Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Harry Reid Isn't Right About Much, But He's Right When He Says Marco Rubio Is "Damaged Goods"


Marco Rubio's political base is Miami Dade. In fact, when Trump swept Florida in the primary, Miami-Dade was the only county Rubio won. At least there they seemed to take Rubio's warning seriously that Trump is a dangerous con man unfit to be anywhere near the nuclear button. Trump, however, took Florida with 1,077,221 votes (45.7%) to Rubio's piss-poor 636,653 (27.0%) and Ted Cruz's 403,640 (17.1%). But in Miami-Dade, the huge Hispanic population propelled Rubio to a 111,898 (62.7%) win over Trump's 40,156 (22.5%). The only other county where Rubio broke 30% was Orange County (Orlando) where he took 30.8%, second to Trump's 39.8%. The win in Miami-Dade wasn't good enough to keep Trump from winning all 99 delegates up for grabs that day.

Miami-Dade isn't going to be Trump Country in November either. Of the 3 Republicans who represent parts of the county, 2 have already said they will not support him and only sad-sack Mario Diaz-Balart said, in effect, he'd put his political party ahead of his country and back Trump. With a population of 2,693,117 (2015), the county's Hispanic population is 66.2% and it's black population is 18.9% and is certainly the most Trump-unfriendly part of the Sunshine State. Rubio's endorsement of his former foe hasn't gone over as well there as it has in counties up near the Georgia border like tiny, blood-red Clay, Gilchrist, Taylor, Lafayette, Nassau and Union counties, where Trump won over 50% of the votes in the primary-- nor in Glades county, closer to Miami, where Trump won 60% of the primary vote and Rubio only came in third with 15%. I bet this appearance with Jake Tapper on CNN last weekend didn't make Trump any more popular:

Rep. David Jolly acknowledges he will probably be leaving politics-- at least for now-- and going back to his slimy lobbyist firm. He declined to run for reelection in a district that is now too blue to elect a Republican and he's watching his weak Senate run dissipate entirely as Rubio gets ready to declare he's going to run again. Jolly called Rubio's chances of running for reelection-- as pressure mounts from his Senate colleagues afraid he's their only hope to hold onto the seat-- "all but certain."
If Rubio gets in, Jolly said he’s dropping out of the Senate race. He said he got into the race originally because it was an open seat. He said he has no interest in taking on an incumbent like Rubio.

Other Republican candidates have refused to say they'll step aside if Rubio gets into the race. Manatee County homebuilder Carlos Beruff and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox have both said they won't get out of the race even if Rubio changes his mind and runs for the Senate again.

Monday morning The Hill let Harry Reid's PAC make the case, though, that back in Florida, Rubio is damaged goods. Reid, who supports embarrassing joke-candidate Patrick Murphy wants the press to "dispel with this fiction that Marco Rubio would make for a strong Senate candidate in Florida. Marco Rubio is damaged goods, and should he flip-flop on his retirement plans, he’ll face a difficult path to victory this November."
First, a reminder to those with short memories: Rubio only won in 2010 because he was running in a 3-person contest. He has never won 50% of votes in a statewide general election in Florida, and in 2010, despite being the best year Republicans had seen in generations, more people voted for another candidate on Election Day. Running in a head-to-head race against a Democrat would be a dramatically different race, so even without the failed Presidential run, he would be just as vulnerable today as Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, and Pat Toomey.

...Beyond the challenges Republicans face running statewide in Florida in a presidential year, Rubio brings unique flaws as a candidate that will further hurt him with voters. He has shown a disdain for his job in the Senate, so much so that he simply stopped showing up. His frequent absenteeism was so bad that it prompted calls for his resignation, and a prominent supporter famously couldn’t name a single one of Rubio’s senate accomplishments.  For someone who has spent his first term neglecting his responsibilities to Florida, it’s difficult to see how voters send him back to the job he has refused to do to date.

And finally, should he run, “Little Marco” gets Donald Trump at the top of the ticket-- a misogynistic, racist bully, who could drive record Democratic turnout in opposition to his candidacy. Ironically, the same man who embarrassingly dispatched Rubio’s presidential aspirations will similarly make Rubio’s life very difficult in a hypothetical reelection battle. If you’re imagining a rehash of the Trump-Rubio attacks on one another from the primary resurfacing in the fall, you wouldn’t be alone, and they could hurt both campaigns.

When you look at Rubio’s record from the last five years, it’s easy to see why he has a negative approval rating in Florida. Now, even prominent national conservatives are turning on him, with one recently writing that Rubio has been “exposed” for being “an opportunistic politician with his finger to the wind.” He definitely wouldn’t start the race from a place of strength.

Republicans may think Rubio is a better candidate than the hopefuls currently running in Florida, but that’s not a glowing endorsement. When you factor in the baggage Rubio would bring to a race, plus the difficulties of running in a Presidential year, you’re left with only one conclusion: Rubio is damaged goods, and his re-election would be anything but a sure thing.
Miami Republicans-- his own base, remember, may be angered at his cowardly sucking up to the con man and racist Trump but they're also specifically angry about how badly he's been doing his job. He and Bill Nelson jointly recommended Miami lawyer Mary Barzee Flores for a federal judgeship and President Obama nominated her. Since then, Rubio has prevented her from being confirmed for purely partisan reasons, in fact hyper-partisan reasons that make no sense.
Rubio’s office told the Miami Herald that he recently issued so-called blue slips triggering confirmation hearings for three Obama-nominated federal judges in Central and North Florida with Republican backgrounds. But the senator refuses to do the same for Barzee Flores, calling her the “wrong person” for the South Florida federal judgeship, without providing specific reasons about her legal credentials.

“Senator Rubio recently returned the blue slip for three judges to fill other vacancies throughout Florida, but he will not return the blue slip on Ms. Barzee Flores,” Rubio’s office said in a statement, which was released to other news media after the Herald requested an update on Barzee Flores’ confirmation hearing.
New today from PPP
If Rubio does run, his likely opponent will be progress-ive icon Alan Grayson who, acknowledged, recently that he's been "a little rough" on Rubio. "He deserves it," wrote Grayson. "He purports to represent twenty million Floridians in the Senate, and he’s done nothing to improve our lives."
I’m running for the seat that Little Marco Rubio holds in the Senate. And for the past nine months, while every other candidate in our race has been attacking me, I’ve been attacking Rubio. Because I want people to understand that I’ll be the anti-Rubio.

I’ll actually get good things done for ordinary people.

...I have gone all around Our Great State of Florida, pointing out that Little Marco has the worst attendance record in the U.S. Senate. Worse than 82-year-old Sen. Diane Feinstein, who was elected to public office before Marco Rubio was born. Worse the Sen. Mark Kirk, who was confined to a wheelchair after a brutal stroke.

Little Marco didn’t like it when I said that.

I have also pointed out that I have passed more than fifty amendments in the past three years, and numerous Grayson bills are now the law of the land, while during the past five years, Rubio’s successful legislative output consists of a single resolution: renaming September “Spinal Cord Injury Month.” No matter. I’m going to keep calling it September.

Little Marco didn’t like it when I said that, either.

And from time to time, I have tossed in a little Shakespeare (because someone in public life ought to do that, and Robert Kennedy is long gone). I have described Rubio as having a “lean and thirsty look,” because on national TV Rubio took a swig of water in the middle of . . . oh, you get it. I just wish that the very next line in Julius Caesar also were true of Rubio: “He thinks too much.” The line after that fits, though: “Such men are dangerous.” Dangerous, because Rubio leads people to believe that for a legislator, a nice hairline and a good (albeit fictitious) “life story” somehow are more important than . . . legislating.

My statewide trolling of Little Marco as I run for his seat seems to have pierced the DC bubble, and word has gotten back to him. A few days ago, he called me a “certified lunatic.”

“Certified”? Definitely not “certified”; I would have remembered that. Politifact, where are you when we need you?

And where was all this moxie from Rubio when Rubio was running against Donald Trump, calling Trump out for nothing worse than having short fingers? (Because short fingers mean . . . short mittens, as Rubio well knows.)

This is a good lesson in political discourse: we criticize right-wingers like Marco Rubio for doing absolutely nothing useful to improve the lot of the common man. They respond by calling us insane. And stupid. And evil. And ugly.

Regarding ugly, I readily concede the point. But not the others.

Anyway, Marco Rubio is thinking about running against me for his old seat. His sole asset is that he does have a certain talent for flattering rich old white guys into giving him money.

Do you think that the U.S. Senate ready for someone who quotes Shakespeare while championing justice, equality and peace? If yes, then do hit the Blue America thermometer specially built for the one man who can save the Senate from more Mitch MCConnell/Chuck Schumer dysfunction:
Goal Thermometer

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