Earlier this evening, Marco Rubio officially declared that he's running for president. In my Twitter timeline, it seemed as if a lot of non-conservatives were impressed by Rubio's speech (or at least the journalists were). Over at Free Republic, by contrast, Rubio can't get any love:
He’s an untrustworthy backstabber.
Nope. I won't vote for Rubio under any conditions. I only vote for conservatives.
When one of our candidates is loved by the media [cough, John McCain, cough, Rand Paul] we should take a long, hard look at why that is.
They know that at best, Marco was suckered by Shumer and Obama on illegal aliens for two years! They know he plays ball with the establishment.
THIS is the dink that the left wants. If he loses, good. If he wins...good. A win-win for the left either way.
Just look at his smirk when he was photographed agreeing with Shumer on amnesty. I don’t despise the guy, but this lost me forever. He is out of his league.
Immigration and foreign policy/national security are the two big issues for me. Marco made a huge mistake teaming up with the gang og eight on amnesty. I will never trust him again. I didn’t even hear him mention illegal immigration in his speech. Obviously he intends to pander to the Latino/Hispanic vote.
From the very start of his political career he preached amnesty to Spanish speaking audiences like La Raza, and securing the border to English speaking audiences.
The speeches were available to watch online. Many articles discussing this were posted here and I participated in a lot of those threads.
So from day one it was indisputably clear that slimeball Rubio was a liar. The only question was...which audience was he lying to?
That is pretty clear now.
Need I go on? Now, granted, these people don't trust Jeb Bush either, and yet he's one of the front-runners. But Jeb will have a gazillion dollars to play with in this campaign, and Rubio won't.
I watched most of the speech and Rubio seemed as if he'd be a better general-election candidate than Jeb; it almost seems as if the percentage move would have been to drive both Romney and Jeb out of the race and make Rubio the great Establishment hope. But the Establishment went with Jeb. So Rubio will get a poll bump from this speech, then a thousand other candidates will announce and he'll drop back again.
However, if he does catch on, will haters go birther on him? I spotted this exchange at Fox Nation:
Yes, in his case it's not about his birth -- it's about the citizenship status of his parents when he was born. As the Tampa Bay Times noted in 2011, birthers have focused on Rubio for just this reason:
... they say Rubio is ineligible under Article 2 of the Constitution, which says "no person except a natural born citizen … shall be eligible to the Office of President."
The rub is that "natural born citizen" was never defined.
The birthers rely on writings at the time of the formation of the republic and references in court cases since then to contend that "natural born" means a person born to U.S. citizens. Rubio was born in 1971 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, his office said, but his parents did not become citizens until 1975.
Here's my question: If the Rubio campaign does somehow manage to catch fire and he threatens Jeb Bush's status as the king of the Establishment, will pro-Bush operatives try to use this to sow doubt about Rubio? Is the birther argument too insane even for the GOP primaries (at least among the less-crazy voters these two candidates will be pursuing), or will we see suspicious anonymous flyers bringing this up in, say, South Carolina? If so, I can't wait.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog