Politics & Policy

Rubio Jabs Hillary and Jeb: ‘Leaders of the Past’

Marco Rubio announces his campaign in Miami. (Joe Raedle/Getty)

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) will lament that “too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the twentieth century” when he announces his presidential campaign later this evening, a clear jab at Hillary Clinton that also functions as a knock on his one-time ally, Jeb Bush.

“Yesterday is over, and we are never going back,” Rubio will say, according to excerpts of his speech released by the campaign. “We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future. Before us now is the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing story of America. We can’t do that by going back to the leaders and ideas of the past. We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them.”

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Those remarks might most precisely target Clinton, who led the State Department during President Obama’s first term, but they also echo the language that Rubio allies use to describe Bush.

“I don’t believe in dynasties,” Norman Braman, a major financial supporter of Rubio’s political career, tells National Review, explaining his opposition to Bush and Clinton. “They’re part of yesterday and yesterday’s problems.”

#related#Rubio will amplify that argument tonight. “In many countries, the highest office in the land is reserved for the rich and powerful,” he will say. “But I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

It’s awkward for Rubio to criticize Bush, a one-time friend and mentor, especially given his need to preserve the personal appeal that has had the political class buzzing about his presidential prospects since he first showed up in Washington. That just makes Clinton an even more convenient foil.


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