Only days after an icon of America’s conservative movement, author and activist Phyllis Schlafly, blasted GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio for betraying his supporters, a talk-radio host in the senator’s home state of Florida is labeling him a “Stepford candidate.”
“Really what I think he is, besides being a pathological liar, is he’s like a Stepford candidate,” said Joyce Kaufman, whose station, WFTL in Fort Lauderdale, promotes her as “South Florida’s leading independent voice.”
In an interview with WND, Kaufman cited Rubio’s murky record on immigration. While he currently insists he opposes amnesty for illegal aliens, he defends his partnership with seven senators, including four Democrats, in the “Gang of Eight” plan that provided a path to citizenship.
“He’ll say whatever you need him to say,” she said. “… He doesn’t care if it’s the truth or not. He’s not going to follow through anyway.”
Kaufman charged that establishment Republicans set up Rubio and are pushing his candidacy.
The Stepford reference is to the 1972 satirical thriller “The Stepford Wives,” in which a newcomer to a community suspects that the submissive housewives are robots. The term has come to be used in popular culture as a reference to someone who is controlled from behind the scenes.
Schlafly described Rubio as a plucky, appealing challenger for Florida’s open Senate seat when she first became aware of him some seven years ago.
“When Marco Rubio ran for the Senate in Florida, I think I was the first one to endorse him,” said Schlafly. “I made a trip down to Florida in 2009 just for the purpose of helping him.”
“Once he got elected, he betrayed us all,” she told WND. “He said he was against amnesty and against the establishment. And once he got in, right away, he became an agent of the establishment. And now, of course, he’s big for amnesty and letting all the illegal immigrants in. He betrayed us a number of times on that issue.”
Kaufman said her concern was the same.
In an interview with Rubio during his Senate run, he said he could not support anything that would include amnesty. He was opposing Charlie Crist in the primary, an “open borders” candidate, making Rubio the obvious choice for conservatives in the race.
Kaufman said she was skeptical, because Rubio, while in the Florida House, had failed to advance immigration proposals there.
But he promised publicly he “would never support or vote for a bill that included amnesty or a pathway to citizenship,” Kaufman told WND.
“Then, of course, he got up there, and it wasn’t a year-and-a-half and he was co-sponsoring the Gang of Eight,” she said, calling him a “Stepford candidate,” a reference to the robots in “The Stepford Wives.”
The Rubio campaign did not respond to a WND request for comment.
Kaufman said the only question is who is pulling Rubio’s strings?
“He was a tea-party guy with very little accomplishments, never held a real job, always worked where the taxpayers signed the paycheck,” she said. “I don’t think it’s like Karl Rove pulling strings, but I think there’s a group of people, and I’m really convinced they’re Florida people who have invested a lot of time and raised a lot of money and gotten a lot of endorsements for this guy, promising a lot of things to people.
“And I find it fascinating that it took a bully from New Jersey to expose him,” she said.
She was referring to a broadside delivered by Gov. Chris Christie to Rubio at the Republican primary debate in New Hampshire Saturday night.
Rubio was asked by the debate moderator to refute claims that, as a freshman senator, he lacks experience. Rubio argued that President Obama, also elected to the presidency as a first-term senator, has been very successful in his agenda.
“Marco, the thing is this: When you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person,” Christie said.
Watch video of Rubio infamously repeating a line during the GOP debate Feb. 7, 2016:
The Washington Examiner called it a “knockout blow, a determination that was the consensus conclusion of the national press corps covering the debate.”
Kaufman told WND “it’s hard to keep up” with Rubio’s positions on amnesty.
“What day is it and who’s the last person who spoke in his ear, because that’s essentially the message you’re going to get,” she said.
The Watchdogwire blog also criticized Rubio over his amnesty positions, and posted a video by critics who called him the “Amnesty Man.”
See the video:
Kaufman has been trying to expose Rubio for some time.
In a 2013 interview with WND, she characterized him as unprincipled and dishonest.
“He told me he was against amnesty, no pathway to citizenship, secure the borders that’s all we’ve got to worry about. Blah, blah, blah. It was a lie,” said Kaufman at the time.
“Marco Rubio has no principles. He has a wonderful story. We all love to hear about the Cuban immigrant family. And he’s so handsome and he has the wife and the perfect family,” Kaufman said. “But he’s a liar. He’s a pathological liar. He stands for nothing; he couldn’t care less about border security.”
Schlafly criticized the “establishment’s” efforts to pick a GOP nominee.
“They’re the people who have been picking losers all these years, and we want the grassroots to have a crack at it,” she said.
She criticized Rubio as just the latest front man for the “kingmakers” she has denounced her entire career.
At least one of Rubio’s rivals for the nomination have picked up on the narrative that he is the “establishment choice.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, campaigning in New Hampshire after his victory in Iowa, slyly has portrayed Rubio as the choice of the elites rather than the grassroots.
“I understand that in the media newsrooms and in the Washington establishment circles, Marco is the chosen one,” he said.
He also joked that in “the media’s telling, bronze is the new gold,” referring to the widespread treatment of Rubio’s third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses as a great success.
Schlafly urged conservatives not to take any chances with the election.
“Just look at what [Sen.] Jeff Sessions said – this is the last chance to save the America,” she said. “Immigration is the issue.”