There wasn’t much in the way of substance to distinguish Marco Rubio’s official Republican response to the State of the Union Address from the Tea Party response by Rubio’s Senate colleague, Rand Paul. Both were delivered by potential 2016 presidential nominees who entered the Senate on a wave of grassroots support in 2010. Both senators offered conservative rebuttals to President Obama’s stridently pro-government address.
From the earliest days of Marco Rubio’s plucky campaign for the U.S. Senate, his diehard supporters spoke of the day that their man would have an opportunity to challenge Barack Obama – his policies, his vision, his rhetoric. They were certain that Rubio was so gifted an orator and possessed such a unique set of political skills that he would be able to make immediate and improbable leaps that most politicians could not execute.
Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican senator elected in 2010, will give the Republican response to Barack Obama's state of the union address next week. From a joint statement from House speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell:
Senate Republicans signaled Tuesday afternoon that they may put up a fight if Barack Obama nominates former Nebraska Republican senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.
Asked about Hagel’s 2008 statement that the “Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people here [in Washington, D.C.],” South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham said Hagel will “have to answer for that comment” if he is nominated.