On the second weekend after the 2012 election, the 2016 election season began, as Senator Marco Rubio visited Iowa to attend Iowa governor Terry Branstad’s birthday party. Iowa, of course, is the home of the first presidential nominating caucus and a second home to all prospective candidates.
As expected, Rubio dismissed speculation about his presidential ambitions, then tried out his new take on spinning Republican economics. “The way to turn our economy around is not by making rich people poorer, it’s by making poor people richer,” he said in his 24-minute speech at the dinner.
New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait points out that Rubio is the perfect candidate if the GOP wants to move left on immigration to attract Latino voters, “then to change on absolutely nothing else.” However, The New Republic‘s Nate Cohn has looked at the data and noted that if Romney had performed 20 points better with Hispanics, Obama still would have won 303 electoral votes.
Still, Rubio is a handsome Cuban-American Tea Party darling with a neo-conservative foreign policy. If he didn’t exist, the GOP would be trying to genetically engineer him. Simply put, he offers the ability to present the image of change without even attempting to alter the GOP’s pro-rich, anti-science policies.
In a new interview with GQ magazine, the junior senator from Florida stakes out his know-nothing credentials on science in a Mitt Romney-like way. When asked, “How old do you think the Earth is?” Rubio, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, responded:
I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.
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