After former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum exited the GOP presidential race on Wednesday, he immediately endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio for president. Santorum wasted no time going out on media outlets to talk about his endorsement. However, his appearance on MSNBC’s The Morning Joe did not go very well. (video below)
When a person decides to publicly endorse someone for an elected office, one would expect that person to be able to say why they are endorsing them. When it comes to the presidency, the expectation is that some accomplishment in the individual’s career could be noted. When Santorum was asked to name a Rubio accomplishment that led him to endorse, he could not name one.
Host Joe Scarborough asked, “Can you name his top accomplishment in the Senate, actually working in the Senate doing something that tilted your decision to Marco Rubio?”
Seeming almost as if he was caught off guard by the question, Santorum struggled to answer.
“You know, here’s what I would say about that. My feeling on Marco is, someone who has tremendous potential, tremendous gifts. If you look at being a minority in the United States Senate in a year where nothing, four years where nothing got done, I guess it’s hard to say their accomplishments. I mean, you tell me, what happened during that four years that was an accomplishment for anybody. I mean, it was complete gridlock.”
Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski, quickly chimed in and told Santorum that Republicans have been in the majority of the Senate for the past two years. Santorum shot back that it has actually only been one year and one month during which time Rubio has been running for president. (Probably not an defense argument that you want to make for someone who has been highly criticized for missing so many votes in D.C.)
Brzezinski then gave Santorum an opening to at least go back to Rubio’s time in the Florida where he served in the House of Representatives for nearly eight years, including almost two years at the end of his term as Speaker of the House. Scarborough gave him suggestions as well, asking him to share something like a bill that he wrote or a moment in a committee.
It was a prime opportunity for Santorum to name some of Rubio’s accomplishments while serving his state or highlight perhaps something Marco did or said as part of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee. (Of course, he avoided his leadership on the Gang of Eight bill.)
Beyond stating that Rubio was Speaker of the House in Florida, though not expounding on what he accomplished in that role, and he still couldn’t name an accomplishment of Rubio’s.
Embarrassingly, Santorum named frustration and being on the campaign trail as accomplishments before admitting that he doesn’t believe Rubio even has accomplishments. The entire interview was a fiasco.
The Rubio campaign may want to think twice about sending Santorum out to sing his praises or at the very least prep him better for answers. This interview by Santorum brings to mind the phrase, “With friends like these, who needs enemies.”