Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been hailed by many Republicans as the savior of the party, what with his youth, charisma and Cuban heritage.
Yet that’s not all he has to offer. According to one Republican strategist, the freshman Florida Senator also knows a little something about 90s rap music to boot.
Sunday on ABC’s This Week, GOP operative Nicole Wallace argued that Rubio was good for the party as a whole because, “he knows who Tupac is.” That knowledge, she said, proved that he could connect to young voters, a demographic the GOP has typically sruggled to court.
“He’s everything we need and more,” Wallace, a who served as an aide to former President George W. Bush and later advised Sen John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said. “He’s modern. He knows who Tupac is. He is on social media.”
“I mean, he’s got the policy. He’s in touch with, I think, the lives of ordinary people. And he’s a very accessible guy,” she said. “He talks about being a working dad and juggling his own priorities.”
Yet in using Tupac as an example, Wallace may have made Rubio seem more in touch with the youth of 20 years ago as opposed to the youth of today. Tupac was murdered in 1996, and has hardly been culturally relevant since, aside from one holographic “performance” and a few posthumous releases.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) made that very point during the show.
“It’s like lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I mean, the bottom line is, the Republicans have a core values problem, not a ‘who knows who Tupac Shakur is’ problem.”
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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