Rubio shouldn’t condemn what he doesn’t understand

Sen. Marco Rubio (R) chatted with National Review this week, and shared his outrage over President Obama’s press conference remarks.

Rubio tells us that he will respond to Obama’s recent press conference, where the president reveled in class-warfare bluster. “Quite frankly, I am both disappointed for our country and shocked at some of the rhetoric,” he says. “It was rhetoric, I thought, that was more appropriate for some left-wing strong man than for the president of the United States.”

“Talking about corporate jets and oil companies,” Rubio says, missed the point. “Everybody here agrees that our tax code is broken,” he says, and he is open to discussing tax reform. “But don’t go around telling people that the reason you are not doing well is because some rich guy is in a corporate jet or some oil company is making too much money.”

The right-wing freshman added that “by every measure,” conditions are “worse than it was” when Obama took office. (That’s still blisteringly stupid.)

But it’s Rubio’s basic listening comprehension skills that trouble me. As the Floridian sees it, the president is telling the country that some are struggling “because some rich guy is in a corporate jet or some oil company is making too much money.”

Consider what the president actually said.

“I want to be clear about what we’re proposing here. I spent the last two years cutting taxes for ordinary Americans, and I want to extend those middle-class tax cuts. The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners.

“It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we’ve got to make some tough choices here if we want to reduce our deficit…. Before we ask our seniors to pay more for health care, before we cut our children’s education, before we sacrifice our commitment to the research and innovation that will help create more jobs in the economy, I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.”

This really isn’t complicated. A member of the United States Senate should be capable of listening to the words and understanding their meaning.

Did Obama say people are struggling because of the wealthy? Of course not. The president merely said that people are going to have to make some sacrifices to bring down the deficit (a deficit Republicans created and now pretend to care about). Those sacrifices should include the end of tax breaks the very wealthy do not need.

Rubio hears this and it reminds him of “some left-wing strong man”?

I’ve long been concerned that Marco Rubio just isn’t terribly bright. This latest only salvo reinforces those fears.