Marco Rubio’s Iowa problem
July 17th, 2013
06:54 PM ET
10 years ago

Marco Rubio’s Iowa problem

Washington (CNN) - Does Marco Rubio have an Iowa problem?

If Sam Clovis is any barometer, the answer is an unmitigated yes.

Clovis is a mustachioed, suspenders-wearing college professor from Sioux City who's running for Senate in Iowa, as a Republican. He’s not the favorite to win the nomination, but he’s no slouch either.

He also happens to be a popular conservative talk radio host who speaks the language of grassroots Republicans and has a keen sense of what motivates them.

So the fact that Clovis posted a low-budget web video Wednesday trashing Rubio for his work on the Senate immigration reform bill is an ominous sign for the Florida senator and would-be presidential candidate.

Despite recent hand-wringing about the flawed nature of the Iowa caucuses, the state is all but assured to keep its leadoff position in the 2016 nomination process. If Rubio runs, he'll have to make nice with Iowa conservatives. They just might not be nice to him.

“I might have expected this out of John McCain,” Clovis says of the immigration bill. “But we certainly didn’t expect this out of Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio was elected by conservatives in the state of Florida and he was supported by conservatives all over the United States. And there is nothing conservative in this bill.”

Like any self-styled member of the tea party movement, Clovis labels the bill “amnesty,” says it fails to adequately secure the border with Mexico and claims it will impose a heavy financial burden on state and local governments.

Clovis punctuates the video with a straightforward admonition: “Shame on Marco Rubio.”

Bottom line: If midterm Republican candidates in Iowa think they can score points with conservative voters by attacking Rubio and tying him to President Obama and reborn pragmatist John McCain, Rubio’s got some critical repair work to do on the right.

Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • Iowa • Marco Rubio
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Far too much is made of Iowa. I think the only way to stop the stupidity, is for all candidates to simply ignore Iowa.

    July 17, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. Howie

    Both Jeb Bush and Chris Christie favor immigration reform as well. The Republican Right may be left with Rand Paul even though their militaristic wing won't like him.

    July 17, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    You think Marco has problems now? Wait til the brain dead right wingnuts find out he is an anchor baby.

    July 17, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  4. thomas davie

    Senator Rubio isnt even going to run if Hillary does so we are jumping the gun a bit here.

    July 17, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. HenryMiller

    The Rubio bill is labeled "amnesty" only because it is—no one who entered or is staying in, the US illegally should ever be granted citizenship. Permanent legal residency, maybe, but not citizenship.

    July 17, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. Blue

    Mario is not Presidential material! Don't even go there. The GOP will not let this happen, and I applaud them.

    July 17, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. Jeb Bush


    Any Republican presidential candidate going forward, will have to move so far to the right to gain favor with Teapublicans and win the nomination, there is no way they can win the White House.

    Expect the next Republican nomination race to be just as much of a circus as the last one.

    July 18, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  8. Tom

    Rand Paul will win Iowa and New Hampshire

    July 18, 2013 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  9. Just a thought

    Iowa problem? Really CNN? Really? Let's tell the truth....Rube Man couldn't win third place in a two horse race. This guy is just another entry/passenger for the world famous GOP Clown car that has ran off the road into the gutter of useless....Last year's RNC convention was a complete joke.......not brown face in the bunch. And Rube Man thinks he'll be on the podium accepting the nom...LOL...ROFLMAO Dude... they held their nose to vote for the Twitster...U, just another also ran brown guy

    July 18, 2013 01:36 am at 1:36 am |

    Marco Rubio is a dope. The Guns Over People tea potty hung him out to dry. He let them do it.

    July 18, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Rubio the clown will be lucky to be realected in his next election . He represents only the teaparty extremist and the Cuban anchor baby's . What about the rest of us????????

    July 18, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |