Marco Rubio: A Real Contender For 2016?

Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced his bid for the Republican nomination for president earlier this week. The editors of National Review praised the senator’s candidate, in an editorial titled, “Marco Rubio Has the Right Ideas, and More.”

Marco Rubio jumped into the face for U.S. Senator from Florida in 2009 as an underdog candidates challenging the front-runner, who was endorsed by most Republicans, then Governor Charlie Crist. Rubio compiled a huge lead in the GOP race and by the time election day had come, Crist had withdrawn from the GOP race to run as an independent for the senate seat. Rubio easily won the three way race by a double digit margin over Crist.

“Rubio is probably the most charismatic potential Republican nominee. He speaks movingly about his love for the United States and the opportunities it has offered him and his family. He is the field’s most articulate advocate of strong American leadership in foreign affairs. These traits alone would be enough to put him in the top tier of Republican candidates,” National Review editors opined.

Marco Rubio may be the GOP’s most promising presidential candidate, The Week, reports. Rubio, who had broad support from the Tea Party movement in his senate campaign in 2010, becomes the third Tea Party supported Republican Senator, after Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, to announce a run for president for 2016.

Michael Brendan Dougherty, writing for The Week, suggests about Marco Rubio, that “besides his telegenic looks, his youth, his great delivery, and his attractive home state of Florida, Rubio has one undeniable advantage: Nobody in the party really hates him.”

While the other candidates have weaknesses in various areas, Dougherty summarizes those in his article, he points out that Rubio lacks most of those weaknesses and that may also be to his advantage as a candidate for the GOP nomination next year.

“Rubio ticks all the right boxes for the party. He is hawkish enough for the hawks. He is pro-business and pro-immigration enough for The Wall Street Journal editorial board. He is pro-life and religious enough for the populist right. He is talented at selling the Republican platform as common-sense, inclusive Americanism. In March, a Pew Research Center survey found that 55 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they could see themselves supporting Rubio,” Dougherty outlined, “Only 14 percent said Rubio had no chance to win them. Rubio doesn’t have a natural ceiling.”

Dougherty also noted that, unlike Jeb Bush who reportedly made such a claim in 2009, Marco Rubio really can check of “Hispanic” on forms like voter registration applications. Rubio is a son of Cuban immigrants, and Dougherty suggests, would be a great symbol of America’s future.

Marco Rubio does have one weakness that Dougherty downplays. Rubio has been part of that group of senators working toward a more “moderate” version of immigration reform that lead many conservatives to say the Florida Senator had “sold out” to the left on the issue. He has since admitted his participation in that effort was a mistake.

Dougherty sums up his case for Rubio, by writing, “In other words, Rubio is possibly the best ideological fit for the Republican Party today, or at least running even with Scott Walker. But rooting for Rubio is going to feel good for Republicans. It will feel like rooting for the universality of your principles, and for the future of your nation.”

Marco Rubio had been preparing to run for president for some time, and earlier this year the Inquisitr had reported that he was moving toward a 2016 presidential campaign.

“Senator Marco Rubio seems to be inching closer to making a 2016 presidential bid. The Florida senator tells top advisors to prepare for a campaign, signing on a leading Republican fundraiser, and make plans for extensive travel to early voting states,” the Inquisitr reported.

Will Marco Rubio being a strong candidate and truly contend for the GOP nomination in 2016? Only time will tell.

[Photo of Marco Rubio by Joe Raedle/Getty Images from National Review]