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February 12, 2013 10:47 PM SOTU Live-Blog: Rubio Response

By Ed Kilgore

I’ve joked Republicans have been generous in offering three responses (Rubio, Paul and Nugent). I’m not watching Fox News, so haven’t heard anything from Nugent. Now Rubio’s up.

* Very early shout-out to anti-choicers. Now we’re getting a very cartoonish more government/less government lecture. Interesting he blamed the entire Great Recession on too much government.

* Predictions of ongoing Obamacare “disaster’ clearly going to be big GOP theme this year.

* Rubio’s “to be sure” qualification that government must play some role in life about as minimal as it gets.

* Now it’s pure, direct, second-person attacks on Obama. Pleases base, but not real persuasive.

* I guess GOPers believe voters will blame Obama for the sequester if they blame him one more time.

* Rubio’s disclaimer of interest in protecting rich would have been better if he had said: “I nearly declared bankruptcy myself!”

* This sounds like a 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest speech. Some “rebranding.”

* Rubio’s signature “rebranding” initiative, immigration reform, gets very brief treatment.

* Very weird higher ed section; apparent shout-out to for-profit schools.

* Obviously defensive rap on Medicare. Obviously didn’t anticipate Obama would say something new (though not a lot of detail) on the subject tonight.

* Weird projection of GOP false choice between big or small government onto Obama.

* Interesting but brief allusion to Santorum’s signature argument that cultural relativism cause of economic inequality.

* So we’re getting a very big dose of aspirational rhetoric at the end. Guess it excites some people.

* Better delivery than Jindal, but his speechwriter ought to be fired. Was there anything “new” in it at all? Even a single original line? Don’t think so.

Now listening to Paul Ryan on CNN, and it’s increasingly clear GOPers thought Obama was going to skin them alive. Maybe a head-fake that worked?

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.

Comments

  • Joe Friday on February 12, 2013 10:51 PM:

    Rubio advocating for the return to failed Bushonomics.

    Good luck trying to sell that, Marco baby.

  • Tom Marney on February 12, 2013 10:58 PM:

    "... it’s increasingly clear GOPers thought Obama was going to skin them alive."

    And for good reason. They deserve it. Lack of same won't keep them from their usual accusations of partisanship, though.

  • max on February 12, 2013 11:00 PM:

    Better delivery than Jindal, but his speechwriter ought to be fired. Was there anything “new” in it at all? Even a single original line? Don’t think so.

    And why would there be? They've changed the name of the place to 'Burger Emperor' and left everything else the same. WOO.

    It would be better to qualify the 'rebranding effort' as a 'reobfustication effort'.

    max
    ['I think Rubio is just campaigning for donor support right now, so he has to hit the right notes (and those notes are: MORE MONEY FOR RICH PEOPLE!).']

    p.s. Great posts, Ed and thank you. One kick: they're posted out of order and SOTU I is missing. I think.

  • martin on February 12, 2013 11:22 PM:

    Caught about 10 seconds of Rubio and he said "middle class" about 27 times. I don't think he's going to get a date with them anyway.

  • Harvey on February 12, 2013 11:27 PM:

    All this commenting is making me thirsty.

  • Bo on February 12, 2013 11:37 PM:

    I tuned in for Marco's GOP response to the SOTU but all I saw was some silly excuse for a Pohland Spring Water "product placement".

    That water may sooth a thirsty throat but it sure isn't a cure for "flop sweat". It was a bad night for Rubio . . . and that's great news!

  • James Conner on February 12, 2013 11:49 PM:

    That lunge for water. He should have sipped from a glass of orange juice, raised his glass to toast his viewers, and said, "Florida oranges, freshly squeezed."

  • sparrow on February 12, 2013 11:50 PM:

    Pretty obvious Rubio failed his screen test.

  • Rose on February 12, 2013 11:56 PM:

    James, too funny!

  • mmm on February 13, 2013 12:21 AM:

    Wow. Such an assessment on "Obamacare" that hasn't even been fully implemented yet. Even Michael Steele said he should have skipped the water. At least he didn't squirt it in his mouth like a jock.

  • del on February 13, 2013 3:11 AM:

    It was odd for him to state how he and his family benefitted from Pell Grants/student aide and Medicare and then try to make a point why they should be eliminated/reduced for all other Citizens/Americans. Also tried to slip in school vouchers using a special needs child and parents being able to send the child to school of their choice, did not go over well as to why there should be school vouchers. Overall got the impression while watching him deliver his remarks were "What SOTU did he just watch?"

  • Tom Marney on February 13, 2013 6:45 AM:

    I think Rubio blew a big fat doober before the speech as a dogwhistle to pothead voters.

  • Ixtlánero on February 13, 2013 8:36 AM:

    Note that Rubio rehashed that debunked smear (by implication at least) that government pressure to force loans was a/the major cause of the big crash. Just the same old crap.

  • Anonymous on February 13, 2013 9:14 AM:

    I tuned in for Marco's GOP response to the SOTU but all I saw was some silly excuse for a Pohland Spring Water "product placement".

    Funny. Viewing it was almost like watching a live uncut SnL skit.
    If Republicans are searching for a better salesman to avoid changing their product, it's clear they're going to have to do a lot better than Rubio.

  • Joseph McP on February 13, 2013 10:01 AM:

    Faux conservative as Tweety Bird: Tupac & gangsta rap good, Obama & VAW act bad. Obama & climate science...not twue, not twue.

  • LAC on February 13, 2013 10:05 AM:

    Rubio is the future of the GOP - if the future is taking on more water than the Titanic.

    And really? Government sucks...unless it is helping me.