I have long thought that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) could well be the
next Republican star waiting to emerge. Rubio certainly has the
presidential bug. Unfortunately for Republicans, he also has the
Republican bug of being so beholden to or afraid of the far right that
he cannot even accept basic notions of modern science. My advice to
Rubio would be to spend more time getting his facts and issues
straight and less time traveling to Iowa before he is ready. Al Gore is
right. Science matters. Rubio is wrong. Science matters. Chris Christie
is right. Common sense and political civility matter.
Rubio's nascent presidential campaign is off to a bad start. Many thoughtful Republicans were hoping he would offer an alternative to the far-right denial faction, but he has done the opposite. He is paying homage to it. This is a formula for Republicans being a minority party for a long time. Many of these same thoughtful Republicans are privately turning their attention to another Floridian, former Gov. Jeb Bush, and to the increasingly popular Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who understands the dangers of extreme ideology and the appeal of political civility.
Either Rubio will offer a clear alternative to the ideologues who drag Republicans down or he will contribute to another defeat like Republicans suffered in 2006, 2008 and 2012.