The Corner

Rubio Blasts Obama: ‘Left-Wing Strong Man’

Earlier this month, Sen. Marco Rubio made an auspicious debut.

Unlike so many first turns in the upper chamber, Rubio’s stirring remarks, which celebrated American exceptionalism, caught fire. The Florida Republican’s words were cited by Senate colleagues and championed by conservatives. To no one’s surprise, the push to put Rubio on the 2012 ticket only increased, even though the charismatic freshman continues to swat away the chatter.

Look for the Rubio buzz to continue. In an interview with National Review Online, he says that he will take to the Senate floor for his second speech this week — and this time he will have President Obama in his crosshairs.

Rubio tells us that he will respond to Obama’s recent press conference, where the president reveled in class-warfare bluster. “Quite frankly, I am both disappointed for our country and shocked at some of the rhetoric,” he says. “It was rhetoric, I thought, that was more appropriate for some left-wing strong man than for the president of the United States.”

“Talking about corporate jets and oil companies,” Rubio says, missed the point. “Everybody here agrees that our tax code is broken,” he says, and he is open to discussing tax reform. “But don’t go around telling people that the reason you are not doing well is because some rich guy is in a corporate jet or some oil company is making too much money.”

Watching Obama brandish such talking points made Rubio wince. “Three years into his presidency, he is a failed president,” he says. “He just has not done a good job. Life in America today, by every measure, is worse than it was when he took over.”

“When does it start to get better?” Rubio asks. “When does the magic of this president start to happen?”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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