I’m kind of down on Marco Rubio these days, due to his complicity with Chuck Schumer, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham on immigration reform. Moreover, although I’ve always liked Rubio, I have never rated him quite as highly as many on our side (John, for example).
That said, I believe that Rubio’s response to the State of the Union address was excellent. It won’t move the needle; that’s too much to expect from such a speech. The significance of the speech lies in its character as an audition of a promising party leader.
In my opinion, Rubio more than passed the audition. He “called” the president where he needed to be called — the debt, problems with Obamacare, the sequester (which he noted was Obama’s idea), and so forth. But Rubio was more about presenting a positive, conservative vision. Tonight, I believe he lived up to John’s advance billing, i.e., that “no one articulates the conservative vision better.”
As for immigration, Rubio shrewdly had little to say, and nothing to say (unless I missed it) about a path to citizenship. I’ll give the Senator this much credit — apparently he’s not going to stick his neck out any further than he already has on the citizenship side until he’s more satisfied than currently on the border security side.