All three morning shows, Wednesday, pounded Marco Rubio, forcing him to defend a supposedly anti-Hispanic Republican Party and explain that the GOP won't destroy Medicare. CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "...Many people worry that people who are Hispanic, African-American and other minorities don't have a place in this party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He continued, "[Your party is] becoming something that is more narrow rather than outreaching." On ABC's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos pushed the same liberal talking point. He quoted Antonio Villaraigosa, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, parroting "He [Villaraigosa] said you can't just trot out a brown face or as Spanish surname and expect people to vote for your candidate. He was referring to you tomorrow night."
Stephanopoulos reminded, "If Mitt Romney's going to win this race, he is going to have to do better with Hispanic voters than he is doing right now, right?"
The former Democratic operative turned journalist also continued the left-wing attack on Paul Ryan, chiding, "But you saw what the Democrats did the minute he was picked, especially right here in Florida. They come out and say his plans will end Medicare as we know it. Did his choice hurt Mitt Romney's chances?"
Over on CBS, Rose pompously demanded to Senator Rubio: "Tell me what you think the hard truths are about the Republican Party."
On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer brought up the "gender gap" and worried, "Do you think the abortion issue as problem closing that gender gap all together?"
A transcript of the August 29 CBS This Morning segment can be found below:
CHARLIE ROSE: We turn to politics and the Republican National Convention. Florida senator Marco Rubio will be in the spotlight tomorrow night. He introduces Mitt Romney. Senator Rubio joins us here this morning. Welcome
MARCO RUBIO: Welcome to Florida. Welcome back to Florida.
ROSE: It's good to be in Florida. Tell me what you think the hard truths are about the Republican party.
RUBIO: The hard truths that America faces, it needs to be involved in telling people a number of things. We have a government that spends a trillion dollars more than it takes in. We have programs that are critical for our future like Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security that are currently structured in a way that in the long-term are not sustainable. And so people in my generation have to accept that if we want those programs to look the same for our parents and grandparents and also survive for our generation, we have to accept that Medicare, for example, will look different for us. I'm not sure how hard those truths are. Those are truths, and I think Americans have been always able to face the realities of the moment and confront them and solve them. I think that's what Governor Christie was pointing out last night.
ROSE: Is Medicare going to be a difficult issue for Republicans in Florida, where so many senior citizens live?
RUBIO: Well, it's a difficult issue for America to deal with. Let me say this, in Florida we have 3 million people that are impacted by it. One of them is my mother, one of them is Paul Ryan's mother. They clearly understand how important it is to save this program. Anyone who is in favor of leaving it as it is now is in favor of bankrupting it. There's a way to fix Medicare that doesn't change it at all for people on the Medicare or about to enter it.
NORAH O'DONNELL: I thought last night we heard a lot about Mitt Romney the man from Ann Romney. Chris Christie talked about himself, but also on Mitt Romney's conservative principles. We'll hear from Paul Ryan tonight, somebody who certainly energized the conservative base of this party. Do you think he'll talk more about Mitt Romney the man or do you think he'll talk specifically about Medicare, spending, more issues?
RUBIO: If I know Paul Ryan, we're going to get a policies speech that's also inspiring. That's the unique ability he has, to both inspire and also inform. I just can't wait for tonight. I think people will get to meet Paul Ryan the way I've gotten to know him in the time I've been in Washington and when I was a candidate. This is a guy in politics for the right reasons. I think at this time tomorrow, he's going to have a bunch of new fans across this country.
ROSE: Do you think Americans are prepared to take the responsibility of taking money from the government, and buying their own Medicare health insurance.
RUBIO: Well, I think Americans are prepared to save Medicare. There's going to be a debate about what's the best way to do that. The good news is Republicans are offering solutions. The bad news is that Democrats are only offering talking points.
ROSE: Let me get to the point I wanted to ask you about the Republican party. They say it's changing. You are a rising star in this party. How is it changing? Because many people worry that people who are Hispanic, African-American and other minorities don't have a place in this party. You're becoming something that is more narrow rather than outreaching.
RUBIO: Well, It's not going to be that way and it doesn't have to be that way. Look, here's the challenge. We're believers in limited government and free enterprise. We're not anti-government. Government has a role to play, and it needs to play that role. But we understand that the less government there is, the more room there is for the private sector. The challenge is how do you take this movement of limited government, free enterprise, and apply it to 21st century problems. A 21st century that's changing faster than anything, than thing's have ever changed.
O'DONNELL: You had talked about the challenges the Republican Party has courting Hispanic voters. Barack Obama has spent 7 to 1 in terms of spending. Outspent Mitt Romney in terms of Spanish language advertising to Hispanic voters -- does Mitt Romney need to do more?
RUBIO: Here's the problem we've had, and it's a quirk in the campaign laws. He hasn't been allowed to spend the money, because there's this thing where you can't spend it until your out of the primary, until he's formally nominated. So he just couldn't spend the money. But we're excited about the fact that now he's going to be able to spend money both in English and Spanish to explain to people how his policies will help grow the economy, help small businesses and help people have the confidence to invest in the future.
O'DONNELL: So you say he's should do more?
RUBIO: He's going to do more. The problem is that he hasn't been able to spend the money until he was formally the nominee, he wasn't allowed to spend general election money.
ROSE: Much of talk of this convention is about likability and caring. Do you think that Governor Romney needs help on that issue?
RUBIO: I just think Governor Romney needs to be the Mitt Romney.
ROSE: And they know Mitt Romney, what do they know?
RUBIO: You heard it last night. He is a modest person, who doesn't like to brag about what he's done for others. We have to let the American people know who he is, he's a special person. Put aside the fact that people might disagree with him on policies. When they get to know this person as a father, a husband, a grandfather and what he's done for his church and community
ROSE: Why haven't they gotten to know that so far?
RUBIO: You know, I think you heard a little bit about it last night. He's naturally a modest person, who doesn't like to brag about himself. It's not bragging now, it's informing people of the man who is going to occupy the most important office in the country. This is a unique and special person, who really is a role model for younger Americans like myself.
ROSE: But he needs to reveal more of himself is your argument.
RUBIO: He is doing that. But I think reluctantly, because I think he's a modest person who doesn't like to brag about himself. But we're going to do it for him.