In presenting the Republican response to the President's 2013 State of the Union address, Mr. Rubio had a difficult assignment. In a nutshell, he had to convince the American people that the Republican approach to economic freedom, as framed by Mitt Romney, is better than the President's plan.
As with most Republicans, Rubio continues to believe that Republican policies are correct and fails to realize that the majority of Americans rejected those policies when they re-elected Barack Obama. But you can't blame him for trying. Or can you?
Rubio focused on big government not being the answer. He claimed that increasing taxes and government spending are not the correct path. He implied that the growth of government was President Obama's plan.
Apparently, Rubio is not familiar with the fact that the size of government and the deficit has been reduced during the President's term. He obviously is sticking by Republican claims that revenue is off the table during deficit talks, despite serious belief by economists that revenue increases must be had for the deficit to be brought under control. He isn't listening to the President's talk about a balanced approach to deficit reduction. He has not heard or does not believe that the President has already offered $2.7 trillion of the $4 trillion in cuts that economists believe necessary.
He claims that the opportunity to join the middle class comes from investing your own money to open a business. By his definition, if you don't have the money, resources or ability to operate a business, then you don't belong in the middle class. So I guess you are on your own because Rubio claims government help is not the way to the middle class. He says this even though he received government loans to attend college, he has a government job that pays him $174,000 a year, he has government health care and a government retirement plan, his parents received social security and medicare helped his father die with dignity. While he was alive, his father had opportunities to create and maintain his restaurant with the help of the government's small business administration. This is so common of middle class Republicans who privately take from government programs while denigrating these government actions in public. It must be impossible for a Republican to admit that the government might help anyone.
Rubio attempted to sway America away from the negative image that Democrats have painted of the Republican Party's allegiance to rich people by proclaiming that he (Rubio) still lives in a middle class neighborhood. Could he have thought of anything else for a little more convincing argument? No.
How many times did we hear Romney say he would cut Obama Care on his first day in office? That wasn't enough for Rubio, because he essentially reiterated it by casting fear into the hearts of naive Americans who might believe him. Let me paraphrase the Republican stand on the affordable health care law: "Obama Care bad." We've heard it all before and we rejected the idea when we rejected Romney.
It seemed apparent to me that Reince Pribus was still in control of the Republican party. Mr Pribus was the architect of the Romney loss and is the newly re-elected Republican National Chairperson. As Rubio mouthed policies that were exactly the same as those America rejected during the Romney campaign, I kept thinking "there you go again."
Putting Rubio in front of the camera to represent Republicans is nothing more than a Republican tactic to improve public perception of the party. We are seeing the repackaging of the Republican party where a softer, gentler party is presented, however Republican policies have not changed at all.