But then came the Pulse nightclub massacre, which awakened something in the anti-LGBT rights, anti-gun-control conservative. Suddenly, Rubio was giving interviews to the Advocate, gushing about how "deeply touched" he was — so touched, in fact, that he had to run for Senate again.
Well, whatever LGBT sympathy the murder of 49 innocent clubgoers awakened has apparently gone the way of Rubio's private-sector ambitions. He has already spoken to a rabidly anti-gay Christian group.
Now Rubio has thrown deep shade at Chelsea Manning, the transgender former Army private and WikiLeaks leaker whom President Obama pardoned yesterday. See if you can notice what's off about Rubio's statement condemning Obama's move:
New Times asked Rubio's spokesperson if that omission was on purpose, but we haven't heard back. It's hard to believe the wording was an accident, though.
Manning's case is a trifecta of outrages for the GOP base, and dog-whistling at her postarrest transition is a sly way for Rubio to hint that it's OK to be outraged at not only Manning's crime or Obama's clemency but also her gender status.
(H/T to Marc Caputo)