Tuesday, March 31, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rubio’s sip was no fatal slip

navarrette column sig

By
From page A9 | February 17, 2013 |

SAN DIEGO — Here’s a thought that Republicans should find as refreshing as a cool drink of water: Marco Rubio drives liberals crazy.

The Florida senator had an awkward moment while giving the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Rubio had just taped his remarks in Spanish, before giving his speech live in English. This marked the first time someone had given the response in two languages. So he was doing double duty. Naturally, his throat got parched, and he reached for a bottle of water. It was human and funny.

Yet, while Rubio laughed off the incident in media interviews the next day, liberals won’t let it go. It’s all they’re talking about, and this gives away how much they fear the guy.

The way those on the left react to Rubio – a possible 2016 presidential hopeful – goes beyond the resentment they feel toward Latinos who embrace conservatism. Those folks are always an annoyance to the left, which says it believes in freedom of expression – at least in theory. But in practice, the only thing it wants to hear minorities express is a full-throated allegiance to liberalism and the Democratic Party. After all, where would all these high-achieving minorities be without the generous support of liberals for life-altering programs such as affirmative action?

Yet in the case of Rubio, the usual hostility toward Hispanic Republicans seems to be only the starting point. Marco isn’t just defiant. He’s dangerous.

Take it from former White House adviser Van Jones. During an appearance on CNN, Jones said that Democrats “dodged a bullet” when Rubio took that sip of water.

“People can chuckle today,” Jones said of those on the left. “They’re going to be worried about this guy tomorrow.”

No doubt. What Democrats need to worry about is that it won’t be so easy to portray this Cuban-American son of a bartender and hotel maid as a symbol of privilege. Many middle-class voters can identify with Rubio’s journey, and feel good about the fact that the American Dream is alive and well. And, if Rubio does run for president, the problem that plagued Mitt Romney – i.e., his inability to relate to everyday Americans – probably won’t be issue. Not only that, the 41-year-old is an attractive candidate and an excellent communicator.

“Rubio is dangerous for Democrats,” Jones said. “I’m so glad we’re talking about him and that we’re joking about him because right when he reached for that water bottle, he was reaching an emotional part of the speech which he stepped on.”

Jones centered on the last 90 seconds of Rubio’s remarks, which he said were extremely powerful. As he put it, Rubio “is to the heart what Paul Ryan is to the head. . . . This man can connect emotionally.”

Connecting was what Rubio’s remarks were all about. In focus groups, voters of all colors and backgrounds said that they could relate to Rubio, and felt he understands their fear and frustration over a fragile economy, a weak job market, and a national debt of more than $16 trillion. This was a message Rubio hit hard during his remarks.

“Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich,” he said. “I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors – hard-working middle-class Americans who don’t need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. They need a plan to grow the middle class.”

And what about Rubio’s ability to connect with that one group that can make or break the GOP’s efforts to reach out to Hispanics – Mexican-Americans in the Southwest?

Let’s see. Rubio’s parents were Spanish-speaking immigrants (not refugees, as with many other Cubans who come to the United States). They worked hard in menial jobs and emphasized education as the way for their children to live out their dreams. Rubio entered politics, challenged the power structure as an underdog and triumphed against long odds. Sound familiar?

Now, in the Senate, he is scolding fellow Republicans for taking a tone on immigration that has been intolerant, insensitive and inconsistent with conservative principles. And despite resistance from the radical fringe of his party, he is standing his ground – and communicating his message, not just in English but also in perfect Spanish.

Oh dear. It’s enough to drive Democrats to drink.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at [email protected]

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • BobFebruary 17, 2013 - 11:48 am

    "this gives away how much they fear the guy." I think that hard-core, old-style Republicans may fear him even more than the Democrats will. He would mark a great departure from what has become traditional for the GOP.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 16 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

 
 
Ex-FBI agent sentenced to 10 years in Afghan kickback scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
BNSF railroad adds new safety rules for crude oil trains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
California leaders routinely use private email

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Church van crashes into canal, killing 8 and injuring 10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee pastor, son who saved 3 boys among Carnegie Heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pentagon chief considers easing of enlistment standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
NSA: Car smashes into police vehicle at Fort Meade; 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Former Israeli Premier Olmert convicted in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecutors: Co-pilot treated for suicidal tendencies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Guinea shuts border with Sierra Leone in effort to end Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Saudi-led forces strike Yemen rebels, blockade ports

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Iran nuclear talks near deadline; differences remain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecution rests its case against Boston Marathon bomber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Opinion

Rebuild Gaza to avert next war

By Former President Jimmy Carter | From Page: A13

 
Reid’s US Senate legacy: Obstruction

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A13, 4 Comments

State moves up national school spending chart

By Dan Walters | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 31, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

NBC, Cirque du Soleil bringing ‘The Wiz’ to TV, Broadway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Animal Planet lives wild with its new programming slate

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Attorney: Robin Williams’ wife wants to keep wedding tuxedo

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eliane Elias enjoys musical homecoming on new CD

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
5 things to know about new ‘Daily Show’ anchor Trevor Noah

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
TVGrid March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Four No. 1 seeds in the women’s Final Four

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
UConn reaches 8th straight Final Four with win over Dayton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Grizzlies beat Kings 97-83 to end three-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cauley-Stein, Kaminsky, Okafor among Wooden Award finalists

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hendricks’ shutout streak ends, Cubs top Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lawrie hits 2 homers as A’s rout Rockies 11-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Montoya has swagger back, but also shows softer side

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A year later than expected, Michigan St back in Final Four

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Connecticut governor: move ’16 Final Four unless law changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders re-sign free agent defensive lineman C.J. Wilson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

2 Alabama players arrested in separate weekend cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Falcons fined, lose draft pick for pumping in fake noise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Racial quotas controversy re-emerges in South African sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NFL suspends Browns GM for texting, team holds onto picks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kaminsky, Okafor lead 2014-15 AP All-America team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Ex-NASCAR driver gets jail after 3-state high-speed chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Nebraska, winner in 14 of last 15, at front of Big Ten surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McGraw appreciates Notre Dame women’s run more than ever

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Gonzaga’s great season ends in Elite Eight but more ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
StubHub files lawsuit against Ticketmaster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Judge again rules Joe Paterno can’t sue for contract breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Free agent linebacker Lance Briggs visiting with 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fiancee says she discarded box at Aaron Hernandez’s request

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

US consumer spending edges up 0.1 percent in February

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UnitedHealth bulks up for prescription drug cost battle

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Business forecasters boost 2-year outlook for US economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Amazon.com offering to help get jobs done around the house

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

McDonald’s to test all-day breakfast beginning in April

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
SEC files fraud charges against Lynn Tilton, firms

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US university, foundation invested in frozen Chinese stocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Regulators plan to drop case at closed California nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Michigan entrepreneur claiming idea for Heinz Dip & Squeeze

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

For Better or Worse March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Zits March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Get Fuzzy March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Bridge March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sudoku March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Baby Blues March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

B.C. March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Peanuts March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baldo March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dilbert March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sally Forth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Wizard of Id March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7