Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio dropped by the Fox News studio this week to chat up the ladies of Outnumbered, Fox News’ right-leaning facsimile of The View, in which everyone is the Elisabeth of the panel. Rubio defended his record on immigration, insisting he didn’t flip-flop by disavowing a comprehensive immigration reform measure he once supported. “We do have to address this issue,” Rubio said. “The only thing I am arguing differently than what I did three years ago is that we can’t do it in one single step.” But just when Rubio thought he’d dodged the tough questions about the integrity of his positions, Outnumbered co-host Andrea Tantaros caught him with an unexpected haymaker, pressing him to choose a favorite member of Wu-Tang Clan.
Rubio first acknowledged his awareness of the legendary hip hop collective when TMZ accosted him in February 2013. He remembered them from an appearance on Chappelle’s Show but declined to choose a favorite member, perhaps afraid that naming GZA would be impolitic, potentially costing him the crucial political support of Ghostface Killah. But Tantaros, ever the tenacious reporter, circled back, asking Rubio to settle the question once and for all. So which Wu-Tang affiliate is Rubio most partial to? Method Man? Raekwon? Or is he that guy who says “I actually think U-God is the most talented” just to be provocative? Rubio side-stepped the question yet again, because apparently they’re too old-school for his contemporary taste. “That’s, like, early ‘90s stuff,” Rubio said dismissively.
Then roughly 20 seconds later, after being asked what music he does like, Rubio said he’s a huge fan of “Backspin,” Sirius XM Radio’s old-school hip hop format, which plays the classic ’90s tracks he likes. It’s a glaring contradiction, one that no doubt delighted Democratic oppo researchers and horrified Fox News conservatives, who learned that sometimes biased, gotcha journalism comes from the people you trust most. “I was hoping you’d say RZA,” said Tantaros, so now at least Rubio is aware of a valid response to the question that won’t die.
To be fair, Rubio told the Outnumbered gang he was more of a West Coast hip hop fan, naming Dr. Dre and 2Pac as two of his favorites. Rubio, who made a point to mention he doesn’t play hip hop in front of his kids, praised 2Pac’s 1996 album All Eyez On Me, calling it “one of the greatest rap albums ever.” He didn’t mention the album by name, but identified it by referencing its single, “California Love.” He may have done this to avoid wading out of the co-hosts’ depths, fearing they may not be able to intelligently discuss such deep album cuts as “Ambitionz Az A Ridah,” “Shorty Wanna Be A Thug,” or “Wonda Why They Call You Bitch.”
Further proving his rich knowledge of hip hop history, Rubio summarized the East Coast-West Coast rivalry that defined hip hop in the ‘90s, an era Rubio either loves or doesn’t care about, depending on which artist from that era is being discussed. Tantaros asked him if he was a Notorious B.I.G. fan, but the partisan Rubio reiterated his affinity for 2Pac. “I’m a West Coast fan,” he said. “I don’t think they should have shot each other and had a dispute that way, but I was a West Coast fan.” Elsewhere in the interview, Rubio slammed Hillary Clinton for her “abysmal foreign policy” during her time as Secretary of State, because clearly he’s the guy better equipped to understand, explain, and make informed decisions about nuanced global conflicts.
To his credit, Rubio is far more knowledgeable about hip hop than two-time Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, who is still awaiting an answer to his question about the dogs and demanding to know who authorized their release. Forget Obamacare—when are the relentless journalists at Fox News going to investigate the release of the dogs?