Marco Rubio can't save the Republican Party

Marco Rubio can't save the Republican Party
Sen. Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio is everywhere lately.

The Florida senator was recently on the cover of Time magazine with the headline, "The Republican Savior."

An ABC headline described Rubio as a "Latino symbol for the GOP."

On Tuesday night, Rubio gave the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address.

Republicans are using Rubio in an effort to court Latino voters. They know they need to woo more Latinos into their party or they will have a hard time winning the presidency again.

Around 27 percent of Latinos who voted in 2012 supported Republican Mitt Romney down from 31 percent for John McCain 2008 and 40 percent for President George W. Bush in 2004, according to Pew Hispanic.

Somehow Republicans think that promoting a handsome Latino face will help them win Latino voters.

They think they can sway voters by having Rubio speak in Spanish.

But it's not so simple.

Rubio's family story of fleeing Cuba while compelling is different than the majority of Latinos in the United States.

He said in his response Tuesday night that his dad was a bartender and his mother worked as a cashier and maid. He explained how they made it to the middle class.

"My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one," Rubio said.

But Cubans have an advantage. They are given an automatic pathway to green cards and eventual citizenship. This is because our government has been against the Castros and against Communism.

Yes it's true many Cubans face political oppression and economic hardship.

But so do Mexicans and many other Latin Americans. You can't say that people in Mexico don't have to deal with political corruption and also now with violence from the drug cartels that puts lives in danger in many regions of Mexico.

But politicians tell them to "get in line."

What President Obama fails to explain is that there is no line. For some the wait is 15 to 20 years based on quotas. That is not a line but almost a lifetime of waiting.

That is why some people have come here without papers because waiting for many meant the difference between feeding their families or going hungry. It meant staying in a country where there is little to no opportunity or finding a way into the United States to try and make a better life.

For most Cubans the waiting time to get a green card is just a year.

They have an advantage that most other immigrants are not granted.

Now Rubio also supports immigration reform, a position he has come to very slowly.

Rubio's story and his political beliefs will not resonate with many Latinos.

Let's also not forget that Rubio opposed the Violence Against Women Act.
He's against President Obama's health care plan and against Wall Street reform. He also is a religious conservative who debunks science.

"Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that," Rubio told GQ magazine. "It's one of the great mysteries."

Scientists have long estimated that the earth is 4.54 billion years old.

The GOP can try to deliver a new messenger but most Latinos won't buy it unless they come up with a new message.

 

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