Today may usher in the end of Marco Rubio's presidential quest - and perhaps his political career. Expectations are that he will fair poorly in the Florida primary, taking a third place finish. The irony is that it is the forces he rode to power that are not determined to end his career. I make no pretense about my dislike of the so-called Tea Party and its embrace of ignorance and thinly veiled racism. Rubio at one time prostituted himself to the Tea Party faction and now he is about to face the consequences of his heresy of once supporting comprehensive immigration reform. A piece in The Daily Beast looks at his likely payback today. Here are excerpts:
If Marco Rubio’s campaign flames out in Florida tonight, as polls suggest, it will be delicious revenge for the Tea Partiers who have been waiting years to embarrass the senator in his home state.“We’re going to have a sweet taste in our mouths tomorrow when little Marco gets embarrassed by those he betrayed. He betrayed all of Florida, but mostly he betrayed people like me who worked hard to get him elected,” said Dan Ray, a founding member of Tea Party group in The Villages, a large retirement community in Florida, where Rubio campaigned earlier this week.
When Rubio joined with the so-called Gang of Eight to propose a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill, Tea Party groups saw it as akin to an act of treason. They had supported the young lawmaker, preferring him to the alternative, Gov. Charlie Crist (who later became a Democrat). They had also trusted him on the issue of immigration—and worked as foot-soldiers to get him elected.
The people who elected him in 2010 don’t trust him anymore.”
Like Ray, Hall had supported Rubio in 2010, volunteering as a liaison for his staff with conservative activists. She now says she is “ashamed” that she worked so hard for him.Jack Oliver, the legislative director for Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, can recite the date, from memory, where he believes he was sold a bill of goods. It was Dec. 22, 2009, he said: the day when Rubio “conned us all... and then went out to con the rest of the citizens of Florida.”
Instead of a resounding victory on home turf, polls seem to indicate a humiliating defeat is in Rubio’s very near future. A number of public polls show billionaire businessman Donald Trump leading Marco Rubio by double digits, in some cases by more than 20 percentage points. A Quinnipiac University poll published Monday shows Trump leading Rubio in the senator’s home state, 46 percent to 22 percent.
Florida’s Tea Partiers have found at least one unifying theme to rally against once more: Repaying Rubio on Tuesday night—by making sure he loses big.
And Oliver couldn’t be more pleased: “I expect him to lose by double digits… The informed voters aren't buying his B.S. anymore.”