The Case For Marco Rubio
by Tom Donelson on February 5, 2016 at 8:07 AM
Many friends have supported Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and I understand the appeals of both candidates, but in my opinion, Marco Rubio gives us the best chance to win. Below I explain why.
Who did I vote for and why? I came to my caucus site with the idea of supporting another candidate, but like at least forty percent of Iowans, I could change my mind, which I did. I voted for Marco Rubio. Why? In previous articles, I made the case that Rubio is more electable than Trump and Cruz but I will not dispute that in nine months, events not yet revealed can affect the election and change the dynamic. In 2008, McCain managed to tie Obama in polls in early September but after the collapse of Lehman brothers, whatever chance McCain had went down the drain and Obama couldn’t lose. We could witness an economic event that will make it impossible for any Republican to lose and Democrat to win.
The biggest thing against Rubio was his participation in the gang of eight immigration reform in 2013, but guess who favored the gang of eight proposal even before it was proposed in 2011 and 2012? Donald Trump. Guess who had the same proposal that Rubio is promoting now in 2013? Donald Trump. Guess which candidate agrees with Rubio that border security comes first and whose proposal was based on Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinon's “touch back” that was praised by the New York Times in 2007? Donald Trump.
Say what you want, Rubio has moved away from gang of eight and Trump's own plan will leave the number of illegals in the country close to the same after his reforms are completed. Trump has stated that his touch back proposal will allow those illegals he “deports” to come back, leaving the number in place. One can question the touch back provision's practicality but not the result. My point is that Rubio’s present stance should be the issue and he can make the case that his immigration plan's result will be similar to Trump. Considering that many conservatives are supporting Trump due to his immigration stance, let these conservatives explain why are they supporting Trump if the end results of his plan will be similar to Rubio or others? And let them explain to the rest of us why they trust Donald Trump will follow through on his plans when he has a history of being a wheeler and dealer and even brags about that?
Unlike many conservatives, I don’t have disdain for Trump. While I don’t find him conservative, he does have conservative ideas, and Trump will be better than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. As I have mentioned in previous columns, he is attracting many blue color workers into the mix and his slogan, “Let’s Make America Great”, has captured the feelings of many Americans that their country is in decline and they want someone to stop that decline.
Rubio's own tax proposal does not follow traditional Republican supply side economics as his top rate is only 5 points below the present rates, but it does contain several growth oriented plans including the elimination of capital gains tax and the estate tax, along with including tax credits favoring families. If you want to support a conservative candidate, Rubio's record is certainly conservative enough and his recent action to limit how much government can spend to protect insurance companies against financial losses, undermining Obamacare, showed legislative shrewdness.
Rubio's domestic agenda is designed for the middle class as part of increasing their income while producing overall growth for the economy. Is Rubio perfect? No, but no candidate is and the reality is that we have three choices: Rubio, Cruz, or Trump. If conservatism is important, you have two choices: Rubio or Cruz. As for being the establishment candidate, Rubio has been the victim of millions of dollars in attacks from establishment candidates, which Trump has been spared over the past months in Iowa. There is a difference to be the establishment candidate than a candidate who appeals to establishment voters. Rubio can appeal to wider group of voters than either Cruz or Trump, which should be considered a good thing. Or think of it in this way: if Rubio is the establishment candidate, then we conservatives can declare victory.