Rand Paul Goes ‘Willie Horton’ On Refugees

Standard

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was one of the early outspoken voices to criticize the U.S.’s current refugee policy. And now that most of his Republican counterparts are also saying “no” to refugees, he wants to make sure voters know that he said it first.

In his latest ad, Paul turns refugees into modern day Willie Hortons – warning that being soft on immigration, like Rubio and Cruz, is an open invitation for would-be terrorists to sneak into the U.S.

Dukakis Gave Prisoners Passes, Rubio and Cruz Give Refugees Boarding Passes

The ad tells the story of two al-Qaeda supporters who snuck into Kentucky in 2005, disguised as Iraqi refugees.

The narrator explains how the two were “welcomed into America, given public housing and public assistance,” while simultaneously conspiring to send “heavy arms to al-Qaeda” and attack an American Army captain.

Paul uses this alarming story to challenge fellow Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who we see speaking favorably about immigration and the U.S.’s obligation to house refugees.

Paul explains that he didn’t support Rubio’s immigration bill from the start because he “didn’t believe there was enough scrutiny for those who might come and attack us” – well before the current refugee debate that recently dominated headlines.

In a press release, Paul’s campaign team said, “Unlike Senators Cruz and Rubio, Rand Paul has always fought to defend our borders and protect American interests.”

Where Has Rand Paul Been?

The Rand Paul campaign has been relatively silent for the last couple months. Other than showing up at debates and daytime talk shows, we haven’t seen much of the Libertarian senator in the way of political ads.

Although Paul barely made the cut for the primetime stage in the last GOP debate, he still came out swinging when the cameras turned his way – frequently challenging Rubio, Cruz and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

With this latest spot he is taking that same combative posture – clearly hoping it will be enough to lift him from the back of the Republican pack as the first caucuses and primaries are fast approaching.

Marco Rubio and the (Cuban) American Dream

Standard

Marco Rubio’s campaign rolled out its second T.V. ad over the holiday weekend – a $20 million toast to his father who immigrated to the United States from Cuba and worked as a bartender. If you have ever heard Rubio’s stump speech (or read a Steinbeck novel), then his story probably sounds familiar.

‘My father was an immigrant… Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.’

The ad tells the story of what Rubio calls the “essence of the American dream.” Sounding much like Barack Obama in 2008, (who was also a junior senator at the time) Rubio wants to remind voters that he came from humble beginnings.

In the ad, Rubio reminisces of being a kid and hearing his father’s keys clack against the door when he came home late at night – a sound many working-class Americans are probably familiar with.

Rubio then recalls how his father worked hard to make sure that “all the doors that closed for him,” were open for Marco and his siblings. And as Rubio explains, it was his father standing “behind a portable bar, in the back of a room, for all those years,” that allowed Marco the opportunity to eventually “stand behind this podium… in this nation.”

Rubio’s $20 Million Toast to his Bartending Dad

The 60-second biographical ad began airing in Iowa and New Hampshire on Thanksgiving Day – perfect for all those other humble American families huddled around the T.V. screen for Turkey Day football games.

The spot is set to air through February and will also run in South Carolina and Nevada.

In the Wake Terrorist Attacks in Paris, Marco Rubio Echoes George W. Bush

Standard

Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris immediately propelled foreign policy to the front of the 2016 presidential campaign – the Democratic debate turned on a dime to focus on foreign policy, and GOP hopefuls dominated Sunday talk shows promoting their own aggressive plans to wage war on ISIS.

In his newest web video Marco Rubio goes as far as to resurrect familiar September 11 rhetoric to assert that the West’s war against ISIS is more than just geopolitical turbulence – it’s a “clash of civilizations.”

‘Why do they hate us?’

Flashback to September 20, 2001. President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress where he officially declared a “war on terror” – a war that continues to define American foreign policy today.

He famously raised the question that many Americans were asking in the confusing days after September 11: “Why do they hate us?”

“They hate our freedoms,” he presumed. “Our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” Unknown to most Americans at the time, this ideology would echo throughout the next 14 years of warfare.

‘They hate us because of our values’

Marco Rubio revived a key component of the Bush Doctrine on Sunday when he told ABC’s This Week that the war against ISIS was “a clash of civilizations.”

He fleshed out that argument more in this video, saying, “They hate us because of our values. They hate us because young girls here go to school. They hate us because women drive. They hate us because we have freedom of speech – because we have diversity in our religious beliefs.”

How Will the Attacks in Paris Influence the 2016 Race?

A poll released by Reuters on Monday found that “63 percent of Americans were fearful that a Paris-style attack could happen near them,” suggesting that national security would take a more active role on the 2016 campaign trail.

Rubio was criticized for subtly conflating “radical Islam” with Muslims in general; but some of his fellow Republicans were even less concerned about making the distinction.

Bobby Jindal, presidential hopeful and governor of Louisiana, signed an executive order Monday to prevent Syrian refugees from being settled in his state. Twenty-six other governors have since followed his lead.

Sen. Ted Cruz proposed only allowing Christian Syrian refugees into the U.S. arguing, “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”

In a September Gallup poll, Republicans enjoyed a 52 percent to 36 percent edge over Democrats on which party would do a better job of protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats.

With that dynamic, expect the terrorist attacks in Paris to haunt the 2016 campaign trail for some time to come.

Marco Rubio Outflanks Attacks From Jeb Bush’s Super PAC

Standard

The long-simmering rivalry between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio has boiled over and the two Florida Republicans are ramping up their attacks against each other.

Earlier this week Right to Rise, a Jeb Bush affiliated super PAC, announced they were preparing to spend $20 million on attack ads to prove that “Marco Rubio is unelectable.”

Rubio’s camp got out ahead of that threat with this ad, resurrecting past public speeches Jeb Bush gave supporting Marco Rubio – all recorded “Before the Phony Attacks.”

Even Lou Dobbs called the attack ad “devastating” for Bush when it aired shortly before the Fox Business’s GOP debate.

Will $20 million give Jeb an edge over his former protégé, or is Marco’s ability to deflect the attacks just more than Bush can handle? We will have to wait and see.

Marco Rubio Takes His Turn to Ride the Post-Debate Wave

marco-rubio-jeb-bush
Standard

Ted Cruz may have gotten the most applause at CNBC’s GOP debate when he unloaded on the mainstream media – but most pundits agree: Marco Rubio was the night’s clear overall winner.

Perhaps Rubio’s most striking moment was this verbal lashing of his former mentor, Jeb Bush:

Is ‘the Establishment’ Back in the Ring?

Conservative Solutions PAC, a pro-Rubio PAC, plucked out the brightest spots of Rubio’s debate performance and squeezed them down into this two-minute ad.

But maybe the Rubio camp shouldn’t get too ahead of itself just yet. We have seen candidates try to catch the post-debate wave, but keeping up the momentum appears to be a different challenge (we’re looking at you Carly Fiorina).

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.

“Good Government” Candidate Larry Lessig Not Afraid to Go Negative

marco-rubio-lawrence-lessig
Standard

Larry Lessig, the Harvard Law professor and referendum candidate, is running to get “big money” out of politics. But his first political spot proves he isn’t afraid to go negative.

In his inaugural ad Lessig targets Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the current leading “establishment” Republican.

Larry Lessig Asks ‘Who Owns Marco Rubio’

In this 15-second spot, we hear a campy carnival-esque music track and see a collage of corporate logos pop-up all over Marco Rubio’s jacket like he’s a political NASCAR driver.

We hear a woman’s voice say, “This is what our political system has turned into,” before ending with Lessig’s campaign slogan, “Fix Democracy First.”

Lessig Says There’s Plenty More Ads in the Works

In an interview last Wednesday, Lessig told the New York Times that he was spending more than $150,000 to run this ad in Iowa and New Hampshire.

He noted that the ad was part of a push “to rally people around the idea of the corrupting influence of money in politics.”

When asked why he wasn’t targeting his Democratic primary rivals, he told theTimes that the ad’s goal was to highlight his campaign platform and not “confuse it by starting an interparty war.” Lessig announced that he intends to hit Jeb Bush next.

Lawrence Lessig Left Out of the Democratic Debate

Lessig did not appear in the first Democratic debate – despite raising more than $1.2 million from over 10,000 donors and reaching 1% in the polls (that include him).

Lessig is not a typical presidential candidate. He declared that if he were to win the presidency, he would get money out of politics, step down from the post and hand the reigns to his vice president.

Lessig has been fighting to get more recognition in the Democratic field, but without a spot on the national debate stage, these short political ads may be all the attention he gets for now.

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.

Marco Rubio Predicts Putin’s Power Play in Syria

marco-rubio-crystal-ball
Standard

Donald Trump’s latest target seems to be Florida Senator Marco Rubio. And what’s Trump’s ammo? Calling Marco Rubio a “kid” who doesn’t understand global issues –least of all foreign policy.

Well, Trump may want to bite his tongue, because Marco Rubio’s prediction of the current scene in Syria has so far been accurate.

Marco Rubio’s Syrian Crystal Ball

We see a clip from CNN’s GOP debate, where on the issue of Syria, Marco Rubio was absolutely certain that “in then next few weeks, the Russians are going to begin to fly combat missions in that region, not just against ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad.”

And as Fox’s Megyn Kelly says in the ad, “Senator – you nailed it.”

The last week has been ripe with news reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin greatly increasing his foothold in Syria and defending his embattled, long-time ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“How did you know that was going to happen?” Megyn Kelly asks Rubio in the ad. “Well it was quite predictable,” Rubio answers. “It had already been reported in the media that the Russians had been positioning air assets in Syria and it was clear why – they were propping up Assad.”

Recent reports that the initial Russian airstrikes were not hitting ISIS, but instead targeted CIA-trained “moderate rebels,” further support Rubio’s assertions.

Is Rubio Really Such a Foreign Policy Prophet?

Foreign policy analysts may not be surprised by Rubio’s “predictions,” since there were plenty of news reports in the days leading up to CNN’s debate predicting the scene in Syria – not to mention the Kremlin has always openly supported the Assad regime.

Voters on the other hand, seem to be buying Rubio’s foreign policy clairvoyance. His polls have been on a slow but steady rise since his last debate performance – even allowing him to pass up fellow Floridian, Jeb Bush.

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.