The Miami Herald, the influential Florida newspaper that has steadily backed Marco Rubio since 2010, yesterday endorsed his Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy for US Senate.
Just six years ago, the Editorial Board wrote that Rubio had the “potential to be the kind of statesman Floridians can be proud to call a native son.” Yesterday, they declared him “a disappointment.”
New York Mag called it the “latest humiliation” for Rubio, who in recent days stammered in his defenseless defense of Donald Trump. According to the Miami Herald, “Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a test of character, and Sen. Rubio is failing that test”:
There are issues of sincerity and character for voters to consider. First, he reneged on his unequivocal pledge not to run for re-election for a position he once openly disdained — but only after he lost his bid for the Republican presidential nomination to his nemesis, Donald Trump. Then he endorsed Mr. Trump, whom he called a con man during the campaign. And still at this late date, he continues to stand by that endorsement, even as the Republican candidate stumbles from gaffe to insult to outrage.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a test of character, and Sen. Rubio is failing that test. How can voters believe he’s sincere when he says he does not share Mr. Trump’s awful views on Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, women, etc., yet — at the same time — stands by his endorsement of the New York billionaire? His act is unconvincing. It reeks of political convenience rather than political conviction.
Rubio has received further rebukes from Florida’s leading newspapers, including the Orlando Sentinel (“Until now, we have never missed an opportunity to recommend Marco Rubio to voters…this race is different.”), the Tampa Bay Times (“A Senate seat should not be a consolation prize for a failed presidential candidate killing time until his next run for the White House”), and the Sun Sentinel (“Send Patrick Murphy to Senate; send shirker Marco Rubio home”).