Political Animal


November 19, 2012 1:45 PM Rubio’s Best Friend (Other Than His Wife)

By Ed Kilgore

A GQ interview with Sen. Marco Rubio is mainly getting attention because of his incoherent answer (“I’m not a scientist, man!”) to the question: “How old do you thing the Earth is?” Brother Benen notes that Rubio is a member of the Senate Science Committee (not necessarily a big credential since the House counterpart committee includes such fine specimens as Todd Akin and Paul Broun). Sarah Posner tries to dissect Rubio’s “word salad.”

Others, I suspect, will focus on Rubio’s discussion of his favorite rap songs, which turn out to be:

“Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A. “Killuminati” by Tupac. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

But I found this exchange most interesting:

GQ: Who’s your best friend?
Marco Rubio: My wife. We talk every day.
GQ: Besides your wife.
Marco Rubio: [South Carolina Senator and Tea Party favorite] Jim DeMint. He’s a great source of wisdom as a person who’s had to make decisions that have made him unpopular in his own party. Jeb Bush is another guy I admire for his ability to analyze issues and call them for what they are.

Wow. It’s bad enough that Rubio mentions his Florida political patron, Jeb Bush, as an afterthought. But anyone who thinks of Rubio as a potential GOP vehicle for “modernizing” the party should think again given his proud kinship to the antediluvian DeMint, the heaviest right-wing heavy of them all. You don’t need to be a “scientist, man” to spot a brontosaurus when you see one.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Rico on November 19, 2012 2:05 PM:

    So when are the Rs going to change their symbol from the elephant to the Dinosaur?

  • c u n d gulag on November 19, 2012 2:28 PM:

    "You don’t need to be a “scientist, man” to spot a brontosaurus when you see one."

    You are EN FUEGO today, Ed!

  • Peter C on November 19, 2012 2:32 PM:

    At least he didn't say 'Jesus Christ'. He's still pandering to the bigwigs and not the masses, I guess.

  • zandru on November 19, 2012 2:38 PM:

    "You don’t need to be a “scientist, man” to spot a brontosaurus when you see one."

    These days, they're known as "apatosaurus". When their fossilized bones were first discovered in the 19th century, someone put on the wrong head-bone, resulting in an improper classification. Hmmm - maybe you DO have to be a scientist. Man!

    And, by the way, ;-)

  • Ronald on November 19, 2012 2:49 PM:

    This is gonna be fun:

    GQ: How do you balance ambition and humility?
    MR: I'm a bad motherfucker and you know this
    But the pussy ass niggaz don't show this
    But I don't give a fuck, I'ma make my snaps
    If not from the records, from jackin' the crops

    GQ: Do you think you're moving too fast?
    MR: After the fire comes the rain, after pleasure there's pain
    Even though we broke for the moment, we'll be ballin again

    GQ: Do you want to be one of those people?
    MR: Don't make me act the motherfuckin' fool
    Me you can go toe to toe, no maybe
    I'm knockin niggaz out tha box, daily
    Yo weekly, monthly and yearly

    GQ: The Republican strategy after Obama came into office was to make sure the president didn't have another term. The Republicans didn't have a plan and were just going to say no to everything the president put forth.
    MR: His soul's escaping, through this hole that is gaping
    This world is mine for the taking, make me king
    As we move toward a new world order, a normal life is boring

    (with thanks to GQ for the questions, and Niggaz with Attitude, 2Pac and Eminem for the answers)

  • howard on November 19, 2012 2:53 PM:

    jim demint is unpopular in the republican party? since when?

  • low-tech cyclist on November 19, 2012 3:54 PM:

    "You don't need to be a 'scientist, man' to spot a brontosaurus when you see one."

    See, they're right - dinosaurs DO coexist with humans!

  • rachelrachel on November 19, 2012 3:59 PM:


    The correct scientific style is to capitalize and italicize generic names. Therefore, not




    But this isn't a scientific journal, so there's no reason why the correct scientific terminology needs to be used.

    I don't have any problem telling my neighbor, "Your daffodils are just lovely."

  • zandru on November 19, 2012 4:14 PM:

    @rachelrachel: Thanks!

  • boatboy_srq on November 19, 2012 4:23 PM:

    @howard: Jim DeMint has made himself unpopular with sane Republicans. Mind you, sane Republicans have been leaving the GOTea in droves, so it's not especially salient at this point. In a way, DeMint has been enforcing Teahad orthodoxy - merely by shrinking the tent.


    Rubio is tapdancing faster than any GOTeahadist I've seen, just to be perceived as unlike the first-gen GOTea tools like Angle, Akin and the others who shot themselves in the foot with their unpleasant honesty.

    Both this statement and his "not a scientist" line deserve closer scrutiny. His BFs are his wife, the Grand Teahadist, and then his patron? Wow. That manages to diss both the Bushes and his faith in one fell swoop. Statements like that cannot be accidental. As for his "not a scientist" line, has anyone else noticed that for Rubio, the age of the Earth is something best decided in debate between theologians, and that science - once we're all assured he's not in that sphere - has no further part in the discussion?

  • Kathryn on November 19, 2012 4:27 PM:

    Frankly, just considering the presidential elections in 2016 is nauseating, but is there any doubt that Sen. Rubio is just another lightweight the GOP has a crush on whose only claim to consideration is that he's Cuban-American? I'd be shocked, to say the least, if he does the necessary study and work to make himself a credible or competent candidate anymore than Sarah Palin did or the rest of the motley crew that ran in 2012.

  • bluestatedon on November 19, 2012 8:44 PM:

    Marco Rubio will be the Tim Pawlenty of 2016.

  • Hue and Cry on November 19, 2012 9:30 PM:

    He seems the ultimate lightweight--I love the term.

    Just dallying at fame, made a bit bouyant by getting to speak at the convention...no notable level of competence, not good on his feet as evidenced by his impulsive praise of the openly bigoted Jim Demint first and foremost when stumped by a question....
    Mum always said who you hung out with said a lot about ya

    "The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract."
    ~~~~Oliver Wendell Holmes