Marco Rubio says ‘shadow government’ runs America, downplays Donald Trump ties to Project 2025

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He said Biden is merely a ‘figurehead’ and that Trump’s priorities aren’t necessarily aligned with Project 2025.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says that while Joe Biden may hold the title of President, he’s not really leading the country.

Instead, a “shadow government” of unelected bureaucrats and consultants are steering America’s course behind the scenes, he said, adding that Donald Trump will end that arrangement on Day One of his second term.

“Donald Trump’s running on common sense,” Rubio told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, “versus the lunacy of the last four years and the far left and the shadow government that’s now running our country with Joe Biden as its figurehead.”

Rubio’s comments came during talks about Project 2025, a comprehensive plan spearheaded by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank to reshape the United States federal government and consolidate executive power with a Trump win this November.

The plan has attracted some negative attention in recent weeks for some of its extreme aims. Among other things, it proposes purging thousands of civil servants from federal agencies if their political leanings are deemed too liberal, slashing federal money for research and investment in renewable energy, reversing approval of the abortion pill mifepristone and banning pornography.

Democrats have tried to leverage Project 2025’s general unpopularity to convince undecided voters to back Biden, despite concerns about the incumbent President’s cognitive faculties.

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts inadvertently helped them Tuesday, when he described Project 2025 as part of a “second American revolution” conservatives are waging that “will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.” His statement attracted immediate blowback.

Trump, meanwhile, has tried since last year to distance himself from the plan, claiming on his Truth Social platform that he knows “nothing about Project 2025” or “who is behind it.”

“I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal,” he said. “Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them.”

Project 2025 personnel wrote on X Friday that the initiative “does not speak for any candidate or campaign” and that “it is ultimately up to (the) President, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which (of the plan’s) recommendations to implement.”

Rubio, a top contender for Trump’s running mate, supported that assertion Sunday. He told Bash that while he agrees with “some of the things they stand for,” the Heritage Foundation and Project 2025 aren’t an official representation of Trump’s policy outlook.

“Think tanks do think tank stuff,” he said. “I’ve seen plenty of write-ups, frankly not just from left-wing think tanks but from columnists and others who are opinion writers who have actually come up with crazy ideas that are now the policies of the United States under Joe Biden.”

Asked to address Roberts’ comments, Rubio was similarly dismissive.

“He’s not running for President, is he?” he said. “I mean, our candidate’s Donald Trump. I didn’t see Donald Trump say that.”

Others aren’t as convinced there’s no connection between Trump and Project 2025. Democratic National Committee spokesperson Aida Ross pointed out recently that several past Trump administration officials — including Trump’s former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel and Management, Paul Dans; former Associate Directors of Presidential Personnel Spencer Chretien and Troup Hemenway; former White House aide Johnny McEntee; former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; and former West Wing adviser Stephen Miller — are directly involved with the initiative.

Biden’s campaign also noted Friday that Karoline Leavitt, Trump’s campaign press secretary, has appeared in Project 2025 recruitment advertising.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


21 comments

  • Gilbye Sochiashun

    July 7, 2024 at 6:32 pm

    Trying falsely to tie Trump to Project 2025 is like trying to tie Biden to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    Reply

    • Elvis Pitts "THE BIG VOICE ON THE RIGHT" American

      July 7, 2024 at 9:18 pm

      Good evening “Dook 4 Brains Leftys,
      STAND BY FOR SAGE WISDOM:
      Listen up Dooks, your sicko wish that Trump will choose the “Just OK BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN “LITTLE MARCO” will never come true.
      Practice saying these Sage Words of Wisdom:
      “VPOTUS RON & THE BEAUTIFUL CASEY DESANTIS”
      REPETA:
      “VPOTUS RON & THE BEAUTIFUL CASEY DESANTIS”
      REPETA:
      Keep on saying it 24/7,
      You are welcome,
      Elvis [FKA EARL] Pitts American

      Reply

  • Hologram Joe

    July 7, 2024 at 6:55 pm

    Biden doesn’t govern. Who is the person or persons behind the curtain? Of course CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times is in on the coverup. Truly amazing the American people seem to be okay with this. Maybe that’s why we have Fakebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok.

    Reply

  • Michael K

    July 7, 2024 at 7:02 pm

    Just as Trump outsourced all of his judicial appointee work to Leonard Leo – Project 2025 was put together by a long list of former Trump staffers, officials, cabinet members, donors and advisors. It’s impossible that Trump could be unaware of this.

    Reply

    • Hologram Joe

      July 7, 2024 at 7:23 pm

      Project 2025 and abortion. What else do you have? Let’s talk foreign policy. Let’s talk the economy. Let’s talk the Southern Border. Let’s talk crime. How about those Newsom voting flash mober’s in Oakland?

      Reply

      • Michael K

        July 7, 2024 at 7:53 pm

        What about what about what about. The many personalities of Ms Pushaw.

        Reply

        • Impeach Biden

          July 7, 2024 at 7:58 pm

          Another non counter by Michael K. Do you need cheat sheets, cue cards, friendly media,teleprompters as well? Call Joe. He can hook you up.

          Reply

          • Michael K

            July 7, 2024 at 8:07 pm

            Poor Ms Pushaw. She forgets which personality she is assuming. Bless her heart.

        • MH/Duuuval

          July 8, 2024 at 2:55 pm

          Pshaw is apparently screening (on the down low) “CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times.” Otherwise, how would she know what goes on there?

          Reply

  • tom palmer

    July 7, 2024 at 7:47 pm

    Yep GOP always wants to talk about those people at the gates instead of Big Brother.

    Reply

    • Impeach Biden

      July 7, 2024 at 8:07 pm

      Big Brother. Interesting. Where was and is Big Brother in regards to the complete incompetence of the Biden Administration. So the state run media was telling us Biden is sharp, engaged, on point, etc. It was all BS and the zombies were all in.

      Reply

    • Elvis Pitts "THE BIG VOICE ON THE RIGHT" American

      July 7, 2024 at 9:26 pm

      Excuse me Tom,
      You have been placed under investigation as a possable disgusting Dook 4 Brains Leftist. You are henceforth placed under a painfull no Wanking 3 Day Chastizement.
      I know you are thinking; “I, Dook 4 Brains tom palmer dont need to wank every day …. so Dueces on You Elvis.
      Just wait for Day Two of No Wanking Tom.
      Just wait,
      Elvis Pitts American

      Reply

      • rick whitaker

        July 8, 2024 at 9:20 pm

        earl pitts/ gary burbank/ billy purser, i thought you choked on an orange turd, i guess you somewhat recovered.

        Reply

  • My Take

    July 7, 2024 at 8:50 pm

    Dorko Rubio … Loon and Liar

    Reply

  • PeterH

    July 7, 2024 at 9:51 pm

    Nothing has changed! A nationwide ban on abortion has been the lynchpin of Republican lawmakers and policy experts since Reagan. Evangelical Christians are a core constituency within the GQP and that alliance has not diminished. PROJECT 2025 is the GQP’s roadmap for the future. PROJECT 2025’s defined strategy is to implement their authoritarian UNITARY EXECUTIVE THEORY. Make no mistake the institution of the UNITARY EXECUTIVE was just blessed by the Supreme Court and bit by bit Republicans are already laying the groundwork for LGBTQ discrimination, elimination of the Department of Education and placing Justice under the wing of the UNITARY EXECUTIVE SUPREME!

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!
    Vote all Republicans out of office.

    Reply

  • Jojo

    July 8, 2024 at 7:52 am

    Rubio must think we’ve all fallen off the turnip truck- Trump knows exactly what project 2025 is about.
    And talk about reflexion- if god forbid Trump was president again, America would be a permanent shadow government. Just look what DeSantes has done to Florida in the sunshine

    Reply

  • Jojo

    July 8, 2024 at 8:10 am

    Rubio needs to talk to former Mike Pence advisor Olivia Troye- she calls these claims “ ludicrous “ . There are so many former trump cabinet officials and advisors that are members of Leonard Leo’s Project 2025 that Trump would have to be an absolute moron not to know.

    Reply

  • My Take

    July 8, 2024 at 11:36 am

    “downplays Donald Trump ties to Project 2025”

    Trying to hide TRUMP’S Planned FASCISM.

    Reply

  • MH/Duuuval

    July 8, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    Trump’s team consists of plutocrats and their tools. They will fix everything, in due time, but first they serve themselves and their master: El Trump.

    This team could be fairly called a black hole as no light escapes it.

    Reply

  • rick whitaker

    July 8, 2024 at 9:23 pm

    rubio is willing to lie and deceive. who would have thought.

    Reply

  • Andy

    July 11, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    Rubio is committed enough to be his VP he will do anything even Stormy Daniels has done for money!

    Reply

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