Marco Rubio is a rock star. He’s young, he’s handsome, and he’s Hispanic. The Republican senator from Florida has plum committee assignments, dropped a book in the fall, and gave the state of the union response. It is no secret that he is positioning himself as a 2016 presidential contender.
But in the midst of the latest government shutdown Rubio has been missing in action.
In contrast, his Senate colleague Ted Cruz has been front and center, leading the Republican “take no prisoners” strategy in the quest to defund Obamacare.
While Rubio was elected in part on the strength of the Tea Party, it is Cruz who has become the leader and the face of the Tea Party movement. By extension he has also become the leader of the Republican Party steering it to his preferences. Not a bad spot to be in for someone who also has presidential aspirations. There is no question where Cruz stands in the shutdown showdown and he’s not afraid to say it.
At the moment, Cruz is the dominant political voice in his party, but he doesn’t speak for all. There is a growing number of Republicans who don’t subscribe to the hostage-taking strategy and want to put an end as quickly as possible to the government shutdown. Most of these voices come from potential 2016 presidential contenders.
Govs. Jindal, Walker, and Christie have criticized the shutdown. So has Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Representative Peter King of New York. Paul Ryan, the former vice presidential candidate who may run again, wrote an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal proposing some way out.
Marco Rubio? Silence.
Victoria Defrancesco Soto
Friday, 11 October 2013