Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave a major foreign policy address at the Brookings Institution today, as part of his continued effort to lay the groundwork for a vice presidential nomination that he claims not to want.
Rubio’s big speech did not go seamlessly, however. Near the end of his remarks, Rubio had to pause when he discovered that he accidentally misplaced the last page of the speech.
Ironically, Rubio has literally spent years mocking President Obama for using a teleprompter, which would’ve solved his problem at the Brookings Institution. The Atlantic Wire’s Alexander Abad-Santos highlighted some of Rubio’s many teleprompter jokes this afternoon:
-Rubio calls President Obama “the most articulate and talented teleprompter reader in America,” New York Times Magazine, January 2010
-“And the president couldn’t find anywhere to set up a teleprompter to announce new taxes” Rubio at CPAC, quoted by the New York Times February 2010
-“I doubt I’ll be able to give you the best speech you ever heard,” Rubio said at the National Conservative Student Conference in 2011. “My teleprompter got left at the office.”
-“It’s hard to get a teleprompter in this town, there’s someone who uses it a lot.” Rubio as quoted by The Nation February 9, 2012
This minor hiccup won’t disqualify Rubio from the veepstakes, but there are other signs that he shouldn’t start measuring drapes for One Observatory Circle. Over the past year, several troubling questions have been raised about Rubio’s background. First The Washington Post revealed that his parents did not flee the Fidel Castro regime in 1959 as Rubio claimed, but actually came to America in 1956, when Fulgencio Batista ruled Cuba. Then it was revealed that Rubio was baptized as a Mormon as a child, which could scare off voters who are already wary of Mitt Romney’s religious views. Today, news broke that a forthcoming biography of Senator Rubio will show that his grandfather was ordered deported from the United States, but opted to stay in the country illegally. This would surely create an uncomfortable dynamic with Romney, whose immigration plan insists that men like Rubio’s grandfather “self-deport.”
The Romney campaign has already gone to great lengths to avoid confronting the contradictions and complications of the governor’s record and biography. They likely won’t want to be saddled with Rubio’s baggage as well.