After [score]Marco Rubio[/score] dropped out of the presidential race Tuesday night, my Facebook feed lit up with praise for the senator from Florida, setting aside any and all negatives. On TV, the pundits talked about his speech (which I’ll admit was great), and how he ran a gracious campaign. It simply wasn’t the right time for optimism, they opined.
It’s a phenomenon similar to when a celebrity dies. No matter what they did in life, suddenly, everything changes, and you’re not allowed to speak ill of them. Marco Rubio dropped out of the race, so were prohibited from criticizing him. Well, I don’t follow these arbitrary rules. I speak ill of the dead if they deserve to be spoken ill of, and I’m here to ask the tough questions.
- Why, after losing 23 of 26 primaries/caucuses, did he not suspend his campaign?
- Why, after amassing only 163 delegates, did he not suspend his campaign?
- Why, after polls showed him losing Florida by an average of over 18 percent, did he not suspend his campaign?
There are two possible answers to these questions. One, Rubio was so delusional, he actually believed he had a path to the nomination. Two, he wanted to act as a [score]Ted Cruz[/score] spoiler. Rubio seems to be a pretty astute guy, so I’m more inclined to believe he simply wanted to act as a spoiler. Given that, what was/is his endgame? A brokered convention in which he ties himself to John Kasich as VP.
Rubio likely feels a great deal of animus toward [score]Ted Cruz[/score]. During the course of the campaign, Cruz repeatedly (and rightly) pointed to Rubio’s prior support of amnesty as his biggest weakness. It was relentless, and it clearly perturbed Rubio.
Cruz was right to do it.
Despite having run his senate campaign as a staunch opponent of amnesty, Rubio turned on his constituents and sponsored a massive amnesty bill just two years after going to Washington. For the last two years and change, Rubio has tried to distance himself from the failed bill, but ultimately, it seems the voters remembered his betrayal.
Considering Rubio’s rocky relationship with [score]Ted Cruz[/score], who else would he endorse but John Kasich?
Kasich is the George W. Bush of 2016, a “compassionate conservative”–a term I loath because it implies regular conservatism is callous or somehow bereft of compassion. He’s the last best hope of the establishment elites in Washington because they know he’d keep things essentially the same.
More than ever before, Kasich has dug his heels into the ground. He’s pushing for a brokered convention at which the party leaders will choose him over Donald Trump or [score]Ted Cruz[/score], whom they despise for different reasons. Kasich knows there’s no path to the nomination for him unless the party steps in and takes control. He wants a brokered convention, and has even admitted to it. His ego is such that he would allow the votes of millions of Americans to be nullified in pursuit of his goal.
I expect [score]Marco Rubio[/score] to endorse John Kasich within the next few days. Kasich will go into the convention with Rubio by his side, and make the argument that a Kasich/Rubio ticket is the only way to beat Hillary. The party leaders will agree, knowing both men are “establishment lite” and a far better option than Cruz, who would truly do some damage to the Washington culture. They would also get the added bonus of shutting Donald Trump out of the race.
After a voter revolt following a scam nomination, the party will do everything they can to promote Kasich/Rubio, but in the end, will lose to Hillary Clinton because millions of Republicans who feel betrayed by the party will stay home.
In the end, however, the establishment will get what it wants. Either Hillary Clinton wins, giving them opposition upon whom they can place blame for all their failures, or Kasich/Rubio somehow pull it off, and they avoid any true change to the D.C. elite culture for the foreseeable future.
If [score]Marco Rubio[/score] truly wanted to change Washington, he would have dropped out a long time ago. He didn’t. That alone is enough for me to see his true colors.
In the aftermath of Marco Rubio’s exit from the race, one of his past campaign advisers said that he believes Rubio supporters and conservatives should rally around Ted Cruz now.
It’s time for all Rubio supporters—and all conservatives—to unite around @TedCruz.
— Avik Roy (@Avik) March 16, 2016