GOP looks to 2016 and a Rubio presidency


Mark K. Lewis, in a column for The Week website, believes that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (pictured with Mitt Romney last year) has what it takes to return the Republican Party to the White House in 2016.

At first glance, a Rubio victory might appear far-fetched. But when you consider Barack Obama’s meteoric political rise, a Rubio presidency four years from now isn’t out of the question.

Among the challenges for Rubio, or any GOP presidential nominee, will be matching the Democratic Party’s voter-turnout organization, gaining the trust of Latino voters and distancing the Republican brand from Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” gaffe.

You can read Lewis’ column on Rubio here.

Billy Graham gets involved in the Nov. 6 election

On page A9 of today’s Fresno Bee, the Rev. Billy Graham has placed an advertisement that makes it clear how he feels about the Nov. 6 election:  ”I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these issues.”

Graham has placed similar ads in newspapers around the country this week. While the newspaper advertisement does not mention Mitt Romney, the ad campaign is viewed as support for the Republican presidential candidate. Romney recently met with Graham in his Montreat, North Carolina home. After the meeting, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association adjusted its website to no longer make reference to Mormonism as a cult. Graham also issued this statement after the meeting with Romney:

“It was an honor to meet and host Gov. Romney in my home today, especially since I knew his late father former Michigan Gov. George Romney, whom I considered a friend. I have followed Mitt Romney’s career in business, the Olympic Games, as governor of Massachusetts and, of course, as a candidate for president of the United States.

“What impresses me even more than Gov. Romney’s successful career are his values and strong moral convictions. I appreciate his faithful commitment to his impressive family, particularly his wife Ann of 43 years and his five married sons.”


Will Thursday’s VP debate actually matter on Nov. 6?

The campaign’s lone vice presidential debate will be held Thursday evening at Centre College in Danville, KY. The big question is whether the 90-minute encounter between Vice President Joe Biden and GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan will have any impact on undecided voters in the presidential contest.

It should be an interesting debate. You have the gaffe-prone vice president facing off against one of the smartest members of the House of Representatives. But don’t count out Biden, the veteran politician. If he can stick to his talking points, he could help the Democratic cause. But when he strays from the script, look out. Ryan is always well-prepared and he will be looking to build on the debate performance of his running mate, Mitt Romney.

But the expectations will be high for Ryan, so he must live up to the advance billing. Biden, on the other hand, will benefit from his reputation for misspeaking. If he does well, that could be considered a victory. Biden is expected to go after Ryan and Romney Thursday night, and we’ll have to see how the voters react to an aggressive posture by the vice president.

The VP debate starts at 6 p.m. California time. There are two other presidential debates — Oct. 16, which will be a town hall format at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, and Oct. 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL. That final debate will have the same format as the first debate in Denver.

President Obama, who did poorly in the first debate, is going to want voters to have long forgotten his performance in Denver by the time the third debate is concluded. Romney, of course, is going to keep reminding voters of the first debate.

The race is close, and all the debates will have an impact — even Thursday’s vice presidential debate.