Rubio’s pandering knows no bounds


Given his history, Marco Rubio’s cynical opportunism in calling for General Milley’s removal is not surprising

Initial responses to difficult situations are often the best measure of a man. In his response to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Milley’s alleged “undermining of former President Trump,” Senator Rubio showed he’s not a man but a craven opportunist, calling for the firing of the general for treason. Why? Because Milley had the audacity to warn one of our adversaries, China, that he would prevent an attack if ordered by an increasingly unstable Trump after January 6. 

Who is Rubio pandering too? His base, of course. But in this case, it’s a base of one: Donald John Trump. In Rubio’s cynical, unprincipled mind, currying favor with the man who consistently humiliated him during the 2016 presidential primaries seems to be the best way to gain Trump’s support for his own presidential run in 2024 in the event Trump doesn’t run himself. 

But Rubio needs to be careful; he’s running for reelection in 2022. His disgraceful statements about a courageous general doing what was right would suggest that if Floridians had any sense, they wouldn’t send this obsequious panderer back to Washington.

My criticism of Florida’s senior senator goes way back, even before I moved to the Sunshine State.

In a December 2015 post entitled, Washington Post Pulls Cruz Daughters CartoonCandidates Consider Putting Their Families in Ads Hoping For Political Gain,  I riffed that Cruz’s opponents were envying his ability to take advantage of his daughters. Regarding Rubio, I wrote, satirically,

“…he was still weighing whether his ‘hijos’ could be used in tasteful and/or tasteless communication, waiting for some signal as to which would be more politically advantageous.” (BTW, just to show equality in sarcasm, I also wrote, “Senator Bernie Sanders angrily tweeted, ‘I’m so old, I don’t remember if I have any children.'”)

In a piece from January 2016, Sarah Palin to endorse TrumpRest of field scrambling for reality show endorsements,

I suggested that Rubio:

“…is seeking the endorsements of the entire cast of the reality show Cuban Chrome. Unfortunately, due to Rubio’s virulent anti-Castro rhetoric and his constantly shifting positions on immigration, it is unclear whether any of the show’s stars will be able to endorse Rubio without being either jailed in Cuba or deported from the U.S.”

Also that January, in Religion dominating Republican presidential race Cruz and Rubio trying to “out-Christian” each other,

I quoted Marco:

“The presidency of the United States is an extraordinary burden and you look at some of the greatest presidents in American history. They were very clear. They were on their knees all the time asking for God, asking God for the wisdom to solve, for the strength to persevere incredible tests.”

Then moved on to the satirical punchline:

Although Rubio said it was very clear, it is actually not very clear which of the “greatest presidents in American history” were “on their knees all the time” praying to God for wisdom. When pressed to name some of the presidents to whom he was referring, Rubio, channeling one of Sarah Palin’s most famous interviews, said, “Most of them. All of them.” Around the Block reached out to the Rubio campaign for clarification. Rubio’s spokesperson for Christian matters, Billy Bob “Bud” Powell said, “We are on our knees praying for guidance from above on this matter and will provide a list as soon as that guidance is received from on high.”

In a February 2016 post, Rubio becoming multi-religionistChanges religions as often as he changes shoes,

I riffed:

In a clear demonstration that he will pander to almost any group in order to secure the Republican presidential nomination, Florida senator Marco Rubio said today that while he is officially a Roman Catholic, he and his family also attend Evangelical services and, that when he was younger, he was a Mormon.
Speaking at the Reform Jewish Center of Greenville, SC, where he was the only person in the building wearing a kippah, the traditional Jewish head covering, Rubio indicated that he was going to adjust his schedule and begin attending Shabbat services “every Friday night from now on”. “Judaism is very important to me and my family,” Rubio said as his wife, Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio, distributed challahs she had baked that morning. Rubio went on to say that starting next weekend his four children, Amanda, Daniella, Anthony and Dominic would start attending Sunday school at Temple Israel of Greater Miami and that Amanda who is 15 and Daniella, 13, would celebrate a B’not Mitzvah together in the fall.
Later in the day, when asked, given his religious flexibility, whether he would consider adopting any other religions, Rubio answered, “I’ve been looking at many other religions with an eye towards which ones would be most politically advantageous for me from a pandering point of view.” When queried, the Rubio campaign, ever wary of denunciations from Donald Trump, indicated that Islam was not one of the religions the senator was contemplating.

Then, in March 2016 in Rubio wins BIG in Puerto Rico/Loses BIG on Super Tuesday 2Suspends campaign to become King of Puerto Rico,

I reported (tongue firmly in cheek):

In a stunning development, Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced today that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination to become the King of Puerto Rico.
Mr. Rubio’s made his announcement after he overwhelmingly won the Puerto Rican Republican primary with 71% of the vote but came in third in both Idaho and Hawaii and fourth in Michigan and Mississippi on Super Tuesday 2. Puerto Rican rules require a 70% vote threshold to become king.
On Tuesday night, Rubio made an emotional speech in San Juan in front of his Puerto Rican supporters, saying, “I am thrilled by the results here in Puerto Rico, so much so that rather than continue to be rejected by the voters of almost all the U.S. states, I intend to embrace the people of Puerto Rico by becoming your king.”

More recently, in April 2021, in Rubio y Cruz: Como dos guisantes podridos en una vainaRubio and Cruz: Like two rotten peas in a pod,

I noted the similarities between these two senators of Cuban heritage including, despite the fact that they were both savagely attacked and demeaned by their then opponent for the GOP nomination in 2016, Donald Trump, and despite the personal insults heaped on them, and despite the animus both had to have had to Trump, both became over-the-top Trump sycophantic toadies once Trump acceded to the presidency. With regard to Rubio:

  • Trump dubbed Rubio, “Liddle Marco;”
  • Trump accused Rubio of wearing make-up at one of the debates, suggesting it was applied “with a trowel;”
  • Trump ridiculed Rubio’s need for drinking water and, at one rally sprayed a crowd with a bottle of water saying, “It’s Rubio!”
  • Trump poked fun at Mr Rubio’s sweating habits, calling him a “nervous basket case” who “perspires more than anyone he had ever seen.” 

I concluded that column with this:

Yes, he’s not as outrageously flamboyant as his wicked colleague from Texas, but, demonstrated by his positions, he’s equally evil. As one of Florida’s Senators, he’s cast some pretty disturbing votes. Most recently, he voted AGAINST the latest COVID-19 relief bill. He also voted:

  • AGAINST humanitarian aid at the US/Mexico border;
  • AGAINST reversing a Department of Education regulation on student loans;
  • FOR the rushed nominations of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett;
  • AGAINST the conviction of the impeached Donald Trump; and more…

Speaking of positions, there’s one thing that you can be assured of: when it comes to taking a stand, opportunism is more critical than conviction for Señor Rubio. Not only is his post-disparagement support of Trump evidence of this, his opportunism during the 2016 campaign was legendary. 

I know there’s more to write and say about Florida’s shameless, opportunistic senator, but you get the point: Florida deserves a lot better than Marco Rubio!

Can you say, Val Demings?

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

2 thoughts on “Rubio’s pandering knows no bounds

  1. Dear Ted and Sharon, I know this isn’t your favorite Jewish Holiday but I am thinking about you anyway and sending you wishes for a sweet and less turbulent year it that is even possible with politics the way it is!!! We dodge a bullet in CA for the time being now lets see if we can do it in a few of these red states!!!!!!! Hugs and love, Toni



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