At 44 years old, with a baby face and self-professed “love” of Tupac, Marco Rubio is often touted as the GOP’s best hope of appealing to younger voters. But on social issues, like LGBT rights and abortion, the Florida senator and Republican presidential candidate sounds less like a Gen Xer and more like a grandpa.
Considering the current presidential field, the remarks weren’t altogether shocking. Not one Republican candidate supports same-sex marriage and about half oppose allowing abortions even in cases of rape or incest.
Still, they were a little surprising for Rubio, who often plays up his youth on the campaign trail – or at least, tries to – stressing education reform, his own student loans, and the game Candy Crush.
Beyond raising red flags for the future of the GOP, Rubio’s CBN remarks also served as a striking reminder of the unique dynamics of this Republican primary battle, one where the traditional “moderate vs. conservative” theme has pretty much gone out the window.
“The old model is out,” Republican strategist Ford O’Connell told MSNBC. “What we have now are three people [Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and front-runner Donald Trump] trying to carve out the broadest portion of the electorate as possible.”
Aside from Trump’s ability to consistently defy the laws of political gravity, one of the principle narratives of this election so far has been the ongoing battle between Cruz and Rubio, the two candidates currently duking it out for second place – potentially first! – should Trump’s bubble ultimately burst.