The Rise of Marco Rubio,
by Manuel Roig-Franzia
(Click for Amazon book review)
OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:
If Rubio gets picked as Romney's Vice Presidential nominee, this book will instantly become a "must-read" for all political pundits, and a "should-read for all voters. It is a solid unbiased biography by a investigative journalist who seems to respect--but certainly does not idolize--Senator Rubio. Alongside Rubio's autobiography, this book provides a clear picture of Rubio's policy stances as well as his political appeal.
Rubio is "a crown prince of the Tea Party," according to the jacket cover. He ran for Senate against a moderate Republican, Gov. Charlie Crist, whom Rubio beat in the GOP primary and then had to face again, with Crist running as an independent, in the general election. Rubio ran as the Tea Party candidate against Crist's moderate conservatism -- but this book makes clear that Rubio is not an extremist at all. The Rubio vs. Crist battle made Rubio look like the hard-core conservative (which compared to Crist, he is), but in the battle Rubio attacked Crist for being a political opportunist who was too willing to compromise, rather than attacking Crist as too moderate on the issues. In other words, Rubio's princedom in the Tea Party is based on his taking on the Republican party establishment -- certainly a core value of the Tea Party -- rather than taking on the usual Tea Party issues.
On several issues of great importance to many Tea Party members, Rubio does NOT toe the hard-core Tea party line. Most famously on immigration, Rubio does not call for an ever-stronger border fence with ever-more laws against Mexicans, but instead calls for modified "DREAM Act," including a semi-citizen status for children brought to America at a young age by their parents (p. 239). Some hard-core anti-immigrant Tea Party members might call that a form of "amnesty." On healthcare, too, the formative issue of the Tea Party, Rubio is a moderate: he supports expanding senior prescription coverage (p. 109) and speaks glowingly of Medicare's hospice care (p. 9). While Rubio is no supporter of ObamaCare, he also is no anti-ObamaCare extremist. This book paints a picture of Rubio as a "cautious conservative," avoiding controversial issues like school prayer (p. 110), gun control (p. 137), and campaign finance reform (p. 112) so he can focus on the core economic issues on which is agrees with the Tea Party.
So why should Romney choose Rubio? (Yes, we at OnTheIssues would recommend that Romney SHOULD pick Rubio). Well, Rubio IS a crown prince of the Tea Party, and would bring the enthusiasm of the Tea Party to the Romney ticket. That's the same rationale by which McCain picked Sarah Palin in 2008 -- she brought real enthusiasm from the Tea Party whereas McCain received their tepid support, at best, just like the Tea Party is tepid about Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney needs an army of a million volunteers, and Rubio will bring that army, just like Palin did. Of course, any Tea Party prince would bring that same army: the same would apply if Romney picked Jim DeMint (R, SC) or Rand Paul (R, KY) or Mike Lee (R, UT) -- each a Tea Party prince in their own right. But Romney does not need the electoral votes of South Carolina nor Kentucky nor Utah -- while he DOES need Florida's electoral votes, which Rubio can deliver.
OnTheIssues is reluctant to make predictions about vice presidential nominations because we feel that the mainstream media wastes way too much time on idle speculation. But we will make this prediction: If Romney does pick a V.P. who is NOT a Tea Party crown prince -- such as hot-button Veepstakes leaders Chris Christie (R, NJ) or Tim Pawlenty (R, MN) -- he will lose to Obama because his V.P. will receive only the same tepid support that Romney and McCain get from the Tea Party millions. We're hedging our bet by excerpting and reviewing the books of all the Tea Party crown princes -- including Jim DeMint's book or Rand Paul's book and Mike Lee's book. We don't know WHICH Tea Party crown prince Romney will pick, but he'd better pick ONE of them!
-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, July 2012
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Marco Rubio: Pro-life, but understands that woman's right is the law.
Marco Rubio: Expand birth control exemption for faith-based organizations.
Marco Rubio: Opposed Sotomayor nomination based on her Roe support.
Tea Party: Disdained narrow exemptions for churches on birth control.
Jeb Bush: Replaced affirmative action with "One Florida" initiative.
Marco Rubio: Antigambling, based on seeing "another side" as kid in Vegas.
Marco Rubio: 2004: Pushed $60M tax subsidy for Marlins baseball stadium.
Marco Rubio: End double-taxes: capital gains; dividends; & inheritance.
Marco Rubio: Accused of sweetheart deal: $200K profit on sale of house.
Marco Rubio: AGREE Act: small business write-offs for capital purchases.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 1988: Husband prosecuted Sen. Marco Rubio's brother-in-law.
Marco Rubio: 2000: Established West Miami's 1st bicycle patrol officers.
Marco Rubio: 25 years ago, sister's husband made many mistakes.
Marco Rubio: 1986 brother-in-law's drug bust unexamined until 2011.
Marco Rubio: Brother-in-law's trial prosecuted by House member's spouse.
Charlie Crist: Vetoed merit-based pay for teachers.
Jeb Bush: Pushed 1st statewide voucher program & school testing.
Marco Rubio: 1999: Pushed for early education for at-risk children.
Marco Rubio: Silent on voluntary school prayer.
Marco Rubio: Presided over $2.3B cut to Florida public education.
Families & Children|
Marco Rubio: No gay couples as foster parents; no social experimentation.
Marco Rubio: Hip-hop fan; "Ignore their politics & just enjoy the music".
Marco Rubio: America is exceptional: nation blessed by God with resources.
Richard Nixon: 1959: Suspicious of Castro even when new Cuban leader.
Marco Rubio: Used earmarks early in legislative career, then stopped cold.
Marco Rubio: 2003: Anonymous contributors; 2004: backed down & disclosed.
Marco Rubio: $400,000 for Members-only House lunchroom kept out lobbyists.
Marco Rubio: As Speaker, failed to push law allowing guns at work.
Marco Rubio: Medicare's hospice care let my father die with dignity.
Marco Rubio: Expand prescription benefits to low-income seniors.
George W. Bush: 40% of Latino vote & won in 2004; McCain's 33% lost in 2008.
Jeb Bush: GOP wooed Hispanics in 2004; but alienated them by 2012.
Marco Rubio: AZ ant-immigrant law demands papers like "police state".
Marco Rubio: OpEd: Claimed falsely that parents fled Castro in 1959.
Marco Rubio: Legal status, but not citizenship, to migrant's children.
Mitt Romney: High-tech fence for 2,000 miles on Mexican border.
Principles & Values|
Charlie Crist: OpEd: Switched to Independent when polls swung to 30% loss.
Chris Coons: Collaborated with Sen. Rubio on pro-small-business AGREE Act.
Eric Cantor: OpEd: "Young Guns PAC" led to Majority Leader post.
Marco Rubio: FactCheck: 24 of "100 Ideas" now law; 10 partially enacted.
Marco Rubio: As LDS Youth, idolized Donny & Marie Osmond.
Marco Rubio: At age 13, urged family to convert back to Catholicism.
Marco Rubio: Mocked as "too American" by Miami Hispanic classmates.
Marco Rubio: Football star: not fastest nor biggest, but intellectual.
Marco Rubio: Attended Tarkio College in Missouri on football scholarship.
Marco Rubio: 1990: Left Tarkio College amid school's loan scandal.
Marco Rubio: 1991: Interned for Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Marco Rubio: 1990: Met future wife while at Santa Fe Community College.
Marco Rubio: 1998: Elected to West Miami City Commission at age 26.
Marco Rubio: Wife & her sister both cheerleaders for NFL's Miami Dolphins.
Marco Rubio: Accumulated power in 2003, to take Speaker seat in 2006.
Marco Rubio: 2003 campaign finance scandal: Rubio sloppy, but not corrupt.
Marco Rubio: Acknowledge God in everything we do & everywhere we go.
Marco Rubio: 2011: Formed "Reclaim America PAC" to support conservatives.
Marco Rubio: Declined to join Senate Tea Party Caucus; keep it grassroots.
Marco Rubio: 2011: Accused of constitutional ineligibility for presidency.
Mel Martinez: 1st Cuban-American elected to the U.S. Senate.
Tea Party: OpEd:Tying Tea Party to DC politicians de-energizes movement.
David Walker: Exploding costs of entitlements consumes entire 2025 budget.
Charlie Crist: Pushed moderate property tax relief instead of 1.35% cap.
Marco Rubio: Eliminate Florida property tax; or cap it at 1.35%.
Marco Rubio: 1st Senate candidate to pass 100,000 "likes" on Facebook.
Marco Rubio: Co-sponsored PIPA to Protect IP, but withdrew his support.
War & Peace|
John F. Kennedy: 1961: U2 spy planes spotted offensive missile sites in Cuba.
Welfare & Poverty|
Marco Rubio: Communities & churches once took care of neighbors.
The above quotations are from The Rise of Marco Rubio,
by Manuel Roig-Franzia.
Books about the Tea Party Movement:
- America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, 2012
- The Second American Revolution, by the Tea Party Patriots, 2012
- The Remaking of Republican Conservatism, by Theda Skocpol & Vanessa Williamson, 2012
- An American Son, by Marco Rubio, 2012
- The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, 2012
- The Tea Party: A Brief History, by Ronald Formisano, 2012
- Michele Bachmann: Why She Will Win, by Ron Paul Jones, 2011
- Core of Conviction, by Rep. Michele Bachmann, 2011
- The FairTax Book, by Rep. John Linder, 2006
- Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto, by Rep. Dick Armey
- Troublemaker, by Christine O`Donnell
- The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Sen. Rand Paul
- The Freedom Agenda, by Sen. Mike Lee
- Now Or Never, by Sen. Jim DeMint
Page last edited: Sep 27, 2012