Florida activists helped propel Marco Rubio into the Senate—but many say they feel betrayed by him, and they won’t support his presidential bid.
Marco Rubio – RINO Traitor
MIAMI—In the early days of Marco Rubio’s campaign for U.S. Senate, he spoke at one of the first Tea Party rallies in the state of Florida. As Rubio began to speak about not wanting to lose his country to socialism, lightning reportedly began to flash. It was to be either an omen of the betrayal his Tea Party supporters would later feel, or a foreshadowing of the powerful potential this young Cuban American had for higher office. It had taken a month for his hometown newspaper, the Miami Herald, to notice that the 38-year-old Miami lawyer, once a leader in the state House, had formally joined the race. He didn’t even hold a launch event when he registered as a candidate for U.S. Senate in early 2009. “It was lonely out there. He was living off the land, ” an early supporter said. “If he had held a launch event for his U.S. Senate campaign, you could have held it in a phone booth. ”It was the excitement of the Florida Tea Party movement, which exploded into the public consciousness in the spring and summer of 2009, that ultimately transformed Rubio into a serious contender. “Across the board in 2010, the Tea Party played a huge role. They got people out to vote, they were active, they were knocking on doors, making phone calls. There were little spots during the campaign where you just felt the momentum,” said Anthony Bustamante, Rubio’s former statewide field director and one of the first half-dozen staffers to join the Senate campaign.
Rubio betrayed Tea Party supporters when he worked with Democrats on an amnesty bill that would screw the American worker.
But don’t count on many of those original Florida Tea Party supporters to be in the crowd Monday evening when Rubio is expected to launch his bid for the White House with dramatic fanfare at Miami’s Freedom Tower, converted in the 1990s as a monument to Cuban refugees.
Six years after the movement’s initial rallies, marches, and demonstrations, Tea Party activists feel let down and betrayed by their native son.
“I’m through with him. He will never get my vote. ‘Disappointed’ would mean that he has an opportunity to restore his credibility, and there is no opportunity for that,” said KrisAnne Hall, an attorney and Tea Party activist from north-central Florida. “The overwhelming perception is that Marco Rubio is not a Tea Party candidate.”
Some Florida Tea Party supporters still wax nostalgic about the early, hopeful days of the Rubio Senate campaign.“When he was first running for Senate, I was a big fan… He walked the neighborhood both inside and outside his district, knocked on doors and asked what people’s needs were, what their issues were.
I smell a rat…. A Rubio rat!!
I was so impressed with that,” said Lisa Becker, who helped run A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots, a Tea Party group geared toward mothers.“Then,” Becker continued, “he got into office.” “Once he got into Washington, he had his sights set early on higher office,” said Jason Hoyt, a Tea Party organizer from central Florida. “He surrounded himself with people who were going to help him navigate Washington to get there, and in that process he disconnected from his base.” Becker still acknowledges Rubio’s charisma and oratorical abilities. But now she thinks she might have been played. “Now I wonder if he was ever listening or it was just a ploy to get votes… He says all the right things to the audience he needs, and we in Florida are no longer his audience. His new audience is national voters who might elect him president,” she said.“ We were hungry for leadership on our principles and values, but it didn’t come from Marco,” Hoyt added. “I thought it would.”Many Tea Partiers point to Rubio’s work in the Senate as part of the so-called Gang of Eight, who tried to come to a bipartisan consensus on comprehensive immigration reform. It ultimately failed, but many on the right will not forgive what they disdain as the senator’s support for “amnesty.” At the Conservative Political Action Conference this year, Rubio tried to distance himself from his work on immigration, saying he had learned his lesson — that broad-based reform was only possible after complete border security. Some libertarian-leaning Tea Party activists also point to foreign policy and national security as issues on which he let them down. Hall, the attorney from north-central Florida, listed off the offenses: Rubio’s support for indefinite detention, support for arming the Syrian rebels, support for the war against ISIS without explicit congressional approval, and support for the NSA. “If he had been listening when he was knocking on those doors, he would have found out what matters. Being in perpetual war matters to families,” Becker said. Bustamante, Rubio’s former statewide field director, plays down any discontentment Florida Tea Party activists feel about the Florida Republican senator. “I don’t think there’s a rift. The Tea Party embraced Marco. I think they still hold them up as one of their own,” he said.Tom Gaitens, who knew Rubio in the state House and formerly worked for the conservative group FreedomWorks, said he had forgiven Rubio for the sin of working with Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform.“The only perfect guy I ever met was Jesus Christ, in my heart. What I care about is that they stand up and show courage, and I think Marco has done that every step of the way,” Gaitens said.
Marco Rubio showing how much he appreciates those who put him in office!
And Rubio is still an insurgent. He is far from the front-runner in the large Republican presidential field.
It’s a position where he has thrived: Bustamante recalled the early “startup” days of the Rubio Senate campaign, where they drove 10 hours round trip to Jacksonville just to make $900.
Rubio is not running a startup anymore. He’s running a full-fledged business that hopes to raise millions to elevate him to the White House.
This time, though, he’ll do it without the support of many of the grassroots activists who propelled him to the Senate hoping for a Tea Party champion.
It’s impossible to win a war with an army of weaklings, cowards, and traitors.
It’s time conservatives realize that the country moving to the tune of liberals, no matter who wins elections, is due not to the domination of the mainstream media (MSM), but to the weakness, dishonesty, or cowardice of Republican politicians.
Media frenzies like the recent one about religious freedom in Indiana are like push polls; they don’t last long. How many anti-conservative MSM outbursts occurred prior to the 2014 elections, which the Republicans resoundingly won? If MSM magic were determining elections, Republicans wouldn’t have won.
When the Republican speaker of the House surrenders to Nancy Pelosi and sets up a vote where a Democrat/RINO coalition overrides the majority of Republicans to fund something most Republicans ran against in the last election, we have to realize that it’s not the media that’s the problem.
Speaker Boehner epitomizes the modern RINO.
Think about it: Obama, Reid, and most other Democrats claim to be conservatives at election time. Obama was for improving the economy and being bipartisan. No mention of socialized medicine.
The congressional sweep in 2014 resulted from Republicans articulating conservative values: lowering taxes, ending ObamaCare, opposing executive amnesty.
Why do you think that Obama has always put off his biggest liberal actions until after an election? If the MSM had convinced the voters that liberalism is good, then Obama would have brought out the liberal moves before the election. Instead, the Democrats realize that the voters aren’t liberal, so they hide, or lie about, what they do.
While the impact of the MSM is real, it’s not what people think it is. The real impact of the media is on the politicians. Living in Washington and moving with the Washington cultural “elite,” too many Republicans begin to believe that what they hear from their consultant class friends and the Washington Post is true.
Those politicians begin to think they can’t get re-elected unless they downplay their conservative values. Or they, like human beings everywhere, start drifting toward the positions held by the people they see and socialize with every day.
The vast majority of people in D.C. depend on big government for their jobs and their wealth; it’s no accident that D.C. is now the richest city in the country. For every conservative Republican politician, there are probably hundreds of nice people who need a big government to thrive. That’s the culture Republican politicians live in; they spend far more time in D.C. than back home where their conservative values are nurtured.
Think of how many good teenagers go to liberal colleges where they transmute into irrational liberals. It’s the same phenomenon we’re seeing with Republicans in D.C.
The problem is that too many Republicans who go to D.C. as conservatives lack the support structure or moral fiber to stick to their beliefs when immersed in the D.C. culture.
Essentially, conservatives need to ensure that Republicans don’t “go native” in D.C.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to speak conservative truths in D.C., where doing so will result in being mocked and reviled. Cowardly Republicans will change their stands to avoid that sort of bullying.
Weak Republicans will succumb to the constant drumbeat of liberalism they hear from their D.C. “friends” and the MSM and become liberals.
Traitorous Republicans never believed in conservatism but have no problem lying to the voters in order to get elected.
We’ll never end the MSM faux firestorms – emotions and lies are liberalism’s lifeblood, – but we can work to select strong people for office and build them an environment where their beliefs can be nourished, not condemned.
Three key steps need to be taken to ensure that conservative votes count:
1) Make sure we pick candidates who have the guts to stay the course.
2) Provide a conservative cultural infrastructure for Republicans in D.C.
3) Make sure Republicans realize that no matter how nice a person a liberal might be, the causes that liberal pushes are bad.
The first point means conservatives need better vetting at the primary stage. Republican candidates have to be principled first and politicians second. In addition, it means that we need to throw out people like Representative Ellmers who have one set of beliefs at election time and another when they vote in Congress. It’s better to have a Democrat with Democrat baggage in office than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The second point means that conservatives have to work to create a bubble of “flyover country” in D.C., ensuring that Republican politicians aren’t constantly being bombarded by liberal “friends.” Conservative think-tanks and other groups should get together to provide a climate where Republican politicians can go to parties, play golf, etc. without being condemned in subtle ways for their “backwardness.”
We should also get Republican candidates to eschew the MSM. Between the blurring together of reporting and editorializing and the liberally slanted selection of what news to cover, no one can know what’s really going on in the world by reading the Washington Post or any other MSM source. With the huge staffs that congressmen have and the information revolution of the internet, there is no reason why Republicans have to use last-millennium news sources.
Additionally, conservatives should work to find ways to keep politicians in their home states a larger fraction of the time. It’s less likely that Republicans will be corrupted in the real America than in D.C.
The third point means that we need to realize that just as we can’t fight Islamofascism if we can’t even name it, Republican politicians can’t stay conservative and think that liberal politicians are not the enemy.
Sadly, it’s been a long time since the differences between conservatives and liberals were about things decent folks can honestly disagree about. Liberals in D.C. want to grow poverty, keep blacks poorly educated, bring in millions of foreigners to keep wages down, kill the unborn, destroy marriage, abandon Israel and our allies, fund their cronies Chicago-style, and promote hedonism. Sure, they’re nice to their wives and children, and to their animal companions, but so were plenty of dictators.
Republicans have to realize that even though Democrats are “nice,” they are not sources of anything trustworthy. Republicans don’t need to demonize Democrats – just view them as being less reliable than used car salesmen.
To win the war with liberals, conservatives need to elect strong people and armor them with a conservative-friendly environment in D.C.