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MEMO: Why Rubio Can’t Wake Up The GOP From Florida’s “Nightmare”

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: DSCC

DATE: May 27, 2016

RE: Why Rubio Can’t Wake Up The GOP From Florida’s “Nightmare”

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Republicans are panicking in Florida. Stuck with a deeply flawed field of Senate candidates who have become “the Republican nightmare nobody wants to talk about,”  they are now  publicly begging Marco Rubio to run for re-election as their “savior”. The problem with that plan? Rubio is a terrible fallback option. After suffering a crushing defeat in his home-state that forced him to drop out of the GOP Presidential Primary, Rubio has returned to the U.S. Senate –the job he admitted disliking – a deeply damaged and unpopular figure in his home state.

 

The Presidential Primary Revealed Rubio’s Out-of-Touch Policies and Severe Weaknesses As a Candidate

In his futile attempt to win over Republican primary voters, Rubio took numerous policy stances that revealed how out-of-touch he is with the people of Florida. Here’s a look at a few of these positions:

  • Rubio confirmed his opposition to a woman’s right to choose WITHOUTexceptions for rape or incest
  • Rubio released a tax plan that would give a massive tax break to the top 0.1 percent of Americans
  • He was one of just 22 Senators to vote againstreauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

 

Not only did Rubio take fringe positions that would hurt Floridians, he also faced brutal attacks for his misuse of a state-party credit card, leading to questions about his “messy finances.”

 

And who could forget the now infamous Rubio-bot short circuit? His performance in a February debate in New Hampshire where he repeated the same talking point multiple times was described as “a malfunctioning cyborg,” “self-destructive,” and “cringe-worthy,” to name a few. This disastrous debate appearance, while devastating to his campaign, also left the lasting impression with voters in Florida and across the country that there is very little substance to Rubio beyond his rote messaging points.

 

Rubio Became Known for Failing to Show Up for Work 

One of Donald Trump’s few statements that has not been rated false by PolitiFact was his claim that Rubio has “the number one absentee record in the United States” Senate. As  PolitiFact noted, Rubio missed a whopping 41% of Senate roll call votes while running for President. And although Rubio often touted his role on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, a review of his record from 2011 to February of this year showed he missed 60 percent of the hearings held.

 

Rubio didn’t even try to defend his absenteeism, explaining his abysmal attendance record by expressing how much he dislikes the Senate. A longtime friend told the Washington Post that Rubio “hates,” the Senate, and Rubio himself could only offer: “That’s why I’m missing votes. Because I am leaving the Senate. I am not running for reelection.” Rubio’s disdain for his job as Senator and disrespect to the Floridians who elected him to do a job was not well received back home. The Sun Sentinel even penned a brutal editorial telling Rubio that he should resign instead of “ripping [Floridians] off.”

 

Rubio spent months making clear how much he disliked his current job while he asked voters for a promotion, and it would be a tall order to convince voters they should send him back.

 

 

Floridians Resoundingly Rejected Him on Primary Night, Demonstrating How Damaged He’d Become at Home 

In what was the nail in the coffin for his flailing presidential campaign, Marco Rubio lost his home state of Florida by nearly twenty points to Donald Trump. The map below speaks for itself on just how crushing Rubio’s defeat was.

map

Source: The New York Times 

 

The effects of Rubio’s bruising and unsuccessful presidential run have left him damaged in the eyes of Florida voters. A poll released just two weeks ago found his approval ratings underwater and at the lowest point they’ve been since he was elected to the Senate in 2010.

 

But perhaps Rubio’s chances at home were always overrated. He has never won a majority of the vote in a statewide election—as his 2010 victory was greatly aided by the fact it was a 3-person race, where independent Charlie Crist garnered nearly thirty percent of the vote.

 

Bottom Line – Rubio Will Not Be the Savior Republicans Want Him to Be.

Even if he makes the decision to enter the messy Florida primary, Marco Rubio will not be able to win this seat for Republicans. In fact, with the current field showing no signs of dropping out, he might not even make it through the primary. He was always a deeply flawed candidate who is too extreme for Florida, but his presidential run left him even farther to the right and associated with terms like “No Show Senator” and “RubioBot.” And Rubio’s willingness to fall in line behind Donald Trump and even speak on his behalf at the national convention, after months of questioning his qualifications and rhetoric, shows that Rubio is still the same guy who will put his political ambition before the people of Florida.

 

This desperate Hail Mary by panicked Republicans shows just how much trouble they are in in Florida. It might make headlines, but it won’t work. Rubio won’t be Florida’s Senator come 2017, whether he runs or not.

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