Jennifer Rubin Calls Out GOP Candidates Who ‘Flunked the Flag Test’

"Many who seek to lead the party and country in a divisive time showed they are just not up to the task."

While much of the coverage of the GOP candidates’ positions on the confederate flag followed in the horse race tradition, focusing on the political expediency and strategies behind adopting yea or nay stances or merely noting each candidate’s view, criticism of the positions themselves was harder to come by.

One of the sources of that sparse criticism came, surprisingly, from conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, who was very clear on what should happen to the confederate flag still anchored at the State House in South Carolina. “Actually,” she wrote of the flag in a post yesterday, “it should come down not merely to honor victims. It should come down out of respect to all Americans.”

For a writer who has been called out in the past for serving as a “spokesperson” for favored candidates, specifically, Mitt Romney, she was tough on most of this cycle’s crop of hopefuls, save for Jeb Bush and Rick Perry, concluding:

In the wake of multiple incidents the country is looking for leadership on race, violence, poverty and other problems that tear at the fabric of civic life. One element of leadership is modeling character traits — honesty, empathy, kindness, historical awareness — and unfortunately too many Republicans did not do that in this instance. They took a process view (not my job!), seemed tentative (now is not the time!) or they acted as if were obligated to be contrarian because liberals deplored flying the Confederate flag.

Publish date: June 23, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT