Sen. Rubio the right choice in Saturday’s caucus


Sen. Marco Rubio, joining forces with Bobby Jindal, shares his vision for A New American Century during his campaign visit at the Courtyards of Andover Events Center in Andover, Minn., on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (David Joles/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Editorial Staff

Saturday is a historical day for Kentucky, as it will host the first ever Kentucky Republican caucus. This could prove to be a crucial event as the presidential field narrows down to determine who will be the Republican nominee.

While the Kentucky Kernel has shown admiration for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on our opinion page, both parties deserve a fair shake. With this in mind, the Kentucky Kernel endorses Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in Saturday’s caucus.

The youngest candidate in the Republican race is the most reasonable and moderate, other than maybe Ohio Gov. John Kasich (whose chances of victory at this point are astronomically low). Rubio tends to emphasize economic issues like job creation and federal spending over social issues like immigration and same-sex marriage, an admirable turn of pace compared to other top Republican candidates like Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

UK political science Professor Stephen Voss said Rubio’s policies appeal to young voters more than his age, since Americans tend to place policy above other factors. He said Rubio appeals greatly to educated Republicans.

“He’s clearly the dominant candidate among college educated Republicans,” Voss said. “Rubio is the candidate for the voters who lean in a more moderate direction.”

If Rubio, a Cuban American, were elected as the Republican candidate he could appeal to the Hispanic vote more than other Republicans Voss said.  Also, because Hispanic voters vote more based on policy just like other voters, it’s unlikely that he would steal the Hispanic vote from either of the Democratic candidates. But Rubio could certainly appeal to the group more than far-right Republicans Cruz and Trump.

On same-sex marriage, Rubio said he believes in the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, but that states should be able to determine their own marriage laws. Rubio said he recognizes same-sex marriage as the law of the land following the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges.

He has a complex plan to reform higher education in America, and while it is not as ideal as Sanders’ plan, it is a more appealing solution than any of the other Republican candidates have presented.

Rubio’s plan would among other things:

•Reduce the complexity of the federal financial aid application process

•Establish income-based repayment as the universal repayment method for federal student loans

•Establish legal and accountable framework for students to repay loans based on what they earned in college

•Modernize higher education technology to fit the 21st century

The Kernel is not endorsing Rubio for the presidency, but regarding this Saturday’s caucus, Rubio is the right choice among the remaining Republican candidates.

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