We've heard a lot of big-name Republicans say "no" to being on the 2012 ticket, and have heard many of the same names come up in discussions to be on the VP spot. While Sen. Marco Rubio has been at the top of many wish-lists, he may disappoint his fans once more; in a recent interview with NRO's Jim Geraghty, Rubio said a Romney/Rubio ticket was "not going to happen." Fair enough- I can't read his mind, but even if we take his word for it, the fact that he's such a beloved figure makes it important to deal with some potential flaws of his before he steps into an even bigger spotlight.
This takes me to Radio Derb, John Derbyshire's weekly half-hour podcast hosted on National Review Online. In Mr. Derbyshire's latest offering, which can be read as a transcript here, he spends a few minutes talking about Rubio, a "simply terrible choice" for the VP spot.
The highlight of the item was a clip of Rubio starting a speech this week on the topic of Obamacare. As you can see in this YouTube video, he starts off with a short and sweet summary of why Obamacare is a bad policy. But at about 1:40 into the video, he starts speaking in Spanish. You take it from here, Derb:
The language of our country is English, and our leaders should address us in no other.
John Quincy Adams had lived in Germany and spoke the language fluently, facts that were well-known to the Americans of his time. When he was running for re-election as president in 1828, Adams was asked to address a gathering of German-speaking Americans in German. He refused on principle. Yes, I do know he lost that election; but he was still a better man, certainly a better American, than Marco Rubio.
This country can only work — can only be a country worth the name — under an ethic of relentless assimilation. You settle here, you Americanize yourself, for which the very first step is to master English, so you can join in the national political conversation. John Quincy Adams understood that. My immigrant wife understood it. Marco Rubio does not understand it.
Marco Rubio would be near to my last choice for the vice-presidential spot. My first choice? Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. ¡Plugiera a Dios que fuera así! [Would to God it were so!]