If I had a $10 bill for every time I heard a GOP activist or MSM mouthpiece compare Sen. Rubio with Gov. Huckabee and/or Sen. Santorum, I’d be rich. This article mentions the fact that Gov. Huckabee and Sen. Santorum won Iowa, then went nowhere after that.

That’s utterly irrelevant. The comparison doesn’t fit the situation whatsoever. Gov. Huckabee and Sen. Santorum were niche candidates that did the “full Grassley”, visiting all 99 counties in Iowa before Iowa’s caucuses. That has nothing to do with Sen. Rubio. Sen. Rubio isn’t a niche candidate like Gov. Huckabee and Sen. Santorum. Sen. Rubio is a mainstream, full spectrum conservative. I’ve started calling Sen. Rubio the “only complete package candidate in the race on either side of the aisle.” Simply put, Sen. Rubio has things going for him that aren’t going on for any other candidate.

He’s likable. He’s conservative. He isn’t constantly grumpy. He relates to people. He enjoys campaigning. He’s got solutions. He’s telling voters that America has retreated from the world during the Obama administration. He’s telling voters that this administration has crushed the economy with small businesses getting hit with too many regulations and too many reporting requirements.

Consider that the last two Republican presidential nominees, Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008, both lost Iowa. In fact, Mr. McCain placed fourth. “Remember that the people who win here do not necessarily go on to win the presidency,” said Catholic University politics professor Claes Ryn, who clustered Saturday with several hundred Rubio supporters at a town hall here at the Hilton Garden Inn. Mr. Ryn noted that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum placed first four years ago in Iowa, “and he went nowhere.”

Santorum and Huckabee never had a path to the nomination. They appealed to a large percentage of voters in Iowa. That’s where their appeal began and ended. It’s like Rand Paul and Ben Carson this time. They didn’t belong on the debate stage for more than 1 or possibly 2 debates.

This pretty much proves my point:

“I don’t want Trump. That is one thing I do feel strongly about,” said Republican voter Jennifer Hughes of Glenwood, Iowa. “I had an open mind until I saw him in person, and then I saw he was even more narcissistic. I thought that the press was possibly just spinning, just showing sound bites of him being obnoxious, but no, he’s like that all the time.” She said that leaves her with a choice between Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio. “And Cruz is in second right now. But I really like Rubio better than I like Cruz, just personally,” Ms. Hughes said.

Roger Bolte of Council Bluffs said he was “95 percent” in Mr. Rubio’s camp, in part because “I think he has the best chance to beat” Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Nobody picked Santorum or Huckabee as being electable. That’s because neither candidate was that electable. They both got in with the hope of winning Iowa, then hoping they’d catch fire. I think it’s more appropriate to say that their campaigns went up in flames after winning Iowa.

5 Responses to “Rubio and the Santorum/Huckabee comparisons”

  • eric z says:

    You’d know Gary, I would not, did either McCain or Romney come in third place in Iowa?

    Not that Iowa means much. Your focus on a pair of losers who won there nails that door shut. Iowa is first, but largely irrelevant. Those saying Cruz is finished if he does not win Iowa are expressing more hope than courage.

    Do you predict Trump losing Iowa? You’re a bit coy there, saying Rubio this and that, while the big dog is still the big dog, top dog.

  • JerryE9 says:

    I think Trump’s fate depends on turnout numbers that may be unrealistic for Iowa, especially with a winter storm on the way. I still like Cruz for his rigidity (we elect too many compromisers), but he lacks Rubio’s boyish charm.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Romney came in second in 2012. McCain essentially ignored Iowa & came in 4th in 2008.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Jerry, Cruz isn’t the principled conservative he masquerades as. He’s much more of an opportunist who wants it both ways. When he proposed legalization for the Gang of Eight bill, he wanted to be able to say that he’d opposed amnesty but that he was reasonable enough to propose legalization, which isn’t as harsh. Then he saw Trump’s success in saying ‘lock the doors; nobody gets in’. Suddenly, he proclaimed that he “never supported amnesty, never supported a pathway to citizenship and never supported legalization.”

    Cruz had a rough debate because Megyn Kelly played the video of him saying he supported legalization. Even though the video was clear, Sen. Cruz argued that what we’d just seen didn’t happen.

    Sen. Rubio has never argued that his participation in the Gang of Eight bill was smart. He’s just argued that Sen. Cruz isn’t the pure-as-the-driven-snow candidate he claims to be. Rubio is the smartest man on the stage in terms of foreign policy. He’s super likable, which is why he’s consistently the GOP candidate that beats the tar out of Hillary. Trump, BTW, gets his ass kicked up to his eyeballs against Hillary. Sen. Cruz loses to her but not by as much..

  • JerryE9 says:

    Yes, Cruz comes off a bit pedantic and unlikable, compared to Rubio, and he may not even be “authentic” in what he says. But he certainly says it with conviction, and the public is angry about sending people to Washington who will “compromise” too easily.

    I’m still not convinced that Rubio has adequately “repented” for the Gang of Eight, though he says the right things, just as Cruz does. But if that’s the only battlefield, I will take someone who might have said different things then and now over someone who actually DID something then and says something different now.

    I’m not willing to choose, yet, especially based on all that “conventional wisdom” about who beats Hillary. It might even be Sanders.

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