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“Aiding The Rise Of Donald Trump”: Rubio Is Gone, But The Damage He Caused Remains

Tuesday night Donald Trump’s main ally in the Republican primary campaign, Sen. Marco Rubio, finally called it quits. He was praised by many Republican pundits, as he typically is, for some of the aspirational language he used in his non-victory speech, though most of those pundits shied away from a fair assessment of Rubio’s behavior during this presidential campaign season.

Here is such an assessment: Rubio ran on a promise of being the candidate of the future with a bold, optimistic platform, but he never delivered on that promise. In the process, he did perhaps irreparable harm to his party and to the country.

First, he ended the campaign season with a platform that can only be characterized as far-right. Sure, Rubio started his campaign with a number of extreme views – for example, he wanted the state to force rape victims to give birth to the child of their rapists and incest victims to give birth to the child of their fathers, while plotting to forcefully disband hundreds of thousands of same-sex marriages.

But it was only a year ago that the senator proposed a tax plan, with Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, that would raise taxes on millions of people in the middle class. By now, his proclaimed tax reform preference involves raising the debt-to-GDP ratio to 150 percent, while lowering Warren Buffett’s tax rate to zero. And that’s not all: He has also gone from supporting amnesty to wanting to deport children who have spent practically their entire life in the U.S., as well as supporting the deportation of the parents of U.S. citizens. In addition, he has proposed closing down not just mosques but also cafes and the like where Muslims may gather.

Now, some of Rubio’s supporters will claim that he does not actually believe in those things and he was just trying to out-Trump Trump, but by endorsing them he made them more respectable.

Second, he has done more than perhaps anyone but Trump to coarsen public debate. It was Rubio, after all, who introduced – and I can’t believe I’m writing this – discussions of penis size to the presidential race.

Third, he has done more than perhaps even Jeb Bush and his donors to help Trump win the Republican nomination in simple delegate terms.

Instead of dropping out after losing in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada (where he used to live!), Rubio set a target of losing the first 25 or so states. He roughly succeeded in losing those states, but in the process he helped Trump amass a significant delegate lead over his most serious opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz. He did this not only by winning delegates himself here and there, but perhaps most harmfully in states like Idaho and Texas by denying Cruz outright majorities that would have made those states winner-take-all. In those two states alone, Trump added 120 delegates to his lead. It is extremely likely that without Rubio, Cruz would have been the Republican front-runner going into this week, thereby fundamentally transforming the dynamics of the race.

Perhaps the senator will yet redeem himself. His almost-tearful press conference this weekend indicated that he might try – but for now, the damage he has done is tremendous.

 

By: Stan Veuger, Thomas Jefferson Street Blog, U. S. News and World Report, March 16, 2016

March 18, 2016 - Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP, Marco Rubio | , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Rubio is now saying Cruz is the only conservative in the race. No, Cruz is an extreme conservative. Kasich is a conservative. Please don’t give Cruz more credibility than he deserves.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | March 18, 2016 | Reply

    • Cruz even has conservatives confounded!

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | March 18, 2016 | Reply

  2. Aiding Ted Cruz is like getting pneumonia to cure a bad cold. Trump being worse than a cold.

    Like

    Comment by walthe310 | March 18, 2016 | Reply


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