GOP's Marco Rubio still unsure of his message

  • Article by: JOHN DICKERSON , Slate
  • Updated: February 14, 2013 - 6:36 PM

The man dubbed "the Republican savior" got a lesson in humility this week.

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pumiceFeb. 14, 13 6:52 PM

From the article: "Rubio's case ... affirmed the bounties of the free market, but he spent most of the time explaining why Obama's big government was bad. An amazing story about the wonders that would flow from smaller government would be more appealing and persuasive. Bromides about unleashing sectors and removing regulations are tired and threadbare." True, John Dickerson, but that's not the goal of the loyal opposition's SOTU response. In my opinion, the venue is the problem. Responding to what one expects the President to say is a fool's errand. Better for the loyal opposition--of whichever Party--to let the President have his/her night. Better for the loyal opposition to respond to the actual speech and, in particular, to actual policies proposed by the President. Better for the loyal opposition to contrast their proposals with the President's proposals in the light of "appealing and persuasive" ideological differences. And in the light of day...

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ti1310Feb. 14, 13 8:27 PM

Even though I am a Libertarian I am no fan of the GOP. that being said the same media pundits said some of the same things (in a different context) about Obama. In effect early on they wrote him off as not being credible opposed to Hilary Clinton the Dem establishment. We all know how that turned out. The only thing that can be said for sure is voters are fickle and anyone would be foolhardy to write anyone off this early in the election cycle. both parties and their messages have been written off by pundits in the past.

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SwiftBoatFeb. 14, 13 8:28 PM

The character assignation of Rubio by the left leaning media has begun.

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dentesterFeb. 14, 13 8:52 PM

Wow. Now we know who the Left is really terrified of.

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avejoeconFeb. 14, 13 8:54 PM

It's hilarious that the only thing that people can concentrate on is the fact that Rubio had to reach for water. It's gotten that low folks, that drinking water is something the left have to concentrate on!

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goldengoph3rFeb. 14, 13 9:18 PM

Aside from Watergate II, which only gets funnier the more you watch it, Rubio's speech was a test of a big idea making the rounds in the airtight GOP bubble: the problem in 2012 wasn't the GOP's message, it was the messenger. In comes Rubio to deliver the same old discredited bromides Americans rejected big time in November. Thankfully, he also delivered the laughs, so the speech wasn't a total loss.

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crystalbayFeb. 14, 1311:29 PM

Talk about hypocrisy..............while lambasting big government, Rubio expounds on the need for Medicare and government-backed student loans, both of which have benefited him and his parents! His speech was nothing but a rehash of tired right wing talking points. Cotton-mouth was the least of his problems.

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elmore1Feb. 15, 13 5:50 AM

How quickly the lefties forget. Obama got his butt kicked in the first debate and yet came back and won the election. A moderate agenda and the dismal results of the Obama administration are all that Rubio will need to win the next election.

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swmnguyFeb. 15, 13 6:40 AM

I watched Rubio's speech (I didn't actually watch Obama's speech). I was curious about Rubio, because there's been a lot of media push behind him. I've heard that a lot of people see him as a potential new "face" of the GOP.

Rubio was awful. Maybe he was nervous. He looked like a guy giving a speech, not like a guy speaking his mind. Public speaking is a skill that can be learned, but some people are naturally good at it, and Rubio is not.

Rubio's speech was awful. I don't know who wrote it, but it was the same old claptrap that has people tuning out. There's a lot to disagree with Obama about. But beating the dead horse of Big Government is just ridiculous. Too many people know that Obama has been shrinking government faster than any President in the modern era. The deficit is falling faster than it has at any recent time. Indeed, there's a very strong case to be made that Obama's fixation on shrinking government and the deficit is prolonging our economic problems, just as Roosevelt's premature turn to deficit-cutting caused the double-dip in the 1930s. Obama's playing politics with Austerity might be playing well with the elites, but it's crushing the economy here, just as it has in Europe and the UK.

There's still plenty of time for the GOP to turn Rubio into a candidate. But I didn't see a guy who's ready for the national stage on Tuesday night.

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twspt7Feb. 15, 13 8:16 AM

Americans vote primarily with their pocketbook in mind. The economy does well for the majority of the voting population and the party in power typically benefits at the voting booth. There are exceptions - like war - but generally if their own personal economy is OK, Americans go with the flow. Having watched both speeches, my impression is that Obama gets this. His rhetoric appeals to a middle class that feels neglected by previous administrations. Rubio, on the other hand, merely sounded like a younger, Hispanic version of Mitt Romney. Whether it was his own speech, or something thrust upon him, Rubio replayed the same tired points that resulted in a Republican setback last November and, quite frankly, looked uncomfortable doing it.

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