list is himself.

Just a couple of examples of this:

As Florida House Speaker, Marco Rubio exempted Miami's Dosal Tobacco Company from tobacco settlement tax (significant campaign donor)

April 21, 2010

During the two years that Marco Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, a tobacco company that was a significant donor to Rubio was uniquely spared from legislation that would have required it to abide by the state's settlement with tobacco companies.

The Dosal Tobacco Company is a powerful player in the Miami Cuban-American community. A relatively small company before the major tobacco settlement, it was exempted from the tobacco settlement that would have required it to pay the same tax as its competitors. That advantage has helped it grow to the point where it is now the third-largest seller in the Florida market. The state of Mississippi, where Dosal is also sold, requires it to pay the same tax as the other companies. But not Florida.

"If Dosal can afford to pay their fair share for the health costs of tobacco users in Mississippi, why shouldn't they pay in Florida?" said former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth in an April 6 letter to Senate President Jeff Atwater urging an up-or-down vote on proposed Florida legislation to impose a fee on non-settling manufacturers. Dosal didn't return a call requesting comment.

Forget a vote. While Rubio was House Speaker, the bill didn't even get introduced.


Another example:

Senate run puts Rubio's ties to FIU under fiscal scrutiny

St. Petersburg Times
December 13, 2009

MIAMI Florida International University leaders were eager for one of their hometown legislators to become speaker of the House, and Marco Rubio delivered.
"We had a great year," FIU's lobbyist said of millions in new funding in 2007, crediting Rubio and the Miami-Dade delegation.

The following year, as term limits forced Rubio to exit the Legislature and contemplate his next political move, FIU offered him a $69,000, part-time job that was never publicly advertised.

Critics questioned Rubio's soft landing as FIU trustees grappled with a $32 million budget shortfall that led to tuition hikes and the loss of 23 degree programs and 200 jobs.

Then came uncomfortable comparisons to another Republican House speaker Ray Sansom who steered $35 million to a Panhandle college and then took a job there.


Ray Sansom, indeed, holds the keys unlocking Marco Rubio's shrouded secrets from his days as Speaker of the House.

People don't like being lied to and stepped on by those lusting for ever higher reaches of power.

Mr. Rubio has not yet learned that lesson.

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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Now he's mucking around with people's pocketbooks
Having more local flights save Cuban Americans hundreds on travel costs to Miami.

What a kiss ass to the right wing anti-Cubans.

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