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  2. It’s easy and tiresome to trash Sarah Palin as an uneducated embarrassment to the Republican Party (a party of which I am a member). But when the great anti-intellectual takes ridiculously simple-minded shots at Marco Rubio for supporting immigration reform, something needs to be said.
     


  3. Let me be clear about this, as the Republican Party hasn’t always been in years past: If you’re a gay American, we love you. We want you to know that this is a party dedicated to helping lift all Americans. You can disagree with us on some issues. That’s fine. That’s okay. But we love you and we want you to join us. And if anyone says you shouldn’t be allowed to visit your partner in a hospital — I will personally show up and give them a piece of my mind. This is a party for all Americans.
    — The speech Marco Rubio should give, written by Matt Lewis

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  4. Pity the poor Republicans deemed to be on Mitt Romney’s short list for vice presidential running mate: If they want the job, tradition and politics dictate that they have to say they don’t, or won’t get picked, or are too busy in their current job to give the veepstakes much thought. For candidates who really don’t want to be on the list, it’s worse: You’re still going to be asked about the No. 2 slot on the ticket in every interview, and how many ways are there to say no, without offending Romney and other powerful figures in the GOP?

    Here, some of the best ‘I won’t be Romney’s running mate’ lines: 

    1. Mike Huckabee: His talents are best used elsewhere
      Why he’s in the veepstakes: 
      Huckabee is already a household name, thanks to his 2008 run for president and subsequent Fox News show, and he’s popular with social conservatives and right-leaning economic populists. He’s also an ordained Baptist minister with a sunny public disposition.
      Why he won’t be chosen: "I think there’s a greater likelihood that I’ll be asked by Madonna to go on tour as her bass player than I’ll be picked to be on the ticket," Huckabee told ABC News on June 10.
       
    2. Jeb Bush: Not interested in towing the party line
      Why he’s in the veepstakes:
      The former Florida governor, and younger scion of the Bush clan, is a Republican’s Republican, a uniting figure who can bring together different factions of the GOP — and could help Romney win Florida.
      Why he won’t be chosen: Being Romney’s running mate is “not in the cards for me,” Bush told ABC News on June 1. “I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this. I have been repeating it for the last two years. I’ve been pretty consistent…. I am not a candidate. I’m not going to be asked…. This will prove I’m not running for anything: If you could bring to me a majority of people to say that we are going to have $10 of spending cuts for $1 of revenue enhancement, put me in, coach.”
       
    3. Marco Rubio: The Freudian slip
      Why he’s in the veepstakes:
      The freshman senator from Florida is Latino, photogenic, and popular with the Tea Party, and he is popular at home, in the biggest of the swing states.
      Why he won’t be chosen: ”I don’t want to be the vice president,” Rubio told National Journal in April. “But you know he’s not going to ask. That doesn’t work. He’s watching this interview right now…. Three, four, five, six, seven years from now, if I do a good job as vice president — I’m sorry, if I do a good job as a senator instead of a vice president, I’ll have a chance to do all sorts of things, including commissioner of the NFL, which is where the real power is.”
       
    4. Chris Christie: Too big to make the cut
      Why he’s in the veepstakes:
       The tough-talking New Jersey governor has been campaigning for Romney since last fall, and he’s endeared himself to the Republican base by taking on public service unions as policy and politics — Christie’s short videos of himself verbally smacking-down critics at town hall events have gone viral on YouTube.
      Why he won’t be chosen: ”Do I look like somebody’s vice president?” the famously portly Christie said at a December 2011 Romney rally in Iowa. “If you were a betting woman, I wouldn’t bet on Romney-Christie. I wouldn’t lay any money on that.”

    4 more creative ways short-listed Republicans have said (believably or not) thanks, but no thanks, to VP speculation 

     

  5. Two years ago, most Americans had never heard of Marco Rubio. Now, the eloquent, Tea-Party-backed, disco-despising Florida senator is a top contender for MItt Romney’s VP slot. Here, some things you might not know about him:

    1. Rubio’s parents fled Cuba… before Castro
      In campaign speeches, and on his Senate website, Rubio has described himself as the son of “exiles from Castro’s Cuba.” But he had to backpedal when reporters discovered that his family actually left Cuba for Florida in 1956, while Fidel Castro was still plotting his revolution from Mexico. Rubio’s family history has since been picked through by the media.
       
    2. His grandfather was ordered deported
      Another wrinkle in Rubio’s family history emerged on Wednesday: According to a book excerpt published by Politico, U.S. authorities wanted to deport his maternal grandfather, Pedro Victor Garcia in 1962, but Garcia stayed in the U.S. anyway. The upcoming biography on Rubio by Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia says Garcia’s legal status was murky for years — a potentially problematic biographical detail in a political party dominated by conservatives who want to crack down on illegal immigration.
       
    3. Rubio was baptized a Mormon…
      When Marco Rubio was 7 or 8, his family moved to Las Vegas. After the move, Marco, his mother, and sister Veronica, who were Catholics, were baptized as Mormons, encouraged by an aunt who had already converted. Marco was an active participant in his new church. “He was totally into it,” cousin Michelle Denis tells BuzzFeed. But Rubio’s father, a bartender, “couldn’t embrace a faith that wouldn’t let him drink and smoke,” according to Roig-Franzia’s biography.
       
    4. …Then embraced Catholicism again
      When Rubio’s family returned to Miami, Rubio, his mother, and sister converted back to Catholicism. The future senator received his first communion at 13. “He really convinced the whole family to switch religions,” Michelle Denis tells Buzzfeed. “He’s very vocal so he convinced them all to become Catholic.” 

    Keep reading

     

  6. Experts expect Mitt Romney to win primaries Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia handily. He’s also recently won endorsements from George H.W. Bush, Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio. Is this primary season is finally over?

     

  7. Why are Mitt Romney and his GOP rivals dodging Trayvon Martin? Earlier today, President Obama called for national “soul searching” to better understand how this tragedy occurred. Then Obama got personal: “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. … If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

    Obama’s GOP counterparts have been somewhat less open. Until Newt Gingrich spoke out on Thursday night, telling CNN’s Piers Morgan that Martin’s death is a “tragedy,” the GOP presidential field has been conspicuously silent on the issue. Likely nominee Mitt Romney had even ignored reporters’ questions about Martin’s shooting. "Why have they been so noticeably silent… about the shooting of an innocent 17-year-old black boy?" asks Lawrence D. Elliott in Technorati. Here, several theories:

    1. They fear upsetting Florida’s influential Republicans
      Martin’s killing became national news the same week that Romney all but locked up the GOP nomination, aided by a coveted endorsement from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R). Another influential Floridian, Sen. Marco Rubio (R), is among Romney’s top VP picks. Both Bush and Rubio strongly backed the expansive gun law that has kept Zimmerman out of jail. If Romney wants to stay allied with them, says Kelly Virella at Dominion of New York, he’d have to stake out “a pro-‘Shoot First,’ pro-Zimmerman stance” that’s out of step with popular opinion. It’s easier, and safer, to say nothing.
       
    2. Romney doesn’t want to offend the NRA
      Any comments that paint Martin’s killing in a negative light would also sit poorly with another important GOP constituency: The deep-pocketed gun lobby, says Dominion of New York's Virella. Romney has a cordial but not warm relationship with the National Rifle Association (NRA), which was a major driving force behind Florida's controversial gun law. In this expensive campaign, no Republican wants to risk losing “campaign contributions from the NRA.”
       
    3. Addressing the killing has no political upside
      "Who would cheer Romney or Santorum for condemning the killing?" asks Frank Rich at New York. The GOP “has very few African-American adherents and is prone to claiming that all cases like this are hoaxes trumped up by liberals.” On top of that, every Republican is courting the Latino vote, and Zimmerman is half Latino.

    More theories here

    Update: Romney and Santorum have commented.

     


  8. Will Marco Rubio run for president in 2012?

    The charismatic Floridian seems like a natural fit for higher office. But could he challenge Obama so soon after becoming a senator?