Yahoo News asked readers to react to Sen. Marco Rubio's Republican response on Tuesday night. Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | With rumors swirling of future interest in the presidency, Sen. Marco Rubio delivered the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union on Feb. 12. While the speech may be remembered for the Floridian's uneasy drink of water, the substance of his remarks offered a robust defense of his party's principles.
As the sporting analogy declares, the best defense is often a good offense. And that is precisely what Rubio undertook when commenting on Obama's speech, guided by a mission to deflect typical criticism that Republicans favor the rich at the expense of America's middle class.
The 41-year-old Senator declared, "But his [Obama's] favorite attack of all is that those who don't agree with him -- they only care about rich people."
Whether concerning taxes, spending, or even specific policy preferences, this clichéd line has indeed become the president's favored attack. In fact, with class warfare serving as a winning topic of the last election, Obama knows that this tactic has worked effectively. Gov. Mitt Romney did not help with comments interpreted as hurtful to a referenced "47 percent" of the American public.
Yet, Rubio is in perfect position to attack such criticism. As the son of middle-class immigrants, his background is not one of privilege. Rubio's speech provided specific reasons why Republican policies actually benefit the middle class, including subjects like tax cuts, energy policy, and an improved legal immigration system. Republicans can no longer allow the president to define the playing field and Rubio's speech was a good start.
Jeff Briscoe is an attorney and writer from Port Charlotte, Fla., who is a regular contributor to the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
- Politics & Government
- Marco Rubio
- President Obama