At a Spanish-language senatorial debate last week in Florida, The Daily Caller reports, candidates were faced with the following question from an elderly couple on a fixed income:
We have been victims of a fraud that eliminated all our capital, and as a consequence, we’ve been trying to modify our mortgage to be able to continue with our monthly payments…after always fulfilling our obligations, the bank began our foreclosure…what would you do to help people that are in similar situations?…Workers, responsible citizens that are just about to be without a home. Also, we’re veterans.
Marco Rubio, first up to bat on the question, answered:
It sounds like you’re a victim of a crime. First and foremost, we have to insist that our law enforcement agencies crack down on the people that have perpetrated this. You would also try to use pressure, and, if necessary, legislation, to force banks to deal with people like you in the appropriate way. It’s not your fault that you’re in the position that you’re in. You don’t just deserve a modification. It sounds like the position that you’re facing goes much further than that.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen plenty of evidence that speaks to Rubio’s limited-government conservative bona fides. But in this particular response, Rubio seems uncharacteristically reliant on the federal government to bring about social justice. While his expression of empathy is certainly appropriate, the suggestion that the federal government use legislation to coerce banks, or any private business, into extending charity is reminiscent of George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” or even a more sinister strain of statism.
Is Marco Rubio becoming a squish?