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Rubio's terrible week of rebranding

Flip-flopping senator takes a hard right turn to try to regain base

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“Here’s the problem: It raises it by $60 billion, the spending, but it pays it over 10 years,” he told her. “Well, you know how that works. Over the next couple years they’ll forget it, and they will keep borrowing more.”

Wait, what? The response from his Republican brethren – especially widow’s-peaker U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wis. – was sort of like watching a senior fraternity bro brush off an overanxious pledge. After all, Ryan’s budget compromise with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., passed the house overwhelmingly on Thursday by a 332-94 vote – and was certain to pass the more liberal Senate – so the petulant grandstanding of Rubio was moot political theater.

“In the minority, you don’t have the burden of governing, of getting things done,” Ryan said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Dec. 12, barely concealing his smirk.

An even more succinct indictment came from former Republican White House staffer Peter Wehner in a column in Commentary magazine.

“One senses that believing he badly hurt himself with the base because of his stand on immigration, he’s now scrambling to ingratiate himself with it,” Wehner wrote. “It isn’t a particularly impressive thing to watch.”

Sure, but it is entertaining.

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