Marco Rubio's Response To The State Of The Union Has Nothing To Do With Obama's Speech

Marco Rubio gave an inspired speech in response to Obama's State of the Union Address. Unfortunately it was responding not to Obama's speech, but Rubio's presidential aspirations.

Marco Rubio gave his "response" to Obama's State of the Union address shortly after Obama finished his. In it, Rubio outlined basic Republican principles of free enterprise and never raising taxes. The speech had to be written ahead of time to avoid saying anything silly that would come back to haunt him when he runs for President in 2016, and Rubio also delivered the same speech in Spanish, so to do anything like the same speech twice, he had to have it written down.

However, there's an obvious problem with writing a "response" before you have heard what you are responding to: you might miss the target entirely. Granted, some of the speech was leaked or hinted at, and excerpts were released ahead of time, but that didn't seem to concern Rubio too much.

Obama claimed that none of his proposals will add to the deficit. He didn't do the math on stage, but if we are to take him at his word, Rubio's speech makes no sense. Here's an excerpt:

Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity. 

But President Obama?  He believes it’s the cause of our problems.  That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.

Alright. Um...specifics? Obama proposed a lot of stuff, and sure, some of it involves spending, like universal Pre-K education. He didn't, to my ears, propose new taxes, though he did propose closing tax loopholes, something Republicans have also proposed. Is that what Rubio is referring to?

No, what Rubio is referring to is the reputation of the Democratic party that has little to do with what President Obama would like to accomplish in the next four years. Then again, Rubio's not too concerned with that. He's concerned with riling up his base in anticipation of a presidential run in three years.

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