Motivated Reasoning is where you know the answer you want and then you line up facts to support your answer.

A great example of motivated reasoning was provided by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (See Full Story Here).  He is motivated to blame liberals for the divisions in this country.  He is motivated to blame anyone other than the GOP for the Caustic Rhetoric in this great country.

He said, “There’s no doubt” President Obama has helped stoke the caustic rhetoric and violence displayed at recent political rallies held by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.”

As an example Rubio cited an April 2011 Obama speech where he criticized a budget proposal the GOP. (See Full Speech Here).  In the Speech Obama said the GOP’s budgeting vision “is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America.”

From that Rubio Concluded the following:

“He basically said, ‘If you agree with Paul Ryan’s budget, you don’t care about the disabled, you don’t care about the elderly, you don’t care about the poor,'” Rubio recalled. “There’s been numerous instances where he basically implies that if you don’t care with his gun control agenda than you didn’t care about the kids who died at Sandy Hook. Time and again he’s done that. There’s no doubt that he’s been a contributor to this.”

“I think all of us in American public office need to take a step back and examine ourselves and say, ‘Have we contributed to this culture that’s emerged where you literally have a country where people hate each other?'”

“We have an America where Americans are starting to hate each other. I mean, we can have policy disagreements, and they should be vibrant, but there’s got to be a limit to it. Otherwise we can’t function as a country.”

Now, just so you have a comparison, here is a recent quote from Ted Cruz:

That we’re going to have an election, and if liberals are so confident that the American people want unlimited abortion on demand, want religious liberty torn down, want the Second Amendment taken away, want veterans’ memorials torn down, want the crosses and stars of David sandblasted off of the tombstones of our fallen veterans, then go and make the case to the people.”

To me there is no comparison.  But just in case you want more, here is a quote from Sarah Palin from her 2008 convention speech:

.. when that happens, what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer — the answer is to make government bigger, and take more of your money, and give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.”

And, just to pull something out of the golden oldies, here is Mitt Romney and his 47% Comments:

However, perhaps here is the best equivalent on the GOP side to Rubio’s example:

So, Rubio using the Obama 2011 speech as causing the divisions in this country is simply motivated reasoning.  The divisions in this country have been exploited by our leaders long before Obama gave his 2011 Speech.