Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rubio’s sip was no fatal slip

navarrette column sig

By
From page A9 | February 17, 2013 | 1 Comment

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 ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

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

Delta barriers no longer needed

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
 
Supervisors voice concern on state Delta plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Dental clinic coming Friday, Saturday

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
Rotarians talk about running clinic to help Haitians

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District eyes new auditor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
County honors Purple Heart recipients

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Solano recognizes 1,300-strong volunteer corps

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Highway 12 night work scheduled in Delta

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Kids fishing derby in Fairfield is part of Earth Day

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Garamendi to host open house at Fairfield office

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
County approves Icon agreements

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9

 
Ceremony set to break ground for Suisun City Walmart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9, 19 Comments | Gallery

Dutch Bros. opening with free drinks

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9, 8 Comments

 
Golf tournament to raise funds for children

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Mustangs and More event moved back to October

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

 
Museum readies to host Sallie Fox Day in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Rotary club to host clay shooting derby

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A11

 
Ghost Walk returns to Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A11

 
NAMI talk on reducing mental health stigma

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
.

US / World

In Internet TV case, justices show concern

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

GOP candidate releases education policy overview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Biden: Russia must ‘stop talking and start acting’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Most Sherpas decide to leave Everest for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Jet stowaway at hospital; security issues linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
SKorea ferry toll hits 146 as search gets tougher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
In Ukraine’s east, mayor held hostage by insurgent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoons for April 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 

Groundwater becomes next big California fight

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Fairfield’s main problem is the mayor

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 6 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Solving and resolving life’s problems

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for April 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
 
A healthy take on the very not healthy Scotch egg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

How can I get my 12-year-old grandson to sleep in his own bed?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
DeGeneres making design series for HGTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

5 Fairfield runners finish Boston Marathon

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Prep swimming update: Postseason looms on horizon

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
SCC softball ends regular season with 29 straight wins

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL playoff game to air on ESPN for 1st time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Djokovic: Wrist better, will try to play in Madrid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pujols’ 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Beverly Hanson, forgotten pioneer in women’s golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Warriors announce new plans for SF arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Source: N.Y. Giants’ Hill facing 3rd suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors’ Curry eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spurs’ Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Raiders begin offseason workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NBA Playoffs: Raptors even series with Nets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Novartis reshapes business with GSK, Lilly deals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AT&T had strong 1Q on wireless installment plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Robert James Carty Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Richard P. Horn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Dondi Martin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Kyong Hee Maxwell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Norma O’Regan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7