Rubio’s Substantive Talk

Let’s see, I could analyze President Obama’s State of the Union Address. I could point to the many misstatements of fact, his extreme leftist ideology, and his old tired “solutions” to our economic woes—the “solutions” that are driving us off the cliff. But after some consideration, I concluded there wasn’t much reason to rehash the same speech he has given for five years. Nothing new here.

So I’ve determined it would be far more edifying to highlight the GOP response offered by Florida senator Marco Rubio. The mainstream media is doing its best to ridicule Rubio for taking a sip of water in the middle of the talk—awkward, yes, but apparently necessary to overcome a dry throat. This was actually his second talk; he did the Spanish version of it first. Rubio has handled it well afterward, tweeting a picture of his water bottle. The nice thing is, unlike a lot of politicians, he’s not full of himself. He can laugh at the moment and move on.

The focus on the sip of water is deliberate for many in the media. They would rather the public not pay attention to what Rubio said, nor the easy, relatable, and effective manner in which he said it. Here are some of the highlights:

  • He was personal, using his own background and experience as a basis for his comments. He talked about how his parents came to America and worked hard as bartenders, cashiers, and maids. He still lives in the same neighborhood in which he was raised.
  • He exuded an optimism largely missing from political discourse in the post-Reagan era. Like Reagan, he views America as a society that offers great opportunities to everyone of all social classes: “I didn’t inherit any money from them [my parents]. But I inherited something far better—the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. The opportunity to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life. It isn’t bestowed on us from Washington.”
  • He pointed out the specific problems with government overreach, using Obamacare as a prime example. He reminded his audience: “Government’s role is wisely limited by the Constitution. And it can’t play its essential role [keeping us safe] when it ignores those limits.”
  • He called out the president for always questioning the motives of those who disagree with his policies: “His favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him, they only care about rich people. . . . Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.”
  • His entire appeal was to the middle class, noting that the huge national debt is contributing to unemployment and that we cannot sustain annual trillion dollar additions to that debt.
  • He effectively undercut the Democrat accusations that Republicans want to take away Medicare by relating how his own mother currently relies on it. Yet he made it clear that something has to change: “Anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it. Republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan that helps save Medicare without hurting today’s retirees. Instead of playing politics with Medicare, when is the president going to offer his plan to save it?”

Frankly, this was a substantive speech, and it marks Rubio as a prime candidate to run for president in 2016. Child of immigrant parents. Member of Hispanic community. Devoted to American exceptionalism. Believer in free enterprise and constitutionally limited government. And for me, another key component of his pedigree is his Christian faith.

There can be hope for America if people of Rubio’s caliber are placed in positions of authority.