Soon we will know the winner of the Florida Republican primary, and the winner in Florida will probably be the ultimate Republican nominee for president. So it is time to start considering whom to have for vice president. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the man. It’s not too soon! Don’t take “no” for an answer!
During the time he has been a senator, Rubio has already accomplished a strong conservative voting record. As a Tea Party activist, he has followed through with pledges to oppose all tax hikes and he voted in favor of the Ryan Budget to restrain entitlement spending. He has called for repeal of Obamacare and abolition of capital gains and estate taxes, and he has also called for a flat-rate federal tax.
And take your pick on all other conservative issues, and Rubio is on board for all of them: national security, abortion, vouchers and charter schools, gun rights, streamlining regulatory burdens on businesses, and opening up drilling for oil here in the U.S. There are more positions, but you get the point. Rubio is a solid conservative who would be a great fit with any candidate at the top of the GOP ticket.
But it is not only his stands on the issues that call for a draft-Rubio movement for vice president. It is Rubio’s full-throated defense of American conservative values and free-market capitalism that appeal to conservatives. During the four debates he had in his 2010 race for Florida’s Senate seat, Rubio truly stood out. He even spent some time criticizing the moderator, which was cool back in 2010 and is even cooler today. Replaying highlights of Rubio’s Senate debates, as will inevitably happen during his campaign for vice president, will be an excellent national introduction for Rubio.
Forceful, unapologetic articulation is a new requirement for Republicans: it is not only a good track record or voting record, conservatives also demand the ability to forcefully articulate conservative principles. Just ask Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Rubio would also be the first Hispanic candidate for high elective office. Oh sure, we will be told, Hispanics don’t vote for ethnicity alone, but if the GOP could put a significant dent in the 67% to 31% advantage Hispanics gave Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008, the presidential race is almost over before it starts.
The only drawback Rubio might have is that he has served in the Senate for only two years before running. But where have we heard that before? Possibly a certain Democratic presidential candidate in 2008?
But unlike Barack Obama, who before his election to the U.S. Senate spent seven years in the Illinois State Senate setting a record for voting “present,” Marco Rubio spent nine years as a representative in the Florida House of Representatives and even served two years as Speaker of Florida’s House.
Rubio will also be an asset in recent political developments. In many political issues, the credibility of the politician on a certain issue determines his ability to get something done. For example, that was why Richard Nixon, the perennial cold warrior, was able to go to China. It is also why Governor Mitt Romney, noted rich guy, will never get top marginal tax rates dropped and in fact he is not even proposing it. In the case of Marco Rubio, his mere ethnicity gives him credibility on immigration matters, so whoever the president will be, Vice President Rubio will be able to lead the issue of securing the border against illegal immigration while instituting a functional, bipartisan guest worker program, major electoral issues this year.
Rubio can also provide needed cover on another issue: the recent pandering to “Space Coast” Floridians. Who would have ever thought that in the current days of $15 trillion national debt, Republicans would be outdoing each other on space proposals? I mean, really! I guess when I called Newt Gingrich “the Apollo 13 candidate,” more references to space were probably a given, so it might be my fault.
But in this primary season the Republicans have courted every Floridian vote, including the Floridians in the so-called “Space Coast.” Hence the recent Republican calls for more trips to space, including a permanent station on the Moon. If this keeps up, Moon-shots for Floridians will be like ethanol subsidies for Iowans, an obligatory pander to Florida voters from each new crop of presidential candidates. As a Floridian, Rubio can put a stop to it and call it the shameless pandering that it is.
Other names mentioned for vice president include Susana Martinez, governor or New Mexico, would be very good, especially on energy issues; and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who just won re-election by a landslide. Jindal is also very good on energy issues and has recently been making a lot of news on school choice issues. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has also been mentioned, and he has a great fiscal track record. The charismatically-challenged former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has also been mentioned as a possible vice president. In his recent candidacy Pawlenty showed that he stands for most of the issues Republicans favor.
Good people, but none of them is Marco Rubio. So let’s draft Rubio for vice president and get this general election campaign started.