Democrats fear Rubio on GOP ticket

The Hill:
Democrats have started to wage a political assault against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and the intensity of their attacks will intensify in the coming weeks. 
Senior officials in the Democratic Party anticipate that Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination and then tap Rubio to be his running mate. 
The former Massachusetts governor has a long way to go before he secures the GOP nod, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from launching early salvos at the freshman senator. 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), who has not been shy in lambasting GOP White House hopefuls in prior election years, has questioned whether Rubio really stands with the Hispanic voters with whom he is so popular on the issues most important to them. 
Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) tried to drive a wedge between Rubio, who is Cuban-American, and Hispanic voters. 
Democratic operatives have turned their attention in recent months to Rubio’s personal finances and his family background, going on digging missions that are usually reserved for presidential candidates. 
And campaign fundraising reports show that Rubio spent more than $40,000 in the last six months of 2011 to get himself researched by a public affairs firm — presumably to prepare for the wave of Democratic attacks against him. 
Democrats say Rubio’s record did not get adequate scrutiny in 2010 when he won a three-way Senate race against former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran as an independent, and former Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.). 
“I think Marco Rubio benefited in 2010 from a three-way race. There are some things about his record that probably did not get the scrutiny they deserve. I think the higher that he rises, the more people will start to look at some of those issues. He will have to be held accountable,” said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic super-PAC that specializes in opposition research. 
Rubio’s advisers are working to inoculate their boss from the deluge of opposition research and attacks that inundated former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin after she was named Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) running mate in 2008. 
“Marco’s campaign in 2010 couldn’t afford adequate research so we’re doing it now, since we know press are digging into things like his family history and his student loans and liberal super-PACs like American Bridge are doing oppo [research] dumps,” said Alex Conant, Rubio’s spokesman. 
“It’s clear the Obama White House and other liberals are somewhat obsessed with trying to knock him down, but the senator is focused on representing Florida in the U.S. Senate and fighting for conservative ideas,” he added. 
Rubio, who has refrained from endorsing in the GOP presidential primary, has said he is not interested in running with Romney on the GOP ticket. 
But Democratic officials are skeptical of that claim. 
“No one publicly campaigns to become vice president. We shall see what he says should the Republican nominee come knocking at his door,” said Mollineau. 
Rubio, 40, would be an appealing running mate because he represents Florida, a crucial presidential battleground state. Rubio’s skills as an orator and his Hispanic heritage clearly have Democrats worried. 
Hispanic voters represent the fastest-growing major bloc of the electorate and could make the difference in swing states such as Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. 
The first prong of the Democratic strategy against Rubio is to divide him from most Hispanic voters, who favor policies that Rubio has opposed such as the DREAM Act, which would grant legal residency to illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age and meet certain conditions. 
Wasserman Schultz has accused Rubio of being out of step with the greater Hispanic community. In January, she said a Romney-Rubio ticket would be “extreme.”
Extreme is one of the Democrats' favorite epithets to describe opponents.  they have been using it since at least Barry Goldwater's time.   There problem in this case is that Marco Rubio does not come across as anything other than reasonable.  He tends to talk about his family biography in justifying his positions.  He clearly loves this country and wants to keep it great.

The more you read this article the clearer it is that Democrats are frightened by running against an articulate conservative who is Hispanic.  They seem bent on going for the politics of personal destruction rather than confronting him on the issues.

The Dream Act maybe popular with liberal Hispanics who are not going to vote for a Republican anyway, but it should not be a deal breaker for the more traditional Hispanics who tend to be conservative anyway.  The fact is that the majority of Hispanics in this country are already citizens and they and their children do not need the Dream Act.  The Democrat approach is to treat them as tribal group who will always support the tribe rather than think for themselves.


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