Election 2020

Rubio Ad: Obama Unwilling to Defend Constitution

In a new Iowa ad released Wednesday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio unabashedly declares his belief in God and alleges that President Barack Obama is unwilling to swear on a Bible that he will uphold the Constitution.

The 30-second ad “Eight Years” features Rubio standing before four panels, each with a quintessential American picture — the Constitution, the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, the photograph of the first man on the Moon, and the Marine Corps Memorial.

“I believe you can’t have a strong America without strong families,” Rubio declares, solemnly but upbeat. “I believe in the fundamental freedoms that make us great. And I believe in God, that God has blessed America.”

Then the Florida senator gets in a subtle dig at President Obama. “It’s time for a president who will put their left hand on the Bible and their right hand in the air and keep their promise to uphold the Constitution. It’s been eight years since we’ve had a president willing to do that. I will.” President Obama took the oath of office seven years ago, but he also took it in 2013 for his second term. The video is here.

The substance of Rubio’s attack on Obama is unclear, but given the ad’s focus on faith, it seems he might be questioning the genuineness of President Obama’s belief in and dedication to God and the Bible. The Florida senator may just mean that Obama has not kept his promise to uphold the Constitution — an argument with which most conservatives would likely agree.

The last few weeks have marked a clear rise in Rubio’s emphasis on faith, as the February 1 Iowa caucuses draw near. Nine days before this ad, his campaign released another video called “Faith,” in which the senator declared, “Our goal is eternity, the ability to live alongside our creator for all time. To accept the free gift of salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ.” Rubio has also brought up his faith a great deal on the stump, even explaining a large chunk of the Gospel in response to an atheist’s question.