Selecting Our Candidate
With Super Tuesday coming up March 1, it is time to get serious about our choice for the Republican nomination. The next GOP debate will air on January 14, on Fox Business Network, and will provide another opportunity for voters to decide whom they think is the best man for the job.
With so many still in the running, it can be difficult to make a final selection. Every candidate brings something different to the race, and with Trump, Carson and Fiorina being political “outsiders”, it makes for an unusual election cycle. We will likely see most of the lower polling candidates back out after the first few primaries in February. One of the main things we need to keep in mind is that there will never be a perfect candidate. They are all human, and like anyone else, they have their strengths and weaknesses. It becomes a matter of finding the person who comes closest to your ideal and trusting your instincts.
Having watched all of the debates so far, and followed the campaigns in the media, I will be casting my vote for Senator Marco Rubio. In my opinion, he is the best candidate in the GOP lineup. He is conservative, both socially and economically, but he is not an extremist. He is a spiritual man, and he makes no apology for his faith, or that his Christianity guides him on principle. I had occasion to read his autobiography, “An American Son”, and I am very impressed with his character, his values, and most of all, his humility. With the self-aggrandizement among a few of our present candidates, it is refreshing to hear one of them admit to having some personal and professional shortcomings.
While many of his opponents, and the media, would have voters believe that Senator Rubio is the “establishment” candidate, that is really rather misleading. Marco Rubio won his Senate seat by defeating Florida Governor Charlie Crist, in 2010. Crist was the “establishment” candidate, the GOP favorite in that election, and he ran with the full backing of the Republican Party. Rubio was one of the original Tea Party candidates, and he ran his campaign on a shoestring budget, until his growing popularity began garnering significant financial support. Rubio’s continued rise in the Florida polls, forced Crist to abandon the Republican Party, and run as an Independent, ultimately losing the election to Rubio.
Senator Rubio has a lifetime rating of 98 percent out of 100 with the ACU (American Conservative Union), a perfect rating with the NRA, a rating of 95 with the CAGW (Citizens Against Government Waste) making him a “Taxpayer Super Hero”, and a perfect rating with the National Right to Life. The Club for Growth president, David McIntosh, called him, “a complete pro-growth, free-market, limited-government conservative”.
In his fight against Obamacare, Rubio was the one who made the risk- corridor insurer bailout an issue, which led to Congress enacting limits on how much taxpayer money insurers receive to cover their losses related to the newly insured. This is the only real hit that Obamacare has taken, and if it is ultimately replaced, Senator Rubio will have played a huge role in its dissolution.
Some conservative pundits and some of Rubio’s opponents like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul call him a “moderate”, presumably because of his participation in the so-called “gang of eight”, the bipartisan group that worked on immigration legislation three years ago. It was composed of eight senators, 4 Democrats and 4 Republican’s, of which Senator Rubio was one. Contrary to the media hype, this was not “amnesty”. In fact, it was a stricter bill than the one that passed in 1986, under President Reagan. As Senator Rubio said, we already have de facto amnesty right now, where 11 million illegal immigrants are here and we have no idea who they are or where they are.
President Obama vowed from the beginning of his presidency to take action on immigration. His action would have resulted in the legalization of all these immigrants. Any legislation that achieved anything short of that would be an improvement. Senator Rubio attempted to work together with the Democrats to come up with a plan that would improve the current situation, because he knew that under President Obama, real comprehensive immigration reform would never pass. Although their bipartisan bill passed in the Senate, it did not pass the House. Later, Senator Rubio said, “The point is that at this time, the only approach that has a realistic chance of success is to focus on those aspects of reform on which there is consensus through a series of individual bills.”
We send our congressional representatives to Washington to get things done, not to wring their hands because they refuse to cooperate with Democrats. I am conservative, and I would love for every piece of legislation to reflect conservative values, but it is not going to happen. We are a two party system, and for pundits to refer to the term “bipartisan” as a dirty word, is ridiculous. It seems there is no pleasing them. They want action in Washington because they are tired of stalemates, but they want it to be 100 percent in the interests of the GOP. Well, guess what? It doesn’t work that way. It never has and it never will. We may get 80/20, or 70/30, or maybe just 50/50, or even worse sometimes. One thing is certain though, if we do not work together with the Democrats, and throw them an occasional bone, we will not get anything, except another executive action from President Obama.
We desperately need a president who will work with both sides of the aisle to advance legislation. Our GOP candidate must be someone who has the personality to unite, rather than divide. Senator Rubio has worked with both parties in the Senate, and as the former Speaker of the House in Florida, he has valuable experience in passing legislation.
His popularity among his colleagues is evidenced by his endorsements from Senators Trey Gowdy, Cory Gardner, Jason Chaffetz, Darrell Issa, and Jim Inhofe, just to name a few. According to the “Endorsement Primary”, Senator Rubio is at 43 points, second to Jeb Bush, who is at 46 points. (With Jeb Bush’s low primary poll numbers, I imagine those endorsements will go to Rubio as well) The formula they use to rank candidate endorsements is 1 point for each representative, 5 points for each senator, and 10 points for each Governor. To put this into perspective, Governor Chris Christie comes in third with 26, and Ted Cruz is seventh with 13.
Every voter needs to come to their own conclusion on which candidate they will support, but I would suggest conducting your own research into their backgrounds, rather than depend on the opinion of the media. They usually have their own agenda. I would add that if the immigration issue makes you skittish on Marco Rubio, you might look up his plan on his Senate website at www.rubio.senate.gov
May the best man win!
Bycoffe, Aaron. “FiveThirtyEight.” The Endorsement Primary. N.p., 11 Jan. 2016. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.
Geraghty, Jim. “Marco Rubio is Plenty Conservative.” The National Review, n.d. Web.