In Defense of Marco Rubio’s Endorsement

Posted: Mar 29, 2012 2:15 PM

Ever since Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) endorsed Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney last night on Sean Hannity’s show, my twitter timeline has been overflowing with angry tweets rebuking the Florida Senator for “selling out” conservatives. By their estimation, Mitt Romney is -- at best -- a moderate Republican who doesn’t represent the values of conservative America. While this may be true in some respects, I think it’s fatuous to say – or even imply – that Rubio has betrayed his constituents and supporters.

First of all, do those same individuals casting aspersions have any idea why he endorsed Mitt Romney in the first place? Put simply, Rubio explained in a recent interview that President Obama’s offhand comments to Dmitry Medvedev, in which he explicitly stated that he would have more “flexibility” to negotiate with Russia after his “last” election, were deeply disturbing. In essence, President Obama was suggesting that if elected to a second term, he would make concessions to the Kremlin that would otherwise be politically unpopular in an election year. All things considered, this course of action could jeopardize the national security interests of the United States. And so, failing to nominate a candidate who has the qualifications, experience, and above all, the appeal to galvanize voters will virtually ensure President Obama’s reelection. Following this logic, the best way to maintain a strong foreign policy and protect American lives is to nominate – and subsequently elect – Mitt Romney.

Indeed, some will argue that his decision was contrived and opportunistic. However, let us not forget that while a brokered convention (the only possible way the remaining three candidates can clinch the nomination) would certainly make for interesting politics, it does little to prepare the Republican nominee for the fall campaign. In fact, as some argue, it may have devastating consequences. Basic math suggests that Rick Santorum – the most viable Romney alternative – cannot garner the requisite 1144 delegates. Moreover, according to a recent poll, he’s in danger of losing his native state. Rubio argues, in other words, that the Republican primary has gone on long enough and that the party can – and should – coalesce around a single candidate. (Incidentally, he is not the first person to do say this publicly, but that’s beside the point). In the end, obviously, Rubio believes that candidate is Mitt Romney.

To put it bluntly, the former Massachusetts governor will be the 2012 Republican nominee barring a political earthquake. Furthermore, most fair-minded individuals – including Senator Rubio – acknowledge this reality.

It's astounding that this is still controversial.