If I had one guess why Republican party actors have been so reluctant to back Marco Rubio in spite of his being the least weak general election candidate and the only polished communicator in the “establishment lane,” my guess is that it’s because corporate elites are more than a little concerned that he’d start a war with China. And they’d right to, considering that an op-ed he wrote promises both an arms race with China (silly because we have way more arms, but nevertheless) and confrontation and aggression in the South China Sea in the name of “strength”, along with a policy of antagonizing and insulting Chinese officials. Politicians, of course, attempt to keep their promises, and while there are bigwig Republicans who are major China hawks and would appreciate this sort of saber rattling (Rubio backer Shelly Adelson and FOX News Chief Roger Ailes are known to have these attitudes), I suspect people in the business and finance worlds are very, very wary about the consequences of a rupture with China. Perhaps that’s why he can’t fundraise for shit (though it could also be that, you know, he hates fundraising, it just bores him).

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