U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Senator Marco Rubio speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, SC., Sept. 18, 2015. 
Photo by Chris Keane/Reuters

Rubio’s rhetoric vs. Rubio’s record

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took a very specific message to the Values Voter Summit last week: “the political class” in D.C. seems incapable of getting things done, and it’s earned the scorn of the Republican base.
The situation on Capitol Hill has gotten so bad, the GOP candidate argued, that “people cannot help but ask: how can it be that we sent a Republican majority to Congress, and yet they’re still not able to stop our country from sliding in the wrong direction?”
It sounded like the sort of message a GOP governor might offer, or perhaps rhetoric from one of the Republican amateurs sitting atop the polls. But instead, it was Rubio – a member of the congressional majority complaining about Congress. It was a senator with no legislative accomplishments to his name whining about his own party’s lack of accomplishments, and making no effort to acknowledge the disjointed nature of the complaint.
There was, in other words, a noticeable disconnect between Rubio’s record and his rhetoric. Last night, a similar problem emerged.
Marco Rubio, a career politician, is trying to make the argument that he’s not an insider as outsiders Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina generate buzz.
“Yes, I’ve worked in the Senate for four years. But I’m not of the Senate,” Rubio told Sean Hannity last night. Rubio said he went to the Senate because “I didn’t like the direction of this country” and that’s why he’s dumping the Senate and running for president.
It’s entirely possible that conservative voters will find this compelling – Rubio continues to rise steadily in state and national polling – but his message is increasingly odd for anyone who stops to think about it.
Rubio is a career politician, having run for one public office after another for most of his adult life, who wants to pretend to be outside “the political class.”
Rubio has spent nearly a half-decade in the U.S. Senate, but he doesn’t want anyone to think of him as being “of the Senate.”
Rubio hasn’t been able to use his powerful position in government to much effect, which is why he’s convinced he needs a promotion.
I realize that for many political observers – left, right, and center – the far-right senator is suddenly the safe bet for the Republican presidential nomination. But perhaps it should give pundits pause that the narrative he’s created for himself is demonstrably ridiculous.