Marco Rubio

CPAC Attendees Go Wild for Marco Rubio; Not So Hot on Donald Trump

The Florida senator called out the reality star by name on Saturday.


Rubio at CPAC
Stephanie Slade

Marco Rubio took the main stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) shortly after noon today and was met by a fawning packed house.

The crowd roared when he came out. It roared when, before taking questions from CNN's Dana Bash, he held up a bottle of water and asked her to hang on while he took a drink. It roared when he defended the Second Amendment and said that a belief in an all-powerful God is necessary to make sense of America's founding.

But his longest, loudest applause line of the appearance was a clear dig on front-runner Donald Trump. "I won't let the movement be hijacked by someone who's not a conservative!" he said. The statement was met with a prolonged standing ovation and enthusiastic cheering.

"Being a conservative can never be about how loud you're willing to scream, how angry you're willing to be, or how many names you're willing to call people," he said earlier in the speech. He also noted that Trump had backed out of speaking at the event, adding that that isn't particularly surprising since, last time he checked, CPAC "is for conservatives."

When Bash suggested that Rubio had stooped to Trump's level by talking about the size of the reality TV star's hands on the campaign trail, Rubio pushed back, saying that when a bully continues to punch innocent people, eventually someone needs to step up and punch him back. (The crowd loved that, too.)

The CPAC straw poll closed before he went on, and the results won't be announced until later this afternoon—but if the reaction to his appearance gives us a clue, Rubio's chances look good.

UPDATE 2/6/16: Cruz won the straw poll with 40 percent to Rubio's 30 percent and Trump's 15 percent. Also interesting: Two-thirds of participants described themselves as "a classical Reagan conservative" (no suprise there), while 28 percent chose "a libertarian conservative."

NEXT: Can You Hack a Police Drone? This Guy Says He Can.

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  1. a belief in an all-powerful God is necessary to make sense of America’s founding

    You mean the god not mentioned once in the founding document (unless you count the date)?

    So, any all-powerful god? Zuul? FSM? Allah (Yeah, I know, but I’d bet Little Marco would deny it)?

    1. Have you not heard of Deism or Freemasonry? Many of the founders were secularists, but a belief in a supreme being was assumed in the eighteenth century. There is no need to write into the founding document something that was so widespread and expected.

    2. Word on the street was that Thomas Jefferson had the word “god” all over the document, but Franklin edited it out, and Jefferson spent the rest of his life showing colleagues the original document insisting that it was much better than the committee-created pulp that we ignore today.

      1. I think Frank is talking about the Constitution, since the Declaration does have two pretty direct references to a god.

        1. I figured, I just like that story I’ve read about Jefferson bitterly shoving his version of the DoI in people’s faces and demanding they agree it’s the better version.

          1. TJ would fit right in at H&R.

          2. He was certainly butthurt, but I don’t think it was specifically the religious references. All authors are protective of their work.

            I’m sure when I write the Constitution of Libertopia, I’ll be butthurt when some of you fuckers insist on a provision for ROADZ!

            1. Nah, we’ll be good with whatever you come up with, just don’t skimp on the labels.

        2. Although there’s the whole ‘natural law’ angle that the framers were basing everything on and as Hyperbolical noted above, that ‘natural law’ from the framer’s perspective was presumed to come from a supreme being.

          1. Science was weaker then.

        3. Yeah, TJ was in France at the time of the writing of the Constitution.

          Yes, I’ve read BF did edit out some religious references in the Declaration. But TJ wasn’t a bleever, he was a believer. And I find it odd that all the references in the DoI were of a generic god as if they went out of their way to not link it to Christianity.

          Nature’s God
          endowed by their Creator
          appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world
          the protection of divine Providence

          They went out of their way to not say God.

          1. Well, if you are truly religious, you’re not suppose to fully write out G-d.

            1. If you’re silly, you don’t fully write his title or job description like that. It’s his name that you’re not supposed to write, but there’s little danger in that because it’s a closely guarded secret. (It may be something embarrassing like Melvin.) Even the tetragrammaton is just an acronym for an evasion of the name.

              1. I meant little danger of that.

              2. I am that I am.

                Being. Consciousness. Awareness. That which makes us human.

                But this would not be good news for those atheists and theists who want YAHWEH to be a sky-god or santa clause.

                1. The government has become Santa Claus Barbie.

    3. Lord Glasya-Labolas is pleased with Rubio.

    4. I thought we had all agreed that The Individual is the Supreme Being.

  2. He also noted that Trump had backed out of speaking at the event

    Yeah, he keeps doing everything the establishment types would never even consider, yet…he’s winning.

    The stupid party has their finger on the pulse of their base.

    1. I assume the CPAC crowd went nuts for Rubio (3rd place) because Rubio showed up. Had Trump showed up, I suspect the crowd makeup would look a bit different.

      1. If Trump had shown up he would have faced a hostile crowd in a half-empty ballroom. Optics are everything and he probably made the right call in backing off.

      2. I thought everyone had been criticizing Rubio because he was NOT going to CPAC? When did that change?

        I also thought Ted Cruz had already spoken at the meeting, so it’s not like they only got the #3 guy.

        It’s also interesting to see conservative love for Rubio, despite so many of the radio hacks like Mark Levin trying to convince everyone that he is a RINO. (Also, Mr. Levin, aren’t Jewish gentlemen supposed to be Marc with a c, not a k, so as not to be thought named after one of the gospels?)

        1. “Also, Mr. Levin, aren’t Jewish gentlemen supposed to be Marc with a c, not a k, so as not to be thought named after one of the gospels?”

          i don’t think that’s a thing. everyone i know is jewish and there’s a half dozen marks among them. The only one with a C i know is french.

          the “john without the H” (jonathan), is a jewish thing, but not for gospel reasons, but because its a different hebrew word

          1. My #2 son is Jonathan.

  3. “”Being a conservative can never be about how loud you’re willing to scream, how angry you’re willing to be, or how many names you’re willing to call people,”

    But I’m still going to call Trump a cunt.


  4. The CPAC straw poll closed before he went on, and the results won’t be announced until later this afternoon

    Any bets Ron Paul wins this one too?

  5. CPAC is the stupid party’s brain tumor.

  6. Like Reason has discussed in prior articles, Trump’s base isn’t “conservatives,” its a group of people alienated from the establishment, though not generally for conservative reasons.

    And in particular, the forces of organized conservatism – like CPAC – aren’t the Trump base.

    To the media (not Reason, fortunately), anyone who is disrespectful toward the liberal portion of the Establishment is a reactionary right-wing conservative. They don’t take into account that the Trump people don’t really like *any* part of the establishment, left or right.

    1. I think some of those people are being alienated from the democrat establishment. The republican party might be having growing pains as it transitions from giving “smaller govt” lipservice into something resembling the democrat party of the 80’s and 90’s. If that is occurring, you won’t hear about it in the media until/if the democrats lose the White House.

  7. “CPAC Attendees Go Wild for Marco Rubio”

    He’s young! He’s energetic! He wants to attack Iran!

  8. Marco Rubio gave a great, rousing speech at CPAC and then did a great interview afterwards. It is too bad that Trump backed out of speaking at CPAC because it would be enlightening to compare the two speeches side by side. Trump’s speeches sound selfish, self-centered, and self promoting, but Rubio’s speeches sound selfless, enlightening, and inspiring. Trump talks about himself; Rubio talks about America. Trump divides; Rubio unites. Trump sounds like a con artist; Rubio sounds like a president.

    1. Because if it’s one thing America needs, it’s a Republican Obama! Jesus Christ, did you have NRO open on another tab and post that here by mistake?

      1. Rubi-OH! Rubi-OH! Rubi-OH! Rubi-OH! Rubi-OH! Rubi-OH! Rubi-OH! Rubi-OH!

        1. Seconded

      2. No, Trump would be the Republican Obama. Both Obama and Trump are narcissists who think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Both are con artists who have tricked people into believing they are someone they really are not. Both are dividers. Both are pro-choice, Trump once saying he is “very pro-choice.” Both want socialized medicine, Trump once saying on “60 Minutes,” “We need socialized medicine.” Both have supported Democratic liberals Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Both have claimed that George W. Bush lied about Iraq, Trump recently saying, “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction; there weren’t none, and they knew there weren’t none.” And both Obama and Trump know crap about foreign policy.

        If Trump is elected president, he would be just as bad or worse than Obama because both men are extremely selfish and conceited. Just like Obama, Trump would make decisions based not on how it helps America, but on how it helps Trump.

    2. “Trump sounds like a con artist; Rubio sounds like a president.”

      But you repeat yourself.

    3. Trump is a moron, Rubio is a Republican. Not enough difference to waste a vote on.

  9. It soon gets down to definitions.

    American conservatives, as I would define them, are basically those who actively oppose two or more items on the proggy agenda.

    My definition is, I think, a common-sense way of making sense of things.

    Like Potter Stewart in a (somewhat) different context, I would say that I know progressivism when I see it. A full-blown proggy is someone who prioritizes the adoption of progressive policies, and is willing to swallow any objections they may have to some of the weird stuff fellow-progs are doing.

    Whereas a conservative, by my definition, might hold proggy positions on a whole range of issues, but they find certain key prog issues so offensive as to be worth actively opposing.

    Many of the Trumpistas can qualify as conservative, but they may drop back into progressivism under some circumstances.

    I’m interested how the MSM can say that our sex is “fluid,” but our politics is rigid and fixed.

    Reason told us about a gay Muslim immigrant Trump supporter. He wants to restrict Muslim immigration (can’t imagine why), and Trump is the go-to guy on that subject.

    So to the MSM, this gay Muslim becomes a conservative, not because his position is inherently conservative but because the progs are into open borders and multiculturalism.

    1. But I wouldn’t call the gay Muslim guy a permanent addition to the conservative ranks.

      If the progs decide to become immigration-restrictionists, this person might go back to being progressive.

      Some conservatives are going to stay conservative – some have got to the point of opposing progs reflexively. They might become open-borders if the progs become restrictionists.

      But others are as it were shoved into conservatism – they thought of themselves as progs, middle of the roaders, nonideological, until they said something about “women should use the women’s restroom” and suddenly people were screaming at them that they’re nazis. So they start hanging out with declared conservatives, because that’s just a more comfortable and supportive community.

      Such a “conservative” won’t necessarily go in for low taxes, like the more thoroughgoing conservatives. But maybe they’ll be more open to the idea of low taxes, because the people calling for low taxes are at least not shouting “nazi” in his face.

      Given time, the “women’s bathrooms are for women” guy may get exposed to conservative ideas he would normally have rejected contemptuously – and he moves “rightward” for that reason.

      1. Or think of those college students shouting “Trump” as the retard prog demonstrators spread [blood?] of their faces and walked out on a speaker as he was denouncing political correctness.

        So in that sense, Trumpism can be considered conservative because it attacks open-borders and PC.

        The late Sidney Hook, the anticommunist atheist Marxist, can perhaps be considered conservative by my definition, because he was by any rational consideration a prog, but he pissed of the progs by calling for what progs would consider “persecution” of communists. And Hook devoted a lot of political energy to this, meeting part of my definition.

    2. As far as I’m concerned, the only difference between progressives and conservatives is what aspects of our life they want to control. Both camps are control freaks.

      1. My definition appeals to my inner Potter Stewart.

        Once we have the broad definition of conservative – actively opposing two or more prog policies – then we can talk about *subcategories* of conservative – and the different varieties often hate each other.

        I would say that someone who actively opposes proggy ideas re income redistribution and forced association could be deemed a conservative, even if that person hates the kind of conservative who opposes the prog idea of “gay marriage.”

        It would be better to describe libertarians as a subcategory of conservative in the context of American political struggles.

        1. On the *philosophical* level, I would have a more restrictive definition and talk about someone who basically defends American founding principles – because we’re talking the American context – in Russia such a person would be called “liberal” or “shot resisting arrest.”

          1. On the philosophical plane, a conservative wouldn’t be a Trump supporter – Trump would count as a proggy.

            And American founding principles tend to be liberal, so I think libertarians often make good conservatives in the philosophical definition I propose. Except for the part about libertinism, which the founders opposed.

            1. Franklin was a libertine.

        2. Maybe a better descriptor would be reactionary. Reactionaries react to their opposition while conservatives try to conserve the status quo, or at least a worldview that they approve of.

          I haven’t read the authors you point to. But I see the main opposition to progressives as reactionary (even though it’s their word and I despise it) while conservatives have an agenda all their own. Furthermore, the right-wing version of progressive should be Social Conservative rather than just conservative. Socons want to legislate morality in the same way that progressives do. Conservatives merely try to maintain their worldview.

          1. Now we need a definition of SoCon.

            Frank Meyer qualify? He believed freedom and virtue were interconnected, so that if you attack one you *necessarily* attack the other.

            Does this make him a socon?

            1. *would* Frank Meyer qualify?

            2. The “problematic” thing about Meyer, from a left-libertarian point of view, is that, in the sexual arena, he equated virtue with what left-libertarians would call icky SoCon ideas about marriage and sexuality.

              1. So I can’t speak for Mr. Meyer, but my guess is he wouldn’t want the government recognizing same-sex unions or pretending that they’re the same as marriage.

                I speculate that he would point to the current “gay rights” campaign as an example of how attacks on virtue mean that freedom is under attack, too – because the attempt to redefined marriage includes compulsory gay cakes.

                1. But I’m fairly sure Meyer would be against a Police for the Promotion of Morality and the Suppression of Vice going around caning women who wore provocative clothing, stoning adulterers, etc.

                  1. You may note that I’m using H&R as a means to articulate my ideas better and see how they stand up to criticism.

                    1. PS – Meyer’s ideas were often mocked as “fusionist” and his ideas were confused with the Republican *political* strategy of seeking votes from libertarians and SoCons.

                      I believe Meyer would say (in modern terminology) that such a strategy made sense, because a true libertarian would be a SoCon and vice versa.

                      But his idea wasn’t simply about hippie libertarians and stuffy SoCons holding their noses and voting together as a team in order to fight progs. Meyer said that virtue and liberty were pretty much parts of the same thing, so if you were for one you had to be for the other, as well.

                    2. I can imagine some of the founders exclaiming that liberty without virtue is libertinism not liberalism (libertarianism). The Freemasonry link is important in understanding the founders. Virtue was paramount.

                    3. “Virtue” is a somewhat nebulous phrase. I’ve always looked at it as freedom and responsibility being flip sides of the same coin, you’re free to do as you please but you have to own the consequences of your actions. If you want to be a “good” person, I think you have to start with figuring out what the purpose of a person is. A good hammer is one that performs the function of a hammer well, a good person therefore would be one who performs the function of a person well.

                      When you start talking about virtue, there’s some aspect of “civic” virtue that recognizes that humans are social creatures that depend on a society of some sort. “You didn’t build that” I think goes way too far in suggesting that everything you own or are is a debt you owe to society, but I think you do have some obligation to contribute to society to the extent that you benefit from that society. The “virtue” lies in discharging that debt – but that’s all. And no, cramming your society down my throat and then demanding I pay my fair share for it is not virtuous. If I want to live as a hermit far from society I have that right and I have no debt to society, if your idea of a good virtuous person does not allow for hermits and demands social interaction, well, that’s just your opinion as to what the purpose of a person is.

                    4. Nice definition.

                    5. being flip sides of the same coin

                      Or the opposite cheek of the same ass?

                      freedom and virtue/responsibility…

                      Why separate the two? Freedom and virtue are the same thing. If you are living within the innate bounds of liberty, meaning you are harming no one and you are allowing others to live as they wish provided they harm no one, you are free and you are virtuous (and responsible for that matter). I see absolutely no reason to define virtue as more restrictive than the NAP.

    3. Then that’d make the overwhelming majority of Americans conservative.

      1. Then that’d make the overwhelming majority of Americans conservative.

        But doesn’t it make sense that the majority of a population would be conservative? Afterall, the definition should include some notion that the majority defines the standards–which are conservative. For better or worse.

  10. I hate how Rubio gloats in the applause. They’re not cheering for him, it’s just a Trump protest.

    1. Protesting a protest… it’s protests all the way down….

  11. OT: Attention San Francisco area readers! I am putting together an email list for a proposed meetup in San Francisco in a few weeks. Please email me at my handle if interested. So far it looks like we’ve only got 4-5 people, so it won’t be a mob scene.

    1. Exactly how many libertarians in one spot would constitute a mob? Surely it can’t be much more than 4 or 5 – or is San Fran that bad that there is actually a city ordinance that defines a mob of libertarians as 6 or more and you’re just advising that it’s a legally-permitted gathering and nobody’s going to get arrested?

      1. Given the extreme individualist and anti-collectivist opinions I often see her, I suspect some would define two or more as a “mob.”

        1. *her = here

  12. The Republican party has an authoritarian narcissistic loudmouth, a neocon, a look at me I am so wonderful, and a Senator everyone in government hates. I think I will go for the hated one. Go Cruz Go

    1. Cruz is my preferred guy too.

      If Cruz can beat Trump, Trump will have been a huge gift to Cruz in the general. He’ll be the “reasonable same grown up” that got nominated instead of Trump, while without Trump, he would have been the “insane far right ideologue”. Trump has opened the Overton Window.

      Cruz is trying to play that metaphor already, telling Trump to settle down, count to 10 and breathe.

    2. But EVERYONE in politics hates Trump.

      That is a powerful attractant at this point in time.

      Call it The Revenge of the OUTs

      1. Well, not to hear him talk. He gets along with everyone. You won’t believe how well he gets along with people. If you elect him, the USA will be the best at getting along, and also the best at military and at laws and safety and freedom.

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