Who could forget President-elect Donald Trump’s constant name calling throughout the presidential campaign?
These were just a few.
A more notable one was Trump’s nickname for Florida senator Marco Rubio, “Little Marco.”
This was most likely Trump’s way of intimidating Senator Rubio, as Rubio stands at 5′ 9″ compared to President-elect Trump’s 6′ 3″ stature. As soon as Senator Rubio threw his first attack at Donald Trump during the primaries, the namecalling began. Trump was relentless towards Rubio, as Trump was probably intimidated by him. Senator Rubio is an incredibly intelligent individual and is extremely well-versed when it comes to foreign policy.
Being that foreign policy is not one of Donald Trump’s strengths, it seems he saw Senator Rubio as a serious threat towards his candidacy. Of course, Rubio’s attacks on the now President-elect did not appeal to his supporters and eventually led to Rubio’s defeat in the Florida primary. Rubio then went on to change course and run for re-election to his senate seat. He won and is now in his second term as a senator.
Senator Rubio, as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee is tasked with being one of the senators who questions the President-elect’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson during his confirmation hearings. This week, as Tillerson was questioned during his hearing we saw Senator Rubio come at Tillerson hard, especially when it came to Russia. Even before the hearings started, Rubio expressed his concerns about Tillerson, saying that he believes Tillerson is too cozy with the country during his time as CEO of ExxonMobil. During the confirmation hearing Senator Rubio asked Mr. Tillerson whether he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin is a war criminal.
When Tillerson refused to use that term, Rubio went into a full length description as to why he believes Mr. Putin fits that description. It was clear that throughout the hearing, Senator Rubio had serious doubts and concerns about Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Throughout his presidential campaign, Rubio called Putin a bully and was a harsh critic of him. This stands in contrast to President-elect Trump’s stance in which he says he wants to get along with Putin and sees it as an asset if Putin likes him.
Senator Rubio poses a real threat to Rex Tillerson’s chances of becoming the next Secretary of State, a job that Rubio considers to be the second most important job in the federal government, right behind the presidency. Let’s break the voting math down. The Republicans currently hold a one person majority over the Democrats on the Foreign Relations committee. So, if Rubio votes no when the committee votes, that would put Tillerson’s chances in serious jeopardy.
It would then give Rubio the momentum when the full senate votes on Tillerson’s nomination to encourage some of his colleagues such as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to vote no which would be the end of Tillerson’s nomination. If all Democratic senators vote no and three Republican senators vote no, Tillerson is done. This result would not only send President-elect Trump into a Twitter tirade against Senator Rubio, but would give Rubio a new sense of power that Donald Trump probably didn’t think he had.