In a post-speech phone conversation between New Orleans and Washington, James and Stan expressed amazement at the State of the Union response delivered by Florida senator Marco Rubio, touted as a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
They were not impressed.
To James, Rubio’s speech demonstrated that the Republicans “are literally, totally out of gas. The [November] election meant nothing, it was the same speech that Romney would have given, the same speech [George] W. Bush could have given, anybody else. They seem to have one speechwriter for the entire party…If it wouldn’t have been for the visuals of wiping the face, sweating and the water… you wouldn’t know… you wouldn’t know anything kind of happened…”
Rubio made Stan think “someone too young got into the Capitol and wasn’t supposed to be there. Then he gets himself caught between these big tall arches in the Capitol and…stole himself some water.”
“They could have had anyone in the world deliver that speech,” James pointed out. “It could have been competently delivered and everything, there was still nothing in there. There wasn’t a thing that anyone could have seen and thought, ‘You know, I think differently about these people.’”
“So their lesson from the election,” asked Stan, “is that you throw Rubio up there and have him mutter some Spanish words?”
“It’s not only that,” replied James. “What that speech told me is that they think people are just looking for more of the same from Republicans. We want more of the same. We want to continue calling Obama a socialist, we don’t care about the climate… there is nothing in there that says this is a party that’s adjusting…”
“Did you miss how many times he said ‘middle class’?” Stan inquired. “This is the change… he spoke some Spanish words and uttered ‘middle class’ repeatedly.”
“Was there a single thing in there that would make you say, ‘Oh, there’s something different here’? It was like, all we [Republicans] need to do is get someone with a vowel at the end of their last name, minus about 30 [years], and give the same speech we’ve always given.”
“And everyone who does theses speeches, whether it’s [Rep. Paul] Ryan, Rubio, you know, they come up with the same stuff,” said Stan. “And it’s just empty.”
James noted that at least Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal should get credit for acknowledging that he belongs to “the stupid party.” But he added, summing up: “I am utterly flummoxed that a party could learn so little.”
Audio of the call is below:
Copyright 2013 The National Memo