Max Boot is well known as a conservative anti-Trump columnist for the Washington Post, but he was also a foreign policy adviser for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign. And in a new piece on Thursday, Boot revealed just how depressing he finds Rubio’s “humiliating transformation into a Trump fan-boy.”
Rubio’s support for the president came under new scrutiny this week after he appeared at Donald Trump’s recent rally in Orlando and tweeted an enthusiastic endorsement:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 19, 2019
When a reporter pointed out that Rubio’s transformation from an aggressive Trump opponent into a booster is still shocking, the Florida senator apparently took offense:
In an unprecedented move a Republican Senator attended a rally in his home state in support of the re-election of a Republican President. https://t.co/0zC3nvJB0X
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 19, 2019
Of course, it’s common for rival presidential candidates from the same party to end up supporting each other after the campaign. But the anti-Trump rhetoric among GOP presidential candidates, especially Rubio, was far more severe and damning than is usual, and the swift reversals are indeed jarring — even if the reasons behind the change are obvious.
Boot reminisced about just how sweeping Rubio’s attacks on Trump in 2016 were:
Hard to believe, but only a little more than three years have passed since Trump was calling Rubio “Little Marco” and Rubio was calling Trump a “con artist” who was seeking to perpetrate “the biggest scam in American political history,” an “erratic” liar who couldn’t be trusted with the nuclear codes and a candidate who “isn’t gonna make America great, he’s gonna make America orange.” Rubio’s transformation from “Never Trump” to “Forever Trump” is, of course, hardly unusual in today’s principles-free Republican Party. Sitting next to Rubio, after all, was Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who, before becoming Trump’s caddie, once called him a “jackass,” “kook” and “idiot.”
All is forgiven, it seems.
“When Rubio endorsed the ‘con man’ for president, I was aghast and incredulous,” Boot continued “I called one of his senior aides to ask how someone who had said he was ‘Never Trump’ could be for, well, Trump. The lame answer I received was that Rubio was only ‘Never Trump’ in the primaries.”
It’s stunning how many people and outlets who explicitly cast themselves as “Never Trump” seem to not understand what “never” actually means. For those keeping score at home, “never” means “not ever.” As Google’s dictionary puts it: “at no time in the past or future; on no occasion.” It does not mean “well maybe at some point.”
But then again, it’s not the first abrupt about-face from Rubio. During the 2016 campaign, he repeatedly said he would not run to hold on to his Senate seat if he lost the Republican presidential primary. When Rubio’s chance at the presidency was clearly doomed, he was questioned whether he would change his mind about the Senate seat. And he was adamant:
I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 17, 2016
Of course, he changed his mind on that and ended up keeping his seat. So is it any surprise that he would eventually embrace Trump wholeheartedly, once he realized his grasp on power depended on it?
“He needs to stay on the good side of the ‘con man’ to keep his Senate seat in 2022 and to stand a shot at winning the White House himself in 2024,” said Boot. “Rubio has decided that Trump is the future of the Republican Party. He’s probably right. That’s why I’m not a Republican anymore — and why I couldn’t imagine supporting Rubio for any office ever again. I’m sorry I supported him in 2016.”
Pence abruptly canceled trip because person he was meeting was about to be busted by the feds
The White House abruptly canceled a planned trip to New Hampshire to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from being seen with somebody about to be busted for interstate drug trafficking of fentanyl, Politico reported Monday.
"Among the problems was a federal law enforcement probe involving individuals Pence would likely encounter, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the incident. If Pence stepped off the vice presidential aircraft, one of the people he would have seen on the ground was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for moving more than $100,000 of fentanyl from Massachusetts to New Hampshire," Politico reported.
‘Do you love Puerto Rico?’: Fox News’ Shep Smith rips governor to shreds
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was outed for cold and heartless comments he exchanged about his own island in wake of the horrific hurricanes that destroyed the island in 2017. He's also being forced to ask questions about the corruption involving the funding for hurricane relief. Nearly 1 million people have taken to the streets demanding accountability and action.
In his first interview, Rosselló may have assumed he'd meet a friendly audience on Fox News, but Shep Smith let him have it.
"The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico," Smith said. "Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt and a 13-year recession. In the leaked 900 pages of profanity-laced messages, dubbed RickyGate, after you, sir, you made light of the casualties of the Hurricane Maria, you tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, You were calling the former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverit a whore. Of the oversight board that rules Puerto Rico's finances, you said, 'Go F-yourself. And when your representative to that board said he is salivating to shoot the woman who is the mayor of San Juan, you said, 'You’d be doing me a grand favor.' So, attacks on woman, gays, dead relatives on your own island and after that who is left to support you? Is it even safe for you to govern?"
Puerto Ricans launch biggest protest yet against governor
Angry protesters blocked the main road in Puerto Rico's capital on Monday as they launched what was expected to be the largest yet of a wave of demonstrations seeking the resignation of the US territory's embattled governor.
Marching under sunny skies in San Juan, the demonstrators sang, chanted, danced and carried the territory's red, white and blue flag with a lone star.
Altogether, hundreds of thousands were expected to turn out.
Puerto Ricans are up in arms over alleged corruption involving money meant to be for victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left nearly 3,000 dead.