It was just last week when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) did an imitation of John F. Kennedy on the stump and insisted, “JFK would be a Republican today.” That’s pretty silly, of course, though it was interesting to see a far-right presidential candidate try to appropriate a Democratic icon for his own purposes.
But just a few days later, National Journal reported from Iowa that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also has the nation’s 35th president on his mind.
Sen. Marco Rubio has slipped a symbolically significant new passage into his stump speech, linking his candidacy to that of another youthful and charismatic 40-something politician: John F. Kennedy. […]Rubio presented the 2016 campaign as a generational pivot point, likening his vision for a “New American Century” – the tagline of his campaign – to Kennedy’s 1960 challenge to the nation to embrace a “New Frontier.”
“This election isn’t about what laws we’re going to pass. It’s about what kind of country we’re going to be,” Rubio told Iowans. “And we’ve made that choice before. Asked six decades ago, this nation and that generation chose to embrace a New Frontier. In fact, they took up the challenge of a then young president who said, ‘Ask not what your country can do, ask what you can do for your country.’”
Apparently, in 2015, the Massachusetts Democrat has been adopted somehow by Republicans. Go figure.
Of course, I seem to remember the last time a young, far-right senator seeking national office tried to compare himself to JFK. It didn’t go especially well.