RUSH: Marco Rubio is the latest to enter the Republican presidential sweepstakes. Serious man, powerful message. I wonder if with his speech last night he was able to bring back any of the Tea Party voters that had abandoned him. Only time will tell.
Something else interesting, too, that Jorge Ramos, who is with — I forget which network. Is it Telemundo or Univision? Jorge Ramos, the largest audience, Hispanic viewers, in American TV, noted that it is Republicans who have nominated two Hispanics, or have two Hispanics in the field. Univision seeking the Republican nomination, the first would be Ted Cruz and the second, Marco Rubio. And it’s the same old — he’s an identity politics guy. That kind of thing matters, but at least he pointed out that the Hispanic entrants are on the Republican side.
I don’t know what impact, if any, it’ll have. Too soon to say. But one thing we know is that Marco Rubio is a serious man, he has a serious message, and he has a very unmistakable joy in spreading that message, in informing people. He knows how to deliver it. He knows how to deliver it live. He doesn’t have to announce on Twitter. He doesn’t have to announce with a series of posts on social media. He can do it live in front of real people with a real camera. And he’s an emotional speaker. In fact, at some point last night, a couple of points it looked to me like he almost might tear up.
Now, I know Rubio has lost a lot of luster with some people on the Tea Party side because of his flirtation with the Chuck-U Schumer gang on amnesty and immigration. You can maybe chalk it up to two things. Chalk it up to novice naivete, trying to get his feet wet and establish himself within the power circles of the Senate. Or another explanation for it could have been that, given his Hispanic heritage, he almost had to, in the sense of identity politics, if he had any chance at all of securing any votes from that sector, he had to come out in favor of it. But whatever, he’s walked it back now, and we’ll just see how this is all gonna play out with Tea Party people.
It looks like, as you’re gonna hear in the sound bites coming up, to the extent that we can believe it, it looks like the Clinton campaign seems to be more fearful of Rubio than anybody. Now, they are admitting that, so it is doubtful. You have to judge their actions, not their admissions. But you’ll hear it, and you judge for yourself whether that is the case.
The one thing about Rubio, whether you disagree with him on what he did with amnesty and then walked it back or not, he does not have a likability problem. He is instantly likable. He’s motivational. He’s inspirational in a Reaganesque way because he has that family story, and he relishes telling that story. He thinks it’s inspirational. It was to him, and he wants it to be for everybody.
He is a great communicator, significant communicator, has a conservative message. Just over here he has that misstep on immigration with the Tea Party. Time will tell if that can be overcome. Now, we will see also if his policies match his rhetoric. His rhetoric is great, his persona is great, his energy is great. He’s a natural leader, it appears, and there will be a certain number of people who will relish and enjoy making Rubio their champion. He’s not gonna have to ask them, in other words. He’s not gonna have to do what Hillary is doing (imitating Hillary), “I want to go out, I want to be your champion. I want to be your champion, everyday people.”
He’s not gonna walk into Chipotle.
RUSH: It’s a good thing, the timing of Hillary announcing in her invisible state-of-the-art, high-tech, supposed to be high-tech way, on social media. Nothing live, nothing big, nothing extravagant, just a low-key rollout. And there’s Rubio last night, which was a stunning contrast, his announcement versus hers.
You know something else? Rubio is being ripped by the Drive-By Media for announcing at six p.m. last night, or around six p.m. The Drive-Bys are saying nobody does that. Everybody announces during the day. Everybody announces around one or two o’clock, or sometimes three after the Limbaugh show, but nobody announces at night. And then they figured out why. Rubio announced at night around six o’clock to make sure he was the lead or one of the lead items on Fox News, and the Drive-Bys said that’s not smart. Of course he was doing that. He’s pandering to these conservatives. That’s what Rubio’s doing and that’s cheap and it’s obvious.
So Hillary, whatever she does, fine. This is why this stuff bores me, folks. It actually does more than bore me. It irritates me to no end. It just does. I’m reaching the point, not quite there, but I’m reaching my saturation point on this, whatever you want to call it, unfairness, bias, whatever it is, the media being a joke, they’re not even the media anymore. It’s just the Democrat Party.
I’m kind of filled up with playing the game. I’ve kind of had it with treating them as the media, rather than just flat-out Democrat operatives, which is what they all are. And then following the templates and the narratives they set every day disguised as news stories. They are reduced to claiming, “Hey, man, look at Hillary, wow, she’s so new. We’ve never seen her eat a burrito before.”
And here comes Rubio, announcing his candidacy in a truly unique way, close to prime time at night, and they rip him. They’re ripping him for a lot of things while praising Hillary, and it’s just transparent as heck. It’s almost to the point now of becoming a waste of time to even chronicle this, because I think it’s so patently obvious to everybody.
Some quotes from Rubio’s speech just to highlight. He said: “This election is not just about what laws we are going to pass. It is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be. … Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday.” That’s a great line. He’s talking about Hillary. “Yesterday is over and we are never going back. … The family, not the government, is the most important institution. … We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them.”
His stuff was pointedly good. “Our very identity as an exceptional nation is at stake, and I can make a difference as president.” That will reverberate positively with lots of people. “I am humbled by the realization that America doesn’t owe me anything.” Now, I haven’t had a chance to see every bit of Drive-By Media reaction to the remarks that Marco Rubio made last night, but I’m gonna predict to you that, in the coming days, and as the campaign heats up, that statement is going to draw more and more attention. It will become more and more focused upon, and Rubio will be attacked for the statement and for what he intends it to mean with people.
This is going to be the equivalent of a dog whistle comment, they will say. This is going to be the equivalent of Rubio speaking in code to his racist, sexist, anti-welfare buddies. “I am humbled by the realization that America does not owe me anything.” The word choices there stand out to me, anyway. He could just as easily have said, “America doesn’t owe me anything. America doesn’t owe any of us anything.” But he didn’t say that. He said he was humbled “by the realization that America doesn’t owe me anything.” That’s a bit different than just making the blanket statement. I’ll explain as the program unfolds.
He said, “I heard some suggest I should step aside and wait my turn, but I cannot. If we fail, they will be the first generation of Americans to inherit a country worse off than the one left for their parents.” He’s talking about his kids.
RUSH: Okay, let’s get to the audio sound bites. I know that Rubio’s been using the line “America doesn’t owe me anything, but I owe America everything.” That’s his take on “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Now, I don’t know how often the Drive-Bys have heard him use that line, but I guarantee you they’re gonna hear this, they have now, and it’s just a question of what they choose to zero in on where.
For you Rubio fans, I’m just giving you a little heads up here that they’re gonna zero in on all of it. I don’t mean to say they’re gonna leave him unscathed, but this line, “I am humbled by the realization that America doesn’t owe me anything,” that’s gonna be used as an attack. That’s gonna be viewed as code language, dog whistle to certain types of mean-spirited extremist Republicans who don’t care about anybody else. It’s gonna be said to be targeted at the rich and so forth. And particularly the part about, “I am humbled by the realization.”
Because he’s saying two things. It’s not just “America doesn’t owe me anything.” That’s one thing. But now he’s throwing down the gauntlet by saying “I’m humbled by the realization,” because that means that a lot of other people don’t have any humility and a lot of other people have all these selfish expectations that they are owed something. So he’s laying down a character marker in that statement as well as a policy belief. It’s when conservatives start talking character and morality that the left gets their backs up and their red flags go up, because they know they have no defense. That’s when they begin the all-out politics of personal destruction.
I’m just predicting to you that that will be one of the early things — well, maybe not early — eventual things they get to, as they begin the process of disqualifying Rubio in the eyes of low-information voters, which essentially they’ve already begun. But let’s listen to the speech itself in sound bite format. It was in Miami at the Freedom Tower, announcing he’s running for president late in the evening, around six p.m., timed in order to make the lead news items on Fox News all night.
RUBIO: This election is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be. Now, just yesterday a leader from yesterday (booing) began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over. (cheers) And we’re never going back. We must change the decisions we are making, by changing the people who are making them.
RUSH: We have edited the applause as we always do in these bites because it’s extensive, and it was lengthy. Here’s the next.
RUBIO: I live in an exceptional country where the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege. (cheers and applause). I’ve heard some suggest that I should step aside and wait my turn. But I cannot. Because I believe our very identity as an exceptional nation is at stake and I can make a difference as president. (cheers and applause)
RUSH: By the way, I can tell you firsthand, personally, he has believed this for a while. This is not a campaign slogan. This is not something that they put together at the campaign headquarters that they think will resonate here. He really believes this. He fears for the future of the country. He fears the whole concept of American exceptionalism is in the process of being lost.
The business about waiting your turn, I don’t know where that comes from. If anybody has been waiting their turn, it’s Mrs. Clinton since 1992. It was finally her turn in 2008, and they got a big shock and a big surprise, some skinny guy from Illinois came along after making a great speech, people thought, in 2004, and they just swept her aside. They swept aside the aging female and instead chose the young, vibrant, clean and articulate — Joe Biden, thank you — African-American.
The Hillary campaign slogan unstated this year is, “No surprises this time.” Talk about waiting your turn. The waiting your turn thing never works out. Bob Dole was the nominee in ’96 ’cause he waited his turn. McCain was the nominee in 2008 because he waited his turn. The worst thing that can happen is when your party decides to reward you with a guaranteed-to-lose presidential nomination to get you out of the way because it’s your turn, and here’s payback for all you’ve done for us.
Walter Mondale was a “it’s his turn” kind of guy in 1984. There was no way that Walter F. Mondale was gonna be elected president no matter who he was running against. He’d been a loyal vice president to Jimmy Carter. He’d been a loyal Democrat from the Democrat Farmer-Labor Party in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’d done well with Hubert Humphrey and all that. It was time to get him his payment at a time everybody knew he had no chance, so let him win the nomination, get him out of the way, don’t waste a lot of big money donors on the guy, and that’s what waiting your turn means.
I don’t know that Rubio meant it that way. Waiting your turn in his context might mean, “You know what, Marco, you haven’t been in the Senate long enough. You need a little more seasoning there, Marco. You need a little bit more experience.” Of course, they never said that about Obama.
In fact, some of the Drive-By Media criticism of Rubio — are you ready for this? — some of the criticism of Rubio, and you’ll hear this too coming up in the sound bites — he doesn’t have the fame that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush do. He does not have the fortune. He does not have the wealth. He does not have the money that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton have. And he does not have the experience.
Does anybody remember any of that being said about Obama?
RUSH: A couple of more Rubio sound bites from his announcement speech last night. This is the sound bite in which he admitted to being humbled by the realization that America doesn’t owe him anything.
RUBIO: I’m humbled by the realization that America doesn’t owe me anything. But I have a debt to America I must try to repay. This isn’t just the country where I was born. America’s literally the place that changed my family’s history.
RUSH: I guarantee you that at some point, if it hasn’t happened already, critics of Rubio, primarily Democrats and the media, are gonna zero in on this statement of his that he’s humbled by the realization that America doesn’t owe him anything. They’re gonna say that that is a swipe at the less fortunate. They’re going to say that it is insensitive. They’re going to say that this illustrates how Rubio does not understand the plight of most people living in this country. Liberals don’t understand the concept of humility anyway.
I’ll tell you a little story. It’s been a long time since I shared this with you. My first book, The Way Things Ought to Be, 1992, book party is at 21 Club. I didn’t want to go ’cause I wasn’t gonna know anybody there, but it was one of these things that as an author you had to do, you had to do the book party. Okay, so I went.
I don’t remember his name, but some ranking executive at Time Life at the time, TIME magazine, LIFE magazine, came up to me. He was an elderly guy in his seventies, but he was well known, I just can’t remember his name, very, very well known, particularly in the journalism business. The book was number one on the New York Times list and had opened that way. It ended up being there for 54 weeks.
The guy comes up to me and says, “How does it feel? First-time author nobody’s ever heard of.” He was nice, by the way, don’t misunderstand. “How does it feel? Number one best-seller.” And I said, “I’m kind of humbled by it.” And he hadn’t the slightest idea. He looked at me with the most perplexed look on his face. He tilted his head, stroking his chin, “Humbled? Humbled? That’s all you’ve got to say, you’re humbled by it?”
I said, “Yeah. That this many people would go out and buy this thing and recommend it to others? Yeah, I’m quite humbled by it.” He didn’t understand it. I don’t know what he was expecting, so I was left to assume what he was expecting. All I could do is project, “Okay, what would this guy think if he had a number one selling book?” But the point is that the notion of expressing humility totally escaped him. In fact, it was silly. Not only did he not agree with it, he thought it was naive and silly.
And here’s Rubio, and I’m guaranteeing you that at some point somebody’s gonna zero in on this, “I’m humbled by the realization America doesn’t owe me anything.” They’re gonna nail him or try to on two different aspects of that.