Cruz/Rubio Rhetoric Or Substance?

Rubio Cruz

One of the dangers when a member of the House or Senate runs for President, is their reliance on process and lofty oratory.  This is what legislators do!   If the candidate is a Republican, he or she also suffers from the Republican disease of “Loserism“.  Republicans in Congress have historically been in the minority and have never been good at leading the legislative process or explaining to the electorate why their positions are better than those on the left.  They typically claim to have the Conservative Moral Imperative, then give in to leftist programs. 

The first 6 years of the Bush Presidency featured Republican majorities in both houses.  During those 6 years, our national debt was blown out of the water; a housing bubble was allowed to expand then explode causing one of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; and illegal immigration increased and steps to curb it did not see the light of day.  Where were the Republican Reagan Conservatives during this period?

Ted Cruz: 

Cruz has no executive experience in his resume.  His experience includes:

  • Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission
  • Associate deputy attorney general at the United States Department of Justice
  • Domestic policy advisor to President George W. Bush on the 2000 George W. Bush presidential campaign
  • Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to 2008
  • Adjunct professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation
  • US Senator since 2012

During his time in the Senate, he has served as the lone spoiler/adversary on many issues before the Republican controlled Senate.  During the past 4 years, he has been unable to coalesce his fellow Republicans around his positions, regardless of the soundness of the principles involved.  Instead, he engaged in labeling and name calling that alienated the majority of his colleagues.  For example, he referred to the Senate Republican caucus as the “SURRENDER CAUCUS”.  He accused the Senate Majority leader of telling “a flat-out lie” over his intentions to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States that was opposed by Cruz.

While being part of the “loyal opposition” being the lone voice of opposition within your own party does not build a lot of political capital.  You can be dead on right from a principled position perspective, but be totally ineffective in building coalitions need to lead.  Reagan knew that he could not force Congress to enact many of his principled position but was very intuitive in moving his principles forward an inch or a mile at a time.  Reagan was also very good at rallying the electorate and colleagues behind his positions.  Cruz has yet to demonstrate these needed qualities.  He may be the most conservative Republican Presidential candidate, but a lone wolf President has never been successful.

Marco Rubio:

Rubio has no executive experience in his resume.  His experience includes:

  • While in Law School:
    • Interned for U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
    • Worked on Republican Senator Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign
  • April 1998, elected to a seat as City Commissioner for West Miami
  • Elected to the Florida House of Representatives in early 2000 and served for almost 9 years
  • Florida legislative session lasts only 60 days.  Rubio was able to spend about half of each year in Miami, where he worked first at a law firm that specialized in land use and zoning, and later starting in 2004, took a position with Broad and Cassel, a Miami law and lobbying firm, though state law precluded him from engaging in lobbying or introducing legislation on behalf of the firm’s clients
  • 2005-2008 Served as the Speaker for the Florida House of Representatives
  • 2008-Rubio started his own law firm
  • 2008-Also began teaching under a fellowship appointment at Florida International University (FIU) as an adjunct professor
  • 2011-Elected to the US Senate from Florida
  • In 2011, he rejoined the FIU faculty while serving as Senator
Rubio’s experience has been exclusively as an elected State or Federal official, a University professor, but he did start his own law firm for a period of time in between his tenure in the Florida House of Representatives and his election to the US Senate.
Rubio’s political positions have generally been conservative.  His biggest departure from conservative positions was his inclusion in the immigration “Gang of Eight”.  He still believes that illegal aliens should receive in-state tuition and that a path to citizenship should be granted to illegal aliens. 
Like Cruz, Rubio, has virtually no executive experience.  He is probably the best orator that is running for president on both sides of the aisle.  He is equal to Obama in oratory delivery.  His detractors claim that he is great at giving speeches but do not believe he has the experience to lead this nation at this point in his career.  He is also seen as too willing to give in to the left based on his support of the Gang of Eight immigration legislation, and, being “squishy” on H-1A and H-1B visas. 

Risk of Choice

Voting for a legislator who does not have either private or public sector executive experience, is taking a risk that they can learn on the job.  Leading is much different that being one in a herd; or, being the spoiler, or being one in the minority, or being one of many in the majority with contrary positions. 

The risk is that you end up with a President who cannot set priorities and plans to execute those priorities!  Get past the rhetoric, and ask yourself, how would this person be able to inspire the nation, the federal government bureaucracy, and the Congress to move this country forward.  After 8 years of Obama, we do not have time for On the Job Training!     

 

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