Poor Marco Rubio. The shining light of the GOP, the one many hope will lead the party out of the desert, didn't fare so well in his delivery of the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address. And for good reason (as David Horsey pointed out): he was stuck of the old rhetoric, the one that cost them the 2012 election.
It is no wonder Florida Sen. Marco Rubio needed to grab a bottle of water in the middle of delivering the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. The speech he was given to recite was like a hunk of stale, dry sourdough and it surely caught in his throat.
For 30 years, Republican aspirants to the presidency have been giving variations of the same speech. It sounded fresh and bold when Ronald Reagan first spoke the words as a candidate in 1980. At that point, the liberal era that began with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 had pretty much run out of gas. Democrats had grown too comfortable with their seemingly permanent lock on the House of Representatives, while their ideas about the creative use of government had devolved into a system of doling out federal dollars to clamoring interest groups.
Reagan declared that government was the problem, not the solution, and that taxes were too high and regulations on business too onerous. It was a winning message and helped bring blue-collar men and the South firmly into the Republican fold.
Rubio spoke the same language on Tuesday night but it sounded like a talking-points memo left over from Mitt Romney’s losing campaign. Rather than looking like a young man with new ideas, Rubio looked like a novice with no thoughts of his own. [Emphasis added]
As Horsey pointed out in the rest of his column, the country has changed since Reagan in all sorts of ways. And the economy has changed in drastic and disheartening ways. The problems and issues we face are real, yet the GOP is still quoting Reagan, and, sadly enough, the failed candidate Mitt Romney.
It's like I said earlier in the week. The GOP is going with the "Lipstick On A Pig" approach. That can't work much longer, even in the South.