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Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

Bush, Rubio Declare War on ISIS

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush said Sunday the United States should declare war on ISIS and Sen. Marco Rubio said the U.S. should activate NATO, suggesting the two chief GOP Establishment candidates for president would massively increase American commitments in Iraq and Syria.

Their comments follow the terror attacks in Paris on Friday night that killed more than 130 people and wounded hundreds more. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the violence.

“We should declare war and harness all of the power that the United States can bring to bear both diplomatic and military, of course, to be able to take out ISIS,” Bush said on “Meet the Press.” “We have the capabilities of doing this, we just haven’t shown the will.”

Rubio, in a separate appearance on the same program, said NATO should invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, the provision that declares that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

“I would ask our allies to invoke Article 5,” Rubio said. “This is clearly an act of war, an attack on one of our NATO allies, and we should invoke Article 5 of the NATO agreement and bring everyone together to put together a coalition to confront this challenge.”

Rubio also said the fight against ISIS was “a clash of civilizations.” But he appeared to contradict his tough talk by suggesting the U.S. should limit its commitment on the ground.

“Key to the success of this is we’re going to have to conduct an increased number of special operations attacks, targeting ISIS leadership,” he said. “Long-term, however, in the big picture, the only way to defeat ISIS militarily is for Sunnis themselves to be the bulkhead of the fight. But it will require us to do more in the short stage.”

Bush’s plan for engagement sounded more robust.

“[President Obama should] declare a no-fly zone over Syria. Directly arm the Peshmerga forces in Iraq. Re-engage with the Sunni tribal leaders. Embed with the Iraqi military. Be able to create safe zones in Syria. Garner the support of our European allies and the tradition Arab states. Lead. That’s what I want him to do. I want him to lead. He has the capability of doing this. We have the resources to do this.”

Bush accused Obama of pussyfooting around while the survival of Western civilization was at stake.

“The policy of containment isn’t going to work,” he said. “And it’s a policy of incremental, just kind of running out the clock so the next president has to deal with this. Should I be the president of the United States, I promise you that I will.”

Bush sought to draw a contrast with Hillary Clinton who said Saturday the battle against ISIS “cannot be an American fight.”

“It is our fight,” Bush said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is a war and we should act accordingly.”

Significantly, he also said the United States should still take Syrian refugees, but that Christians should be the priority.

“The great majority of refugees need to be safely kept in Syria, which means the safe zones need to be serious,” he said. “I do think we have a responsibility to help with refugees after proper screening. And I think our focus out to be on the Christians who have no place in Syria anymore. They’re being beheaded, they’re being executed by both sides.”

The White House suggested President Obama is not backing off his plans to admit tens of thousands of additional Syrian refugees over the next two years.

“We’re still planning on taking in Syrian refugees,” White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We had very robust vetting procedures for those refugees.”

This article also appears on PoliZette.

Jeb May be Finished

Jeb Bush failed to distinguish himself yet again in the third Republican presidential debate, missing a crucial opportunity to energize his campaign at the very moment when Establishment donors are making final decisions about where to put their money.

Making matters doubly worse for the once-inevitable GOP nominee, Sen. Marco Rubio offered himself up as a credible alternative for the Establishment’s cash with his polished, knowledgeable responses, his ability to personalize issues, and a decisive smackdown of Bush when the former Florida governor came after him.

Bush, with a slightly pleading tone, recited his policies as if reading from an extensive white paper churned out by a boiler room of wonky nerds holed up at his campaign headquarter in Miami.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich also may have made some progress in the Establishment sweepstakes, delivering a passionate performance and an aggressive sales job of his record. But he’s achieved that before, and it hasn’t done much for him in the polls.

Carly Fiorina, another potential Establishment choice, sounded tinny and unremarkable. Her polls will go nowhere but down, since that’s where they eventually went even after her stellar performances in two previous debate.

Rubio calmly made his case, smartly parrying attacks from the other candidates and the obviously anti-GOP CNBC panel that hosted the Boulder, Colo., contest. He didn’t look any younger than he has before, but he had a mature, reassuring manner that contrasted clearly with Bush’s awkwardness and Kasich’s sometimes near-histrionics.

Unlike Bush, who stuck to the facts, Rubio never forgot to relate his ideas to the average people he says his plans are designed to help.

“My mother’s on Medicare and Social Security,” Rubio said. “I’m against anything that’s bad for my mother.” Rubio also was sure to mention, as he always does, that his dad was a bartender, leaving unsaid the contrast with Bush’s father.

But “the guy who does my dry cleaning” would also benefit from a Rubio presidency, the senator said.

A leaden Bush declared, “I have a concrete plan,” jabbering on with some perhaps solid policy details, if anyone was still listening.

“Our monetary policy, our tax policy, regulatory policy needs to be radically changed so we can create high sustained growth for income to rise,” Bush said. After a yawn, one might ask, for whose income to rise?

But the worst moment came early, when Bush assailed Rubio for his absentee senate record — and Rubio dismissed the criticism as the canned stunt that it was.

“I’m a constituent of the senator and I helped him, and I expected that he would do constituent service, which means that he shows up to work,” Bush whined, as if he had needed his senator’s help fixing a broken traffic light. “Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work. I mean, literally, the Senate — what is it, like a French work week?”

Bush had ripped into both the French and his opponent with a single salvo. Thought he’d done pretty good. What he actually did was launch an attack Rubio was surely prepared for.

“I get to respond, right?” Rubio asked calmly.

“You know how many votes John McCain missed when he was carrying out that furious comeback that you’re now modeling after?” Rubio said.

“He wasn’t my senator,” responded Bush, sensing the danger.

Rubio ignored him.

“I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record,” Rubio said. “The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.”

And that, everyone knew, was true.

Rubio went on to take the high road, refraining as he mostly has from returning Bush’s increasingly desperate attacks against his onetime friend.

“I will continue to have tremendous admiration and respect for Governor Bush,” Rubio said. “I’m not running against Governor Bush, I’m not running against anyone on this stage. I’m running for president because there is no way we can elect Hillary Clinton to continue the policies of Barack Obama.”

That sounded far more presidential than Bush’s sniping.

Rubio still looks barely out of his political diapers, and he can sound a little tinny and whiney himself. But with few to no other obvious alternatives, the checks written by the Establishment may soon be bearing his name as the moderate wing of the Party unites to try to stop Donald Trump.

This post also appears in PoliZette.

Video || Rubio AWOL from Senate

Sen. Marco Rubio has pretty much quit his day job.

As of the middle of September, he has 77 votes this year, according to USA Today. He has the worst attendance record in the Senate.

Sen. Rand Paul, who unlike Rubio is still running for reelection to his Senate seat, has only missed three. Sen. Ted Cruz, not up for reelection this year, has missed 59.

Here’s some Democratic propaganda touting Rubio’s absences. It’s interesting that they are putting this out, suggesting they are beginning to think he may be the nominee.

Bush: Meet Marco Rubio, the New Obama

Forget Donald Trump. That’s bigger game that has to be taken down later. Right now, Jeb Bush knows he won’t survive long if he doesn’t take care of his Marco Rubio problem, and fast.

In the last 24 hours, Bush has signaled his strategy for dealing with his former protege and Florida “buddy,” who is edging by him in the polls and threatens to start gobbling up fundraising money Bush wants for himself. He’s going to take Rubio call him the worst epithet one Republican can call another: Barack Obama.

What everyone forgets about the sunny-seeming Bushes is that they play to win and they play for keeps. And with well north of $100 million in the bank, Bush stands ready to try to crush anyone in his way. Marco is first.

Rubio, at 9.5 percent, has moved into fourth place in the latest RealClearPolitics average of national polls, a half point ahead of the fifth place Bush.

So, appearing on the MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Thursday, Bush suggested Rubio lacks the experience to be president, just like the 2008 Democratic nominee.

“It’s not known,” Bush said when asked whether Rubio has the “leadership skills” to fix what ails the country. “Barack Obama didn’t end up having them and he won an election based on the belief that people had that he could and he didn’t even try,” Bush said.

Bush asserted that he, unlike fellows like Rubio and Obama, is tested.

“I think I have the leadership skills to fix things and that’s my strength and that’s what I talk about,” Bush said. “Marco was a member of the (Florida) House of Representatives when I was Governor and he followed my lead and I’m proud of that.”

Bush had broached the Marco-is-Obama theme Wednesday during an appearance on CNN.

“Look, we had a president who came in and said the same kind of thing — new and improved, hope and change — and he didn’t have the leadership skills to fix things,” Bush said.

Bush has also been pushing a proposal to dock the pay of lawmakers who miss votes, a plan interpreted as a broadside at Rubio — who misses votes.

“Is his voting record a problem?” a reporter asked Bush of Rubio during an New Hampshire press conference Wednesday.

This piece first appeared in PoliZette.

“I think if you had a dock in pay strategy, you’d probably get more attendance,” Bush said.

You might remember another candidate who stood accused of being frequently AWOL from the various legislatures he belonged to: Barack Obama.

Of course, Bush doesn’t want to seem vindictive while he’s trying to steamroller a man who has been described as his dear pal and protege. “We’re close friends and I admire him greatly,” Mr. Bush said in New Hampshire.

It was left to Wednesday Trump, who was also campaigning in New Hampshire, to inject a note of typically blunt realism into the situation.

“They hate each other,” Trump said. “They hate more than anyone in this room hates their neighbor. It’s political bull(expletive).”

Video Outtakes || Trump at the Value Voters Summit

Here’s a few moments from Donald Trump’s appearance at the Value Voters Summit Friday in Washington, a gathering that includes many members of the religious right.

I don’t know, I’m not sold on the Bible waving moment. And he gets in a little trouble here picking on nice-guy Marco Rubio, drawing some boos for calling Rubio a clown. But his point, that it may be difficult to trust Rubio on immigration, is well taken.

Marco in the Middle

Well, Sen. Marco Rubio today submitted himself to Fox News Channel’s Monkey in the Middle segment – officially called “Outnumbered” – where a dude is dropped in a sea of estrogen and tries to keep his thoughts straight while questioned by smart, attractive distaff Fox News anchors. The show is supposed to feature clever and insightful takes… Continue Reading

Marco Rubio’s Sugar Daddy

The New York Times this weekend did a piece on Sen. Marco Rubio’s father-son, benefactor-beneciary relationship with a billionaire auto dealer named Norman Braman. I thought you might want to have a look. From the piece: As Mr. Rubio has ascended in the ranks of Republican politics, Mr. Braman has emerged as a remarkable and… Continue Reading

Republicans Dismiss Obama Immigration Plan

Republicans are immediately panning a proposal being drafted by the White House that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain legal status within eight years. The proposal was described in a article by USA Today, which obtained a copy of the emerging plan from an administration official. According to USA Today: People would need to pass… Continue Reading