Skip to comments.Marco Rubio offers philosophical rebuttal (Takes water break in the middle of his speech)
Posted on 02/13/2013 7:19:51 AM PST by SeekAndFind
As I wrote earlier, I'm no fan of State of the Union speeches. I'm usually no fan of the opposition-party responses, either, for a variety of reasons. First, they suffer in comparison to the pomp offered the President and can't avoid seeming anti-climactic. The only person who ever really got that was Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who arranged to give his response in 2010 in the Virginia legislature, with his fellow Republicans offering applause in a venue that at least approximated that enjoyed by Barack Obama.
However, at least rhetorically, Marco Rubio took the correct path in responding to the usual SOTU laundry-list speech. In his rebuttal, Rubio stayed away from offering the Republican legislative agenda, and instead stuck to the Republican and conservative philosophies of governing and economics. Rather than try to compete with Santa Claus, Rubio explained that, in the words of Robert Heinlein, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch:
This opportunity — to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life — it isnt bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business, and when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.
Presidents in both parties — from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan — have known that our free-enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity.
But President Obama, he believes its the cause of our problems, that the economic downturn happened because our government didnt tax enough, spend enough, or control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more, and spend more. This idea — that our problems were caused by a government that was too small — its just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.
And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers, thats an old idea thats failed every time its been tried.
More government isnt going to help you get ahead; its going to hold you back. More government isnt going to create more opportunities; its going to limit them. And more government isnt going to inspire new ideas, new businesses, and new private-sector jobs; its going to create uncertainty.
Because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that small businesses cant afford to follow. Because more government raises taxes on employers who then pass the costs on to their employees through fewer hours, lower pay, and even layoffs. And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class often end up hurting them.
The only agenda item/hobby horse mention from Rubio was not a proposal for another government program. Rubio proposed yet again a balanced budget amendment to force government to live within its means. There are risks with this idea, which we’ve covered in depth, but as we continue to see massive annual deficits adding to our rapidly rising national debt, the risks are outweighed by the potential for catastrophe in the future.
Rubio also offered a stinging rebuttal to Obama’s demagoguery:
But his favorite attack of all is that those of us who dont agree with him, that we only care about rich people. Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors arent millionaires; theyre retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. Theyre workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. Theyre immigrants who came here because they were stuck in poverty in the countries where the government dominated the economy.
The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle-class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs. And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.
So, Mr. President, I dont oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors, hard-working middle-class Americans who dont need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. They need a plan to grow the middle class.
Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. Unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012. But if we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create middle-class jobs and it would reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion over the next decade.
Tax increases cant do this. Raising taxes wont create private- sector jobs. And theres no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. Thats why I hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.
It was an effective rebuttal, and well delivered. Instead of trying to outdo Obama on government freebies, Rubio offered a clear explanation of why those promises won’t work, and most of them won’t even be tried. At the same time, Rubio reset the Republican approach to middle-class economics, a point not lost on Politico’s Jonathan Martin:
The selection of Rubio to speak for his party marked the latest, and perhaps most overt, step in the GOPs rehabilitation project since Election Day, an effort to repackage its identity without altering its policies.
And at four separate moments in his remarks, Rubio went to great lengths to get the message across: The GOP isnt the party of rich white guys. …
Later, Rubio returned to the personal, noting that he had to foot his own college bills. When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago, he said.
And ,if he hadnt gotten his point across, Rubio came back to his class identity toward the end of his remarks in a paean to Medicare.
It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity, said Rubio of government health insurance for the elderly. And it pays for the care my mother receives now.
And if you thought you heard a common phrase laced throughout the remarks, you did: Middle-class came in for 16 mentions.
Just for the record, Obama’s much-longer speech only had eight mentions of the “middle class.”
Rubio provided himself a good argument for his ascendancy as the public leader of the Republican Party, not just on policy but also on philosophy. I’d bet that Rubio’s speech gets remembered for its content longer than Obama’s SOTU retread.
That being said, the time to hydrate is before the cameras roll.
It looked like he was on the verge of coughing or choking...that’s happened to all of us. The Dems are making some big deal out of this...then they can ignore what he said. Bunch of a****.
He’s in the running. Who is next?
To the Dems: There are more pressing issues in this country that who took a drink of water when...
He probably had to wash down the bad taste of talking about Obama’s lies!
Ted Cruz, we could use 50 like him in the Senate
Perhaps the best response would be a video encyclopedia, posted on YouTube, of every time Obama got a drink of water while the cameras rolled. With slow-motion replays of the times he did it awkwardly.
Sen. Marco Rubio joked with Good Morning Americas George Stephanopoulos about his water moment last night, when he paused during his speech last night to gulp some water. The event prompted a flurry of Twitter chatter before Rubio’s speech was finished.
When Stephanopoulos asked about the moment, Rubio grinned and reached for a bottle of water.
I mean I needed water, what am I going to do? he said. God has a funny way of reminding us were human.
Haven’t seen too much yet out these parts, from Ted Cruz.
Have however seen some (very) strong feedback here on FR.
Remain waiting to see about Ted. Seems good from the feedback.
RE: To the Dems: There are more pressing issues in this country that who took a drink of water when.
To the Libs, having a sip of water is SO much worse than carrying a teleprompter in your pocket for any speech, even to elementary school children, or letting Americans die in Benghazi, for that matter.
Human....so unlike our current _resident....
I’d rather see videosof Michelle eating with her mouth open....or with her elbows on the table...
At least Rubio doesn’t draw flies...something that has happened so often that the European press has even started snickering about it.
I went to DummyUnderground and apparently the deranged denizens there thought this was the worst gaffe ever committed by any politician ever. They just couldn’t get over Rubio taking a sip of water.
Heres a look at what watchers had to say on Twitter:
Oh Lord, I am thirsty now. #gulpgate Rubio was thirsting for fame and got hot and bothered with it all tonight. #Gulp #SOTU2013 Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) February 13, 2013
I blame climate change for Rubios unseasonal thirst. Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) February 13, 2013
Rubio - looking for a job as a bottled water spokesman, apparently. Brad Woodhouse (@woodhouseb) February 13, 2013
Republicans. Sponsored by: water. Refreshing. Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) February 13, 2013
Now, if Rubio reached for a mojito that would have been awesome. Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) February 13, 2013
Rubio going the way of Jindal - just slightly more nervous and with a little bit more sweat. Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) February 13, 2013
Jesus walked on water. Rubio drank it #saviors (ok, done) Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) February 13, 2013
MT @mmurraypolitics: Rubio is a very fine speaker, but tonight was a reminder why giving the SOTU response is a tough assignment NBC News (@NBCNews) February 13, 2013
As I was saying RT @joshmcelveen Marco Rubio These pretzels are making me thirsty. Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) February 13, 2013
Rubio is generally a very, very good speaker. But that was
not it. Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) February 13, 2013
Marco Rubio takes a panicked swig of water again and again gifboom.com/x/99f8db90 Salon.com (@Salon) February 13, 2013
The Rubio water thing is the move that launched a 1,000 .gifs. The Fix (@TheFix) February 13, 2013
Well delivered story telling for Rubio but at once sweating and thirsty. Did that happen in Spanish version? Kelly ODonnell (@KellyO) February 13, 2013
If Rubio had chugged a Shiner Bock instead of fru-fru bottled water, he might have my vote. Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) February 13, 2013
Even Marco Rubio is playing Marco Rubio drinking games. brad plumer (@bradplumer) February 13, 2013
Maybe TIME Mag was right about Rubio being a savior. John 19:28: So that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, I thirst. Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody) February 13, 2013
Twiiter going off on Marco Rubio water bottle. Really dousing him HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) February 13, 2013
Coming up next: exclusive interview w/ Marco Rubios water bottle. Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) February 13, 2013
And Marco Rubios water moment has a hashtag: #gulpgate Russell Schaffer (@RussOnPolitics) February 13, 2013
Good line ?RT @grossdmYouve heard of arch-conservatives? Rubio is a parched-conservative. #sotu EJ Dionne (@EJDionne) February 13, 2013
Rubio should auction the water bottle to some rich political dorks & donate the proceeds to charity. BOOM! I am a PR wizard. Scott Conroy (@RealClearScott) February 13, 2013
An equally impassioned drink of water that is trending on Twitter -@bwilliams on Marco Rubios drink during response TODAY(@todayshow) February 13, 2013
Stay thirsty, Americans - Marco Rubio Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) February 13, 2013
“God has a funny way of reminding us were human.”
How refreshing to hear a politician refer to God and know that he actually believes in Him.
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