Today, Marco Rubio surrogate Rick Santorum was stumped when asked by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to name one Rubio accomplishment. Santorum pleaded that Rubio’s short time in the Senate was a period when “nothing got done” so of course he doesn’t have any accomplishments.
He has a point. Rubio’s Senate career was solely when a Democrat was president, and Republicans were mostly trying to block his agenda. Similarly, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton didn’t have a lot of Senate accomplishments when George W. Bush was president.
But for Rubio, pointing a finger at Obama doesn’t exonerate. Because there was one time when Rubio tried very hard to accomplishment something, even asserting a leadership role: immigration reform. Not only did he fail to accomplish enactment of the bill, his leadership was a colossal disaster.
As I have written here previously, “The whole sorry episode is a case study in failed leadership. Mixed messages. Undercutting allies. Quitting, not leading, when faced with obstacles.”
He flipped and flopped and flopped some more. He was tasked with winning conservative support, and when he failed, he trashed his own bill to win back their favor. Nothing in the episode reassures as to how he would function as president, no matter your party or ideology.
Sane Republicans obviously worry about their general election prospects with Ted Cruz or Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. But they should also worry about nominating who not only has an absence of leadership experience, but hard evidence of poor leadership skills.