(Urbandale, IA) U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday made a stop at the Westside Conservative Club at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale as part of a three day swing that included stops central and eastern Iowa. The room was packed to capacity with standing room only with some turned away to sit elsewhere in the restaurant.
Rubio spoke for under a half hour focusing his comments on the American dream in a new century. He then took several questions from group.
One man said to Rubio that he that the Senator being “an energetic, bright, young first-term Senator” reminded him of President Barack Obama eight years ago when he ran and then asked the presidential hopeful how he would be different.
I think there are some significant differences between me and the current occupant of the White House. For starters the current occupant of the White House started in the state legislature like I did as a back-bencher in the minority who voted present on numerous occasions. I was the speaker of the Florida House, I led that institution both legislatively and administratively. I ran it, and I never voted present because in Florida you can’t. You vote yes or you vote no.
The second point that I would make is that the president did serve in the Senate for a couple of years before he ran for president. I will have served a full term as member of the intelligence committee, privy to the most sensitive information the federal government has at its disposal, and also a member of the foreign relations committee.
The third point I would make is this president has not been a failure because he was a senator. This president has been a failure because he has failed on the key questions of presidential leadership; for starters his ideas. His ideas are outdated. His ideas are the ideas of big government. I don’t care if he served fifty years in government his ideas still wouldn’t work.
Second, the president has failed because he is a divisive figure. The first thing is the presidency of the United States isn’t just an administrative office, it is not just a bookkeeper. The president of the United States must formulate creative and innovative policies, must effectively advocate those policies, and get them passed. The second thing is that the president isn’t just a political leader, he is a moral leader as well, he has to lead not just our nation, but our people. Third, our president has to be an inspirational figure, has to be someone who can call us to a greater cause, rally us together as a nation. He has failed us on all of those fronts. This president made the deliberate decision to divide and pit Americans against each other. He made the deliberate decision to tell people who are hurting in this country that the reason they are struggling is that one of their fellow Americans is doing too well. When you divide a nation against itself, it can not rally to the great causes of its time.
So these are some major differences between me and the person who is there now, and I hope you’ll see that in the weeks and months ahead.
Video of his remarks is below:
Rubio was also asked how he was different than Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Jeb Bush is my friend. I’ve known him for a long time. We have worked together, we have been allies together on many causes. I am not running against Governor Bush, I am not running against any of the other people running. I think our job is to go out and tell you who we are, what we see the future as, and what we will do and allow you to decide. Because ultimately as I said I have great admiration and respect for the people in the field and the fact we have so many quality candidates in the Republican race, and I think as the race goes on the differences will be there. I will say that I am the only one running who I think up to this point has really focused on the opportunities before us in terms of the future versus the past, and the idea of explaining to people that so many of our challenges are a result of the fact that the world has dramatically shifted and our policies are still stuck in an era that no longer exists.
Watch the video of his remarks:
Rubio was also asked about the role of the Supreme Court in light of recent decisions on Obamacare and marriage.
The Supreme Court is one of three co-equal branches of government. The job of the Supreme Court, as designed in the Constitution, is to review the constitutionality of laws or decisions made by lower courts and to rule whether they are constitutional or not. The Supreme Court was not designed to be a super legislative body. It was not designed to be a law-making body. It was not a place designed to make public policy decisions, and unfortunately that is what it has become, at least is many of the decisions we have recently seen.
You have seen a Supreme Court that has basically decided that ‘we know what is best for this country, the elected representatives of the people are not willing to do what is fast or as we want them to do it. So through a 5-4 decision, five of us, five of us are going to decide what the policy of the United States should be.’ That is what has happened repeatedly, and it is a consequence of appointing people to that court that simply believe their job is to super legislators; that their job is basically to supervise the other two branches of government and impose their policies on us when the political branches don’t do what they want them to do. The result is a runaway court as you have seen on a number of decisions a court that has extended its mandate in its decisions.
The good news is that when I am president of the United States, God willing. We will have the potential of appointing up to two or three Supreme Court justices depending on how things play out, and they will be men and women qualified to be on the Supreme Court from an academic and legal point of view, but also people who understand their job will be to apply the law, not to rewrite it, not to reinterpret it, and not to expand the Constitution beyond how it was written. The Constitution is a document of limitation. It was written for the purposes of limiting the power of government, not expanding it. It was written for the purpose of hemming in government, not growing it, and we have at least five people on that court who consistently feel differently. We have to change that.
Watch video of his remarks below:
Caffeinated Thoughts spoke to a number of people who were undecided, left the Machine Shed undecided, but with Rubio on their radar.
Don Green told Caffeinated Thoughts that Rubio was on his radar. “His speech was really good and he goes along with everything I believe,” he said.
“He says what I like,” Larry Arendt shared with Caffeinated Thoughts. “I worked for H & R Block for three years doing welfare. We call it taxes, but all I was doing was handing out welfare checks. He can understand that, our welfare system is so screwed up, so bad… Hopefully he can do something about that.
Roger Rinderknecht was impressed with what he heard. “Marco is a very capable young man who has great ideas for our country, and will bring our country back together so we are one nation under God again,” he said to Caffeinated Thoughts.
Rinderknecht added that it is too early to decide who he will caucus for, but wouldn’t have trouble supporting Rubio.
“I was very impressed with him, but all of the candidates are good at being able to sway you at the moment. I agree with everything he said,” Carol Roland told Caffeinated Thoughts. “I am still undecided. There are a lot of other candidates to listen to.”
Roland did say his background as a son of Cuban immigrants coming to the United States to pursue the American dream is how Rubio stands out among the growing field of candidates.
Watch additional videos below.
Rubio’s full remarks before Q&A:
Rubio addresses how to reach out to minority voters:
Rubio outlines how he would tackle debt reduction:
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