Mitt’s Missed Opportunity

Mitt RomneyWith the presidential election less than three months away, I guess it’s time to give up on Mitt Romney entering the race. A year ago, early September to be exact, I kept a photo on the home page of my blog. It was side by side pictures of Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, and the caption read: The Dream Team, Romney/Rubio 2016.  That was back when I was almost certain Mitt Romney would announce his candidacy for the 2016 election, and I couldn’t think of a better running mate than Marco Rubio.

Of course, Mitt never entered the race, but Marco Rubio did. I made it a point to learn as much as I could about Rubio, and in no time, he had my full support. His autobiography, “An American Son”, sealed the deal for me.

Fast forward to this past March, when Rubio suspended his campaign, and it looked like Donald Trump just might be our de facto nominee. Mitt Romney took to the airwaves soon after and publicly eviscerated Trump. He made a compelling argument for why Trump would be a disaster of a candidate, and I agreed with him. Of course, plenty of pundits castigated Mitt for his effort’s, but I admired the fact that he would as the so-called standard bearer of the GOP, speak his mind.

I was not the only one who thought it might signal his late entry into the race. I’ve never been a supporter of a third-party candidate, (I still resent Ross Perot) but if there was ever a year when it could work, it would be 2016. After Kasich and Cruz suspended, I kept waiting for Romney to jump in and save the GOP, but it never happened. It doesn’t appear that it will.

Governor Gary Johnson is making a bid, as is Evan McMillan, although it’s doubtful that McMillan will have an impact on the race. Governor Johnson is seeing an increase in his poll numbers that may garner him a podium at the presidential debates. However, his pro-choice platform will keep me from supporting his candidacy.

Of all the names tossed around over the last few months, Romney was really the only one who could have proven a threat to Trump. Candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich still have a future ahead of them in political office, so it would have been a huge gamble on their part to run third-party. If they didn’t win, to quote Charles Krauthammer, “the longest political suicide note” in history.

Mitt Romney on the other hand, is unlikely to ever seek political office again, so he had little to lose by getting into the race. He already had the name recognition, he is a thoroughly vetted candidate, and he can most certainly gather the financial backing necessary to be competitive. He would have made a wonderful alternative to Donald Trump, and I truly believe many in the GOP, as well as Independents, would have flocked to support him. I think he could have swayed those Democrats who cannot forgive Hillary Clinton for ousting Bernie Sanders, or those who just plain don’t like or trust her.

This could have been Mitt’s year. I am still not sure what kept him from throwing his hat in the ring, but like many who are never-Trump and never-Hillary, I wish he had decided differently.

The Character of a Leader

Senator Rubio shows strength in crisis…Rubio

In a time of national tragedy, Americans seek comfort in God, in each other, and in the support of our allies. We are reassured by the knowledge that our country has always been on the right side of what is good and decent in this world. We are heartened by the leadership and strength of the man we have chosen to guide our nation and direct our path. Such was the case after the horrific events of September 11, 2001, when President George W. Bush shared in our suffering and encouraged us with words he spoke from the heart, as he stood atop a pile of rubble near ground zero. He issued dire warnings to those who perpetrated the senseless act of violence against us, and to anyone who would threaten the safety and sovereignty of our country. No one doubted his words or his stalwartness.

In the early hours this morning, June 12, another tragic event took place in our country, this time in Orlando, Florida. It was another terror-driven action that took the lives of fifty people and injured as many more. Just as we took solace fifteen years ago from the words of our leader, President Bush, today we took solace from the words of Florida senator, Marco Rubio. Interestingly, it was not the words of our President, Barack Obama, that consoled us today. His words left most of us cold and filled us with even more anger than we already felt. He sought to blame this murderous rampage on those who disagree with the lifestyle choices of the LGBT community. He politicized the suffering of countless individuals in an effort to further his anti-gun war. Once again, he stopped short of condemning Islamic terrorism or even mentioning the term. He did exactly as he has done during every incident of crime and loss that has happened during his eight years in Washington; he took the focus off of the perpetrator and placed it squarely on the shoulders of the average law-abiding American citizen.

It was Senator Rubio who issued the warnings today to Islamic terrorists, and who raised us up as a country by praising the heroic response by the citizens of Orlando. It was Senator Rubio who pointed out that we are ALL Americans, and as such, we share each other’s grief. He was quick to remind us that we are not judged by our individual lifestyle choice, nor should that affect the care and concern that we show our fellow citizens. It should not limit our grief or our outrage over the events that took place today in our country. It should, however, unite us in our efforts to fight these acts of terror, and pledge our support to those in our government and in our military who serve to protect us from further harm.

Today, Americans saw the actions of the man we need as our President. We saw the emotion in his face and we heard the sincerity in his voice. The machinations of a Donald Trump or a Hillary Clinton have no place in Washington. They have no business occupying the highest office in our country. They are not worthy of our trust, our loyalty or our vote.

Rubio’s Path Forward


Where Does He Go From Here?

 Rubio on Time

The evening of March 15, brought the end of Senator Marco Rubio’s bid for the White House. Losing his home state of Florida to Donald Trump, and along with it, all 99 delegates, Rubio suspended his campaign. Although he still has more delegates than John Kasich, even with Kasich’s Ohio win, Rubio took one for the team, and backed out of the race with a speech that was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan in 1976. Reagan delivered a speech to his tearful campaign staff in Kansas City, Missouri, after he failed to win the Republican nomination that was akin to the upbeat message Rubio delivered. Both candidates entreated their constituents to remain optimistic in the face of defeat, but struck a tone that left them wondering if their beloved candidates would rise again.

For those of us who supported Marco Rubio, it was a heart-wrenching evening, indeed. I am still mourning the loss. It felt like 2012 all over again, when I sat on the floor in my family room watching the election returns as Mitt Romney challenged incumbent President Obama. I really thought that Romney would prevail, as did pundits like Dick Morris who predicted a landslide win for Romney. Karl Rove infamously thought news stations had called the race too early and continued working the delegate math on his dry erase board, but it was not to be. The voters had spoken and returned Obama to Washington for another four years. I remember staring blankly at the television wondering how this could happen, and when I saw Barack Obama head to the podium for his victory speech, I hit the “off” button on the remote. I prepared for four more long years, and prayed for a winning candidate in 2016. For me, Marco Rubio was that candidate.

I will admit I did not support Rubio initially. I was really a fan of Ben Carson and his common sense approach to politics. After watching a few debates, and reading Rubio’s autobiography, “An American Son”, I became a believer. I have never cared for Trump or Cruz, and now, after seventeen candidates, this is where we are. Kasich has no path, so he will be gone in due time. I have negative feelings towards Kasich anyway, and I think he should have departed the race before Rubio. He cost Marco a minimum of a win in Virginia, and if Carson and he had just put aside their egos earlier, as they polled in single digits, this race would look quite different. Even now, Kasich refuses to throw in the towel.

Winning Ohio is not the coup most would think for his campaign, as he is their sitting Governor. I read a great analysis of Kasich’s character on twitter some weeks back, “He’s the guy in the office who drinks the last cup of coffee and doesn’t make a fresh pot.” Some think he is bucking for the vice-presidential spot on a Trump ticket and that could be, but I really believe he thinks he can win and so refuses to cede the floor.

Where does Rubio go from here? He opted not to run for reelection to the Senate, so his term will be up in January 2017. Rubio hit the political scene as a rising star in the Tea Party movement in 2010, after winning a hard-fought election against “establishment” favorite, Charlie Crist. Time Magazine and many among the GOP referred to him as, “The Republican Savior”. I think it is highly unlikely that he is finished in the political arena. He has too much talent and an intrinsic motivation to serve in public office.

A logical move after his time as a State Representative and Speaker of the Florida House would be a run for Governor. The current Governor, Rick Scott, will be term limited in 2018, and rumor has it he will seek election to the United States Senate. At 44, Marco Rubio has a lot of time to make a second bid for the White House, as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan did before him.

This election cycle has been like none other. I do not think anyone expected Donald Trump to be the frontrunner, edging out the more qualified candidates. I think we will most likely have a contested convention in Cleveland, as even Trump with a plurality of delegates will have to secure over 55% in each state going forward to cinch the nomination. In true Trump fashion, he has already promised, “rioting in the streets” if the GOP tries to deny him the nomination. Ted Cruz will need 78% of the delegates going forward to win the nomination outright, so the chances for him to be the de facto nominee are even slimmer.image

In addition, Marco Rubio still has 164 delegates, and most remain his until after the first ballot of the convention. In his concession speech in Florida, he said he was “suspending” his campaign. In 1992, Ross Perot reentered the race as late as October against George Bush and Bill Clinton, so stranger things have happened. We could even see a deal prior to or at the convention where a Cruz/Rubio ticket emerges, which would be formidable.


One thing is for sure, neither Trump nor Cruz is the first choice of the GOP. They want to win and Donald Trump loses in every poll against Clinton, and Cruz does not fare well in most. They would much rather have Rubio, because he is the only candidate who has polled consistently to win a match-up against Hillary Clinton. Will they bring him back in as a unity candidate at the convention? Doubtful maybe, but then again, politics is a strange science.

I can promise you this: we have not seen the last of Marco Rubio.

Vote Rubio Not Trump

Marco Rubio Best Chance Against Hillary Clinton

imagesVE442OWMToday is Super Tuesday, and twelve states are casting their votes for the GOP candidate that they support. Oklahoma is one of these states. Today’s election, in my opinion, is actually more important than the general election we will have on November 6, 2016, for this reason; Oklahoma historically votes Republican. For example, in 2012, President Obama did not win a single county in our state. On Election Day in November, Oklahoma will be Red.

Today is our chance to select the candidate we believe is most likely to defeat the Democratic candidate and win the presidency. If we do not get this election right, we will lose the election in November. Voters have to think ahead to the end game. No matter whom you might personally like, if they cannot win the White House, then this primary is an exercise in futility.

At this point, Donald Trump is the frontrunner for the GOP, and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are alternately second and third. Hear this; Donald Trump cannot defeat Hillary Clinton, the de facto Democrat nominee. She will wipe the floor with Trump, and every poll shows that to be correct. She can call him out on his insubstantial knowledge of the issues, his plethora of past business and personal indiscretions, the fact that he supported Democratic candidates, including donating to the questionable Clinton Foundation, and the list goes on. If you do not trust the polls, then trust common sense and political strategy.

First, the Democrats want Trump to win the primary, and that is a telltale sign. If you follow the news, you know this is true. He will be the easiest candidate for them to defeat in November. He has no political experience, no depth as a candidate, and he has a controversial background. When the primary is over, the media will tear him to shreds.

Second, the media wants Trump to win because he drives ratings, and because most of them are liberal and they know he will lose in a general election. They have given him the benefit of more television, newspaper and internet coverage than any other candidate has received. That translates into millions of dollars that would be cost prohibitive for the other candidates. In the televised debates, they have deferred to him on airtime, and given him a pass on tough questions.

A case in point: Anderson Cooper of CNN hosted a Town Hall in South Carolina, with all the Republican Candidates. Jeb Bush was still in the race, so they divided over two nights, three and three. They were on an individual basis, and the candidates answered questions by voters and by Anderson. While the other candidates answered questions on policy, Trump and Anderson discussed what kind of fast food Trump likes, his favorite music, and his tips on parenting.

When Trump refused to participate in a Fox News debate, because he objected to Megyn Kelly as a moderator, (she does not treat him fairly) the media shrugged it off. When he said he could stand on Fifth Avenue in New York City, shoot someone, and still not lose supporters, and when he did not immediately disavow the KKK, the media just quoted him. I can list dozens of cases where the media mitigates Trump’s disrespectful and inappropriate behavior and comments. They would destroy any of the other candidates for acting in a similar manner. The disparity is undeniable. Make no mistake though, if Trump secures the nomination, the kid gloves will come off and the media will obliterate him, and there is ample material for them to do so.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are the other viable options. They are the only two who have a chance to defeat Donald Trump. The polls have consistently shown that Marco Rubio is the ONLY candidate that beats Hillary Clinton in the general election in November, and this is why the Democrats DO NOT want Marco to be the nominee. Joe Trippi, a Democratic consultant, came right out and said that last week on Fox News. In an off-handed comment, he said Democrats would rather run against Trump, or possibly Cruz, but not Rubio. Bill Burton, another Democratic strategist, has echoed that repeatedly ever since the primary season began.

I will take Ted Cruz over Donald Trump every day of the week, but Rubio has a much better chance to win in November, and that is the point of this elective process. Ted Cruz does not have the support of his own party, and Hillary Clinton will capitalize on that fact. He has a reputation in Washington for being difficult to work with and he is more concerned with promoting himself as an “outsider” in the beltway, than he is with working across the aisle to enact legislation. Hillary will depict his as polarizing and extremist. A president must be able to negotiate with both parties, or nothing is accomplished. Ronald Reagan is an excellent example. He knew he would be unable to further his agenda without some support from the Democrats. That’s just the way Washington works.

Marco Rubio has the endorsement of conservative Senators like Tom Coburn, Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott, to name just a few. His list of endorsements is extensive, including Oklahoman David Green, a Christian conservative, and founder of Hobby Lobby. His likeability and reputation for a willingness to work alongside the Democrats is widespread. Despite how the media and other candidates portray him, he has an ACU (American Conservative Union) rating of 98%, and he was the Tea Party favorite when he ran his senatorial campaign in Florida. His personal biography is the American dream, and his own life experiences uniquely qualify him as a contrast to Hillary Clinton. In Glenn Beck’s words, “He will crush Hillary Clinton in a debate. He will make her look like she is a 1000 years old”.

Everyone has to make their own decision about whom they will support in this primary. I have studied the remaining candidates, and I am 100% certain Marco Rubio is the one to beat Hillary Clinton in November. I had the opportunity to see him and hear him speak at two of his rallies here in Oklahoma. I can tell you he has the charisma of a Jack Kennedy and the political savvy and strategy of a Ronald Reagan. I cannot think of a more winning combination.

The GOP Field After South Carolina

 Still a Three-Man Race

Trump Cruz and Rubio

After New Hampshire, and Kasich’s second place finish, the media did its best to convince us that we were witnessing a shake-up in the whole GOP race. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, in that order, rounded out the top five in that primary. Having Bush finish over Rubio had the pundits debating whether Senator Rubio actually had a path to the nomination. Of course, for quite some time the polls had Trump winning and Kasich with a strong showing because that is where he spent most of his time and funding, but they like to spin!

Apparently, Senator Rubio’s stumble in one interaction with Chris Christie was enough to drag his numbers down, and move Bush up. However, despite the media predictions, neither Kasich nor Bush had a clear path beyond New Hampshire. The media frenzy notwithstanding, I opined it was a three-man race.

After ten days, endless hours of pondering by the pundits, and millions of dollars in advertising, guess what? It is still a three-man race. Trump came in first in South Carolina, with 32.5%, followed by Rubio with 22.5%, and Cruz with 22.3%. Jeb Bush came in fourth, at 7.8%, Kasich fifth with 7.6% and Carson with 7.2%. Bush had the wisdom and grace to suspend his campaign last night, going out with an emotive speech. Kasich and Carson are vowing to stay in and continue fighting the not so good fight. They are not doing themselves or the GOP any favors by doing so. The numbers speak loudly though, Kasich and Carson are on borrowed time.

During Trump’s victory speech last night, he condemned news organizations for saying that as the field continues to winnow, the orphaned supporters will not go to Trump. He thinks otherwise. We need to remember that Trump has never had more than thirty-five percent of support among GOP voters, which means that 65 percent of them do not like him. That is a significant number.

Although he is presently leading in the delegate count, he still has only four percent of the total delegates he will need to secure the nomination. Despite what you hear from the media, this race is far from over, and Trump is not our de facto nominee. Let’s break it down, using the South Carolina numbers.

Jeb Bush supporters will NEVER support Trump. They will most likely go to Marco Rubio, because Ted Cruz is too extreme for them. Add Bush’s 7.8% to Rubio’s 22.5%, and now Rubio is at 30.3%. It is just a matter of time before Kasich and Carson go the way of Jeb Bush, and if they want to help the party, they will do it sooner. Right now, they are just propelling Trump towards the nomination. Kasich supporters could possibly split between Trump and Rubio. Again, they will probably find Cruz too extreme. Add half of Kasich’s 7.6% to Donald Trump, which brings him to 36.2%, and half to Marco Rubio, which brings him to 34.1%.

The Carson folks will not go to Trump. Cruz has disenchanted them with his Iowa campaign shenanigans, so I think they will most likely get behind Rubio, especially if Ben Carson endorses Rubio. That now puts Rubio at 41.3%. As the field narrows further, it will have a deleterious effect on Donald Trump. Even if Cruz inherits some of Carson’s supporters, Trump’s numbers will still go down. Keep in mind that the next primaries are not “winner take all”. Their delegates will be divided proportionally.

Ted Cruz had the edge in South Carolina. He did not win one county in the state. With a large population of evangelical voters, (72%) they were supposed to be heavy in the Cruz camp, but Trump won 33% of their vote to Ted Cruz’s 27%, and Marco Rubio’s 22%. At this point in the primary, Ted Cruz is the candidate on the shakiest ground. His path forward really depends on the evangelical vote, and he is not getting a plurality.

Rubio had a second place finish, and despite the narrow margin over Cruz, Marco Rubio had some great exit poll numbers. He scored highest with voters in three categories: those who are split over whether they want a candidate with experience, those who back some sort of a legal pathway to citizenship, and those that identify themselves as “late deciders” in their choice of candidate. Most importantly, Rubio still polls as the candidate most likely to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.

With Jeb Bush out of the race, look for Marco Rubio to pick up steam going into the next primary in Nevada. Also, look for former Bush supporters, like Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, to throw their endorsement to Senator Rubio. Lastly, as we have fewer candidates on the debate stage, Trump’s deficiencies as a candidate will become more apparent. “We’re going to build a beautiful wall”, will only get you so far. Now, if we can just get Ted Cruz out….

What Is the Point?

election 2016Our strategy for Election 2016

For those of us who identify as members of the GOP, our goal in November 2016 is to retake the White House, period. That is our end game. Regardless of who the Republican nominee is, we want him (Carly Fiorina is out of the race) to defeat the Democratic contender, and win the presidency. It is that simple, and that straightforward.

The Primary process is about anyone desiring the presidency throwing their hat in the ring, garnering financial support, and campaigning across the United States in an effort to prove to American voters why he or she is the best choice for the Republican Party. They make commercials, they go on radio and television news and talk shows, they participate in televised debates, and fly and bus their way through almost every state making their case.

Along the way, they spend millions of dollars, and some even engage in nasty personal attacks against their competition. Eventually though, after all the money is spent and the attacks are winding down, the field narrows itself with declining voter support and we come down to just one candidate, our de facto nominee.

We pin our hopes on this man to do us proud in November and win the election. It would logically follow then, that we would select the candidate most likely to do the job. If we do not, the primary process is really just academic.

Every day, we hear about the “polls”. What do the polls say? Which candidate is in the lead? Which candidate is the favorite to win a particular primary? Which candidate is the favorite among a specific group of voters? Polls are important. They might not always be 100% accurate, and they frequently change, but they relay vital information that influences campaign strategy, and voter opinion.

The poll that we need to pay the most attention to, however, is the poll that shows which candidate among our potential nominees is most likely to defeat Hillary Clinton. That particular poll consistently shows that candidate is Senator Marco Rubio. Check it out for yourself. The Democrats do not want Hillary Clinton to have to face Marco Rubio in a debate, much less in an election. Glenn Beck said about a Hillary/Marco debate, (you can look up the video) “Marco will make Hillary Clinton look like she is a 1000 years old!” Rubio and clinton

Marco Rubio is the candidate that the Democrat’s most fear, precisely because the polls show he will beat Hillary Clinton. If you follow the media, you have probably heard this repeatedly. Even Bill O’Reilly, of “The O’Reilly Factor”, said it on his show last week, and Bill is very factual. The National Review recently posted,

In fact, Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is the only GOP contender who consistently defeats Hillary Clinton in head-to-head heats. In the NBC/WSJ survey, he beats Clinton 48 percent to 45. The Fox poll put the attractive, savvy, severely well-spoken Rubio at 45 percent and Clinton at 43. Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) loses to Clinton in the NBC/WSJ match-up, 43 percent to 48, while he ties her at 45 points in Fox’s contest.
 Why then, would Republican voters cast their vote for any of the other candidates still in the race? It just does not make sense. We want the man who can actually win the election. This is a pivotal period in our country, and thus a pivotal election. We cannot afford another four years of the Obama administration, which is what we will have with Hillary Clinton. So seriously consider whom you are casting your vote for in the primary election. Do not waste it on someone who cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, what is the point?



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A Volatile GOP Debate

 Rubio Under AttackRubio

Well, apparently the media wants everyone to think that Senator Rubio really blew it tonight. Admittedly, Marco had a rough start. Going into the debate, all the pundits predicted that he would have a target on his back, and they were right. He took it like a man though, no whining as we saw from Ted Cruz in the last debate. After his surge coming out of Iowa, Rubio was in the unenviable position to be hit from above and below. With his third place finish in the caucus this past Monday, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump openly questioned Rubio’s rise in popularity both with the media and among voters. They finished first and second respectively, yet he garnered all the attention.

We are really in a three-man race at this point, Trump, Cruz and Rubio, so the others really had nothing to lose tonight. Ben Carson faded into the background, getting little airtime and few questions directed his way. As I have said before, I like Ben Carson, but this is not his race. Trump and Cruz both had mediocre performances, with Trump getting his usual dirty digs in at Bush primarily, and drawing boos from the crowd. The Governors, Kasich, Bush and Christie all did well tonight, but it will not resurrect their campaigns. Bush had a fairly successful attack on Donald Trump over eminent domain, while Christie fixed his sights on Marco Rubio.

As the debate opened, Chris Christie came out swinging by informing Senator Rubio that he did not have the experience to be president. He said rather than answer questions that prove his inexperience, the Senator delivers a “25 second memorized speech”. Rubio was not great on defense. He attempted to come back at Christie with charges against his record as Governor, but then tried to segue into President Obama’s agenda. It did not work well for him. Adding insult to injury, he repeated himself several times, which led to further criticism from Christie, and seemed to validate Christie’s initial accusation.

At this point in the debate, I started feeling queasy. I really wanted Marco to have another strong performance going into next week’s New Hampshire primary. Luckily, he did not disappoint. After a commercial break, the Rubio I so admire was back on his game.

For the rest of the debate, he fielded questions on immigration reform, foreign policy, the economy, abortion and same-sex marriage. He was amazing! His discussion about ISIS and his plan to defeat them, displayed his depth of knowledge on foreign policy. These were not talking points or a “memorized speech”, but an intelligent and insightful analysis of the Sunni-Shia rift, and its effect on the growth of ISIS. In case you missed it, Christie was mute during this foreign policy discussion because HE lacks “experience” in the geopolitical scene.

Asked about the definition of “conservatism”, Rubio listed the three characteristics he believes define the conservative movement: limited government, free enterprise and a strong defense. He then proceeded to expound on each of them in a flawless delivery. He was absolutely presidential.

For me, the most memorable moment was his affirmation of his belief in traditional marriage and the right to life for the unborn. Criticized by other GOP contenders, as he was by Bush this evening, for being too extreme on abortion, Rubio commented, “I would rather lose an election than be wrong on the issue of life”. It was a stellar moment. I define a real leader as someone who is willing to stand up for what he believes is right, no matter the outcome, and that is Marco Rubio.

The post-debate pundits ruled the evening a loss for Rubio. I’m not sure where they were for the bulk of the debate, as Rubio redeemed himself admirably, but they were determined to focus on his initial mishap. In the history of televised debates, from Nixon/Kennedy to the present, every presidential candidate has had a “bad” debate. It happens. It does not necessarily signal the end of their campaign. Reagan had a terrible night against Mondale during the 1984 election, but then came back and won a decisive victory in the following debate.

Rubio slipped up in the opening segment, but he was strong the rest of the evening, and I still think he will do well in New Hampshire. Let’s not forget, Bill Clinton lost in Iowa and New Hampshire, and still defeated George H.W. Bush to win the 1988 election.

The mainstream media does not want Marco Rubio to be the Republican nominee. He is too dangerous. The polls have shown that in a match-up against Hillary Clinton, he is the ONLY candidate that consistently beats her. Their goal is to undermine Marco Rubio and promote Donald Trump because Trump is the candidate who is most likely to lose to Hillary.

We can expect endless replays of the Rubio/Christie altercation over the next couple of days. The media will try very hard to convince voters that Senator Rubio is out, but don’t believe them. This race is just getting started, and Marco Rubio is worth watching.

That Awkward Moment

When you realize you voted for the wrong candidate


At the Republican National Convention in 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged Gerald Ford, the incumbent President, for the nomination. That was relatively unheard of for someone within the party to challenge a sitting president. However, times being what they were, with Ford assuming the presidency after Richard Nixon’s resignation, Reagan went for it.

It was not to be, though. Reagan received 1,070 to Ford’s 1,187. Reagan conceded, but agreed to appear onstage with Ford as a sign of Party unity. After President Ford’s acceptance speech, Reagan joined him and the two men clasped hands. Ford asked Reagan to say a few words, and without notes, Reagan delivered a brief, but inspiring speech that brought an ovation louder than Ford received. It also left many of the delegates thinking and saying to each other, “we just voted for the wrong man”.

That’s kind of like what we saw last night after the Iowa caucus. Rubio went first, which garnered him prime air time, and exuberantly took the stage, thrilled with his third place finish, and delivered a fifteen minute “off the cuff” speech that the pundits are still talking about today. It was Reaganesque! RubioThe result is that Rubio has been in the news more today and trending more on Twitter, than either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, who finished first and second, respectively. They’re not very happy about it either. Both of them took shots today at the media focus on Rubio, and attributed it to that old faithful argument that he is the “establishment” favorite. A truer statement would be that Rubio outperformed everyone’s expectations, and we are seeing the “Marcomentum”, as they say on Twitter.

Trump gave a lackluster four-minute speech last night, with his most notable comment being he liked Iowa so much he might just buy a farm there. Cruz hugged his way across the stage, and gave a disjointed thirty-minute plus oration, or as one source called it, a “marathon speech that monopolized an infomercial –length block of time”, that Fox News finally broke away from to air remarks from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Maybe some of the Iowa caucus voters can relate to those delegates in 1976?



Primary Season

election 2016Selecting 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.marco rubio flag


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.150410_MarcoRubio_ImWithMarco_FBLink

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   

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.