So this is the moment they said would never happen.
This has to be the oddest beginning to a speech ever given by a guy who came in third. Rubio was not the upset victor, nor was it surprising that he came in third. As a native Floridian who is now in Texas, I’ve found it amusing and dismaying to see the swooning over Marco Rubio’s speech Monday evening as he tried to flip third place in the Iowa caucus into a win.
Before I go further, I’ll say that Rubio is not my choice for the Republican candidate. People need to stop take him at the face value of soaring words, and look at who he is. I voted for Rubio in Florida, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in Texas (and not because I live here now!). More to come later on why, but for now I want to point out something that Maggie Gallagher noticed after she took a dispassionate look at the transcripts of the speeches given by Rubio and Cruz. (She doesn’t give one, but here is a link to Cruz‘ speech). She writes, The One Surprising Thing Missing From Rubio’s Great Third Place Iowa Victory Speech.
Here is the number of times Marco Rubio mentioned life, marriage or religious liberty in his high-profile 3rd place Iowa victory speech: zero.
She provides a contrast with a video of Cruz when he said:
If you want a candidate to support life and marriage and religious liberty, then support a candidate who spent decades of his life fighting to defend life and marriage and religious liberty.
I want to add that earlier in his speech Cruz had also said:
And tonight is a testament to the people’s commitments to their yearnings to get back to our core commitments: free market principles, Constitutional liberties, and the Judeo-Christian values that built this great nation.
It’s highly improbable that Rubio didn’t know exactly what he wanted to say. His introduction and the tenor of his speech indicate how carefully crafted it was constructed to spin third place. The question to keep in mind is why did Rubio not mention these issues that are vital to Christians and social conservatives? This was Iowa. Was he pitching himself to a national audience? If he was, why did he omit any mention of them?
Watch for trends of topics.