Marco Rubio has been getting it from all sides this week about his aggressive stance against the budget deal passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.
Both Alex Leary in today's Tampa Bay Times documents and especially Michelle Cottle in the Daily Beast take note of how transparent Rubio's political ambitions appear to be with his full-throated dissent from the plan, which was crafted to avoid another government shutdown and reduce the effects of sequestration over the next two years.
But there's another author that surprisingly comes to Rubio's defense, at least when it comes to his announcement that he recently signed his family up for the Affordable Care Act. It's none other than the man who lost to him in the Senate race in 2010, former (and potentially future) governor Charlie Crist.
Crist has penned an op-ed that salutes Florida's junior Senator for signing up his family for "receiving federal subsidies," but gets to his main point when he writes that he hopes it will "Spur Governor Rick Scott to have courage when it comes to Florida’s uninsured."
That's a reference to the fact that Scott has been utterly missing in action when it comes to advocating that the Florida Legislature expand Medicaid coverage. Back in February Governor Scott stunned observers by saying that he supported the the federal government's offer to pay for the state expanding its Medicaid services for the next three years, and no less than 90 percent for its duration.
But unlike some other GOP governors who faced a reluctant state legislature, Scott hasn't done any arm-twisting of lawmakers from his own party, opening up to criticism from Democrats and Affordable Care Act supporters.
The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Instead of ignoring this reality, Governor Rick Scott should be trying to figure out how to make the law best work for the people. Instead, he’s directing the Republican Party to use the issue to scare people who are excited about affordable healthcare, like Marco Rubio and his family.
Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee should stop the political knife fight and figure out what’s actually best for the people. That’s what Marco Rubio did for his own family. That’s what Rick Scott should do for the people of Florida.
Thank you, Senator Rubio, for your endorsement of the new health care law.
Meanwhile the Daily Beast's Michelle Cottle eviscerates Rubio in a piece called "The Cruzification of Marco Rubio,", where she writes:
Even by the debased and debasing standards of modern politics, Rubio’s frenzied, shameless pandering to the GOP base is more than impressive; it’s genuinely breathtaking. Forget his current Cassandra act on the budget deal. Recall how brutally he threw his own immigration bill under the bus when it became clear that it was costing him support among conservatives. The Gang of 8 compromise passed the Senate in late June; by late October, Rubio was running around lecturing every reporter he saw about the need to ditch it in favor of the more “realistic” go-slow, piecemeal approach favored by House Republicans. As Rubio’s spokesman, Alex Conant, put it to TPM.com: “We should not allow an inability to do everything to keep us from doing something.” (The senator’s office declined to comment for this story.)
And regarding Rubio's getting Obamacare? "Senator Rubio spent time looking at all the options and decided to enroll through the D.C. exchange for coverage for him and his family," spokeswoman Brooke Sammon told the Times earlier this week.