Rubio was not judgmental, but merely appealed to a higher standard. He is not the angry moralist putting others down. He is a political evangelist showing there is a better way. The difference is subtle, but it is in contrast to Mitt Romney's remark about a nation in which 47 percent are "takers."
The way one delivers a message in the TV age is as important as the substance of that message. John Kennedy said, "We can do better." Like Kennedy and Reagan, Rubio is good at turning a phrase so you instantly remember it. Consider this one: "Big government doesn't help people who want to make it; it hurts them." Then there is his call to patriotism from an American born of Cuban immigrants who regularly expresses gratitude to a nation that offered him opportunity: "I can never do more for this country than what this country has done for me." It's followed by a warning: "If America declines there is nothing to take our place."
Rubio has the message the Republican Party needs. It's a long way to 2016 and there are many good potential presidential candidates, but Marco Rubio could be the one candidate conservatives have been waiting for: the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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