Conservative writer says Rubio’s tax cut flip-flop is another damning indictment of GOP policies
Marco Rubio speaks to CNN (screen grab)

Conservative commentator Matt Lewis hit the Republican Party in his Wednesday commentary on the GOP's plan to highlight their own policy screw-ups.


He began by noting that two GOP leaders have publicly denounced their party's own policies mere months prior to the 2018 midterm elections. Worse, however, the officials called out their party's outright lies to the American public.

"The problem, they suggest, is not with the merits of the [tax] bill, but with the failure of the Republican Party to level with the public about the tradeoffs involved in getting there," Lewis explained in his Daily Beast column, citing Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) denouncing of the tax bill.

Similarly, disgraced Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price agreed with Democrats that the health care exchange is only successful when everyone participates. Lewis conceded it wasn't a "blaring-siren moment" the way Rubio's statements were, however, it admits that removing the mandate for healthcare "would lead to 'adverse selection.'" That's exactly what the GOP did in the passage of their tax bill.

"Frankly, it was stunning how little discussion or uproar there was when the individual mandate was repealed as part of tax reform," Lewis noted. "It was a huge deal, and it was pretty much considered a side issue. At least by Republicans. At least until now."

Rubio's admission about the tax bill fly in the face of promises made by the White House.

"But what Rubio was really getting at was how the bill was presented as addressing a looming crisis that, in actuality, remains unsolved," Lewis wrote. He went on to note that Rubio also disagreed with President Donald Trump's strive to bring back auto manufacturers because regardless of where it is located, it'll be mostly automation.

Lewis wondered why suddenly Republicans are popping up to address the complexities of the GOP tax bill that they once described as simple.

"Why are they undermining their own party’s major policy achievement now, at the precise moment when the party needs something to run on in the 2018 midterms?" he wondered.

Price's political career is mostly over after disgracing himself with scandal after scandal. Rubio, however, is another story.

Lewis explained that Rubio recently "hired Michael Needham of Heritage Action to be his chief of staff, a populist conservative whose greatest accomplishment prior to joining Rubio seems to have been pushing Republicans to shut down the government in 2013 (oh yeah, and attacking Rubio’s efforts to reform immigration)."

It could be a coincidence that Rubio hired a conservative populist to run his office, or it could be that the GOP takeover by Trump supporters made Rubio realize policy is more complicated than the president's sound bites.

Lewis speculated that Rubio might recognize "that the formula for success is to admit that nuance exists in both policy and politics and to take advantage of the vulnerabilities that could soon emerge for the president on the populist left."

Read the full op-ed at the Daily Beast.