January 25, 2016

This weekend, the Des Moines Register endorsed Marco Rubio, and he's just thrilled for a tiny sliver of sunshine in what might be considered a lackluster showing in Iowa. Also, it means Fox News put him on for the obligatory free campaign ad.

I just love it when Republicans start off their victory lap with a little gloom and doom. When they've got nothing, they speak in Fox-speak about how terrible everything is.

"Look, Barack Obama has done incredible damage to the United States over the last seven years," young Marco said.

Which damage is that, exactly?

Would it be the "damage" that got nearly 18 million more Americans access to health insurance?

Or is it the "damage" inflicted while the President ended two unnecessary wars?

It's awful how much "damage" has been wrought by bringing down the unemployment rate to 5 percent instead of Mitt Romney's projected 6 percent. Cluck, cluck.

Oh, I know! Perhaps he meant the "damage" caused as a result of Wall Street's greed and subsequent meltdown. Oh, wait. That happened under President Bush's watch, and was attributable to Republican policies passed while President Bill Clinton was in office. While they impeached, they stole.

Perhaps young Marco is speaking of the "damage" inflicted as a result of speaking to our sworn enemies and engaging them with diplomatic solutions instead of yet another World War? Then there's the terrible damage done as a result of beginning a normalization process with Cuba. Yes, that's just awful, isn't it?

Maybe he's talking about the damage done to clean air and water in states like Michigan. Except if he was, that would be Republicans doing Republican things in their Republican states. Those things are happening in spite of President Obama, not because of him.

Marco's general claim speaks to that part of the electorate who are just dissatisfied because they really, really want to vote against their own best interests and against the Democrats who have actually worked on their behalf. Well, that part and also the billionaires, of course.

Facts are pesky things, for sure. But the truth is, everything President Obama has done has been done with a tremendous and unreasonable amount of resistance. It is only his own intellect, good judgement, and determination to do what he can with what he's got that has gotten him this far.

Marco Rubio cannot even hope to stand on the same carpet, much less accomplish the same things in the same circumstances.

Young Marco going to have to come up with something better than that if he hopes to win a general election. It's not enough to make vague claims. He's going to actually have to be specific, and he cannot afford to do that.

Here's the transcript of the video at the top, via Fox News.

WALLACE: Let's start with breaking news, some good news, that is Iowa's biggest newspaper, The Des Moines Register, endorsed you over the weekend saying this, "Senator Marco Rubio has the potential to chart a new direction for the party and perhaps the nation with his message of restoring the American Dream."

Senator, how big of a deal is that for you in Iowa?

RUBIO: Well, what I feel is it's affirmation that our campaign is a serious campaign about solving the problems for this country. Look, Barack Obama has done incredible damage to the United States over the last seven years. So, our next president does need to be someone who is frustrated about that, but it also has to be someone who knows exactly what to do to undo this damage.

And my whole campaign has been build built on that, on a fundamental promise. And that is if we do what needs to be done, I believe this country can be greater than it's ever been and I believe our children can be the freest and most prosperous Americans that have ever lived.

So, that's what our campaign is built on. That’s why we're happy to have that endorsement. We had a second one yesterday as well from another newspaper, "The Sioux City Journal". So, we feel positive about the momentum that's gaining as we get closer to the caucuses, as you know, caucus-goers make up their mind on the day of the caucus or the days leading up to it. So, we feel like we’re gaining at just the right time.

WALLACE: On the other hand, Senator, one of my rules is campaigns is: don't pay attention to what politician say, pay attention to what politicians do.

There are reports this week that your campaign has pulled almost $1 million in ads in New Hampshire and Iowa, switching them from 60-second ads to 30-second ads. And there's a story in the paper today that says your campaign manager told some top supporters to expect a long slog well into April.

That sure doesn't sound like somebody who thinks he's going to win the early states.

RUBIO: Well, first of all, this is a long slog because of the number of people running. And it's a very unusual primary and a very unusual nomination cycle.

And, by the way, we did not cut any ads. We have more ads on television than any candidate in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina. We made some strategic shortening of adding, because we got better slots for him and at a better price. We're always looking to save money so we can redeploy it to things that reach voters.

And that’s what this campaign has to be about in the end. It has to be about convincing the largest number of voters possible that we are the right choice for the Republican Party.

I know this, if I’m our nominee, not only will Republicans be getting a solid conservative who will turn this country. I will beat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. And in the end, that this is what this is about for Republicans -- we cannot allow Hillary Clinton to win. This country cannot afford four more years like the last seven.

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