Presidential Candidates - #6 Marco Rubio

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The next candidate we met was Marco Rubio, at a townhall meeting at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls, IA.  We were sure to arrive early, as that is a prerequisite to getting a seat at most candidate townhall meetings.
Soon every seat and space in the bleachers filled up with the youngest Republican audience I had seen up to this point.  Seven minutes after the scheduled start time, the state chair of the Rubio campaign walked on stage and explained that Rubio was greeting the people in the overflow room.  And then he introduced Senator Marco Rubio.

Miscellaneous Facts:  Marco Rubio is 44 years old, only 13 days older than the youngest candidate, Bobby Jindal.  His parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1956.  He's a Roman Catholic, has been married to Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio since 1998, has 4 children, and is 5 feet 10 inches tall.
Created with's Timeline Generator.  Click to enlarge.

Rubio's Speech
We need an electable candidate.  More and more families are living paycheck to paycheck.  More businesses are dying than starting.  Young people carry a heavy burden of college debt.  The gangster Putin is taking over.  We have a $19 trillion national debt, national security challenges, and an out-of-touch political class.  The American dream is slipping.  This election is a generational choice on what we want our nation to be.

We need to make the United States the easiest place to create jobs.  The President should not run the economy.  The private sector should.  We need tax reform and a territorial system, so American corporations will bring back their $2 trillion of overseas funds.  We need to limit regulations that hurt businesses and jobs.  Institute a regulatory budget, and balance the budget.  

Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt.  My mom is on Social Security, so I'm against what's bad for her.  We need to fix Social Security, so that people who have paid into it all their lives will receive it.  I'm 44 years old.  For me Social Security may not exist, or it may work differently, perhaps as a private plan.  But we should keep our promises to the older generation.

I'm for an "all of the above" energy strategy.  We should use wind, renewable energy, and natural gas.   We need a manufacturing renaissance--an economy that makes things.  

Repeal and replace Obamacare; it's a drain on the economy.  Put individuals in charge of their own healthcare, and let insurance companies compete across state lines.  Under big government, the big companies win because only they can afford to hire lobbyists and people to figure out all the regulations.
Higher education needs to be modernized.  We have a shortage of welders and mechanics.  A high school diploma and trade school industrial certificate should serve as an alternative to a 4-year degree.  Four-year colleges won't end.  We'll always need college football.  But we should educate people about the job opportunities they'll have with the degrees they choose before giving them loans. Just a couple years ago, I had $100,000 in student debt.  I wrote my book An American Son, and was finally able to pay off my student loans.

Government's job is to keep us safe.  We have a lunatic in North Korea with nuclear weapons.  The Chinese are hacking us and trying to control the South China Sea.  When Putin heard I called him a gangster, he said, "How can I be a gangster?  I worked in the KGB."  The Iran deal turned over $150 billion cash to Iran, and they're trying to develop nukes.   There are radical jihadists.  Obama is slashing the military when the world is dangerous.  

We need to rebuild our military, and we need to have moral clarity, so that our allies trust us, and our adversaries know not to test us.  On my first day in office, I will tear up the Iran deal.  

We can fix our problems and turn the page with a new generation of leaders.  We are all called to the task.  Our nation was founded on challenges.  We survived the great depression, two world wars, and even the disco music in the '70s.  

America owes me nothing.  I have a debt to this country I'll never repay.  My parents came from poor Cuban families.  They came to the United States and worked hard, so their children could be anything they wanted to be.  We are all only a generation or two removed from someone who made your future the purpose of their lives.  We are a special and different country.  And I want to help make the American dream possible for a new generation of Americans.
Townhall Questions

Q:  I'm a veteran.  Iowa has a good V.A. system, but elsewhere veterans don't have it so good.
A:  I worked to pass a law so that the V.A. secretary can fire people.  So far they've only fired one.  We need to extend that law so anyone in the V.A. can be fired.  Reform the V.A., so that benefits follow veterans and not the reverse.  Veterans should be able to take their benefits to any private hospital or clinic.

Q:  Republicans talk about getting rid of Obamacare.  We're angry and frustrated that they're not doing anything.  Will you use the bully pulpit as president to make Congress get things done?
A:  The anger you described is why I'm running for president.  Congress doesn't work on bills because they're are afraid they won't pass or will get vetoed.  But if we don't try, we're lost.  We need a president who will lead the fight.  We stand for free enterprise and limited government.  We must fight for our principles.  

Q:  Do you side with the Pope or with Trump on immigration?
A:  There are three immigration problems: 1.  People are immigrating illegally.  2.  Our legal immigration model is outdated.  3.  People already are here illegally.  
1.  Install fencing on crucial parts of the border.  And use e-verify to make sure those who check in with visas also check out.  
2.  Modernize legal immigration, so we accept people based on their skills.
3.  Send all the criminals out of the country.  Then, only after we have stopped illegal immigration, and modernized the legal immigration system, give work permits to the illegals already in this country.  

We have been talking about solving this problem for 30 years.  The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to fix.

Q:  Fast food workers only make $9.00 an hour.  Health insurance from is unaffordable for us.  What do we do?
A:  Under my plan you would be given tax credit, and allowed to choose whatever insurance plan you want.  The private sector should be able to create a variety of policies for different needs.  There should be competition, so they fight over your business like auto insurance companies do. We need to put Americans in charge, not the government.

Q:  Are you concerned about the environment and fracking?
A:  We should fully utilize our energy sources, and take advantage of our oil and natural gas.  Don't destroy the environment, and don't destroy the economy.  Think of how good it would be for the economy if we exported oil.  We need to balance our environmental and economic concerns, so we have a robust--and responsible--economy.

Q:  I'm pro-life.  Where do you stand?
A:  I'm proudly pro-life.  There should be no federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  Abortion is a human rights issue.  Unborn children have rights too.

Q:  How can we best pray for you?
A:  Pray for protection for my family.  I consider my most important job to be my role as a husband and father, and the most important thing I do is teach my children.  I worry because I'm gone a lot on the campaign trail.  Family is most important.  Pray that God will honor what I'm trying to do for my children's futures.  Pray for all the candidates and their families
Further Resources:  Visit Senator Rubio's website to learn more about him and read his stance on the important issues.  You can also read about him on Wikipedia.

Rubio's books are available on Amazon: American Dreams (2015), An American Son (2013), and 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future (2006).

My Remarks:  Marco Rubio is full of energy and vitality.  I enjoyed his sense of humor throughout the evening.  There was one lady whose cell phone went off (and apparently she didn't know how to stop it), so he told her that was a really nice ringtone.  Now I think of him whenever I hear that ringtone.  He has a resonating message for young people.

Disclaimer: Candidates' speeches are reconstructed from my imperfect notes.  If you notice any mistakes, just let me know.  I would not intentionally misrepresent anyone's position.  I am not endorsing any candidate or candidate's position at this time, and no candidate has endorsed me.  And yes, I do realize that often speeches are to some extent propaganda, but it's interesting to me to see the points candidates consider as most important.
For my personal political views, please see this article.


  1. Bethany you have a lot of candidates, This one is handsome man

    1. Wouldn't it be easier to vote if we could just pick the most handsome candidate every election? ;)

  2. Bethany, I admire your ability to stay connected to politics and be so informed!

  3. It is so much fun seeing you in photos which each of the candidates :) It really is interesting to get your viewpoint of each candidate, especially since there are so many candidates for this election. Thanks for posting, Bethany! xx

  4. Very impressive that you have met so many candidates already. It is the best way to make a decision about where to cast your vote.

    1. I'm hoping so. I just have a couple more major candidates to go, Kasich and Clinton. Then there are O'Malley, Graham, and Pataki and a couple other minor candidates that I would like to meet, but I think it will be quite difficult to find them.

  5. Rubio is kind of in the same boat as Jeb Bush. Both of them probably wonder why they are not at least #2 in the polls. I haven't really followed Rubio on everything he's done, he's been rather quiet in comparison to other Republican ever since he made the Republican reaction to one of Obama's state of the unions and looked so nervous that it was obvious and reached for the most awkward glass of water ever.

    1. Marco Rubio has capitalized on his awkward moment by selling Marco Rubio water bottles. After the State of the Union reply in 2013 his PAC made over $100,000 on water bottles.

  6. You've done a great job of seeing so many candidates already, and I love that you've had your photo taken with most! I really enjoy reading what they said.
    I never heard that ring toe before. It's a fun one!

    1. Indeed; it has to be one of my favorite ring-tones. I had heard it before this event. The various ring-tones people have are kind of funny--some are good dancing music!

  7. I think your country faces an important choice.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  8. Interesting Bethany! Rubio is one of the candidates I am more familiar with but you still provided me with some new information! Thanks for the post! Love your little sideways half smile in the above picture. It's kind-of endearing. ;)

  9. I read his answers and from answers he seems to be one of the right candidates :)

  10. Hi Bethany, Another fine report, this time on Marco Rubio. The thing I like about Rubio is his youth and enthusiasm. What bothers me, however, is his response on this Q/A: **Q: Are you concerned about the environment and fracking? A: We should fully utilize our energy sources, and take advantage of our oil and natural gas. Don't destroy the environment, and don't destroy the economy. Think of how good it would be for the economy if we exported oil. We need to balance our environmental and economic concerns, so we have a robust--and responsible--economy.** Didn't he play the perfect politician and completely avoid answering the question? :-) Fracking does not seem without fault, what do you think? When it comes to "balancing" things I would prefer to err on the side of the environment ... How about you? Thanks for another great post.

    1. It sounded to me like Rubio wants us to drill for oil, but carefully. I don't think he gave the answer the environmentalist wanted. I noticed that although most people applauded his answer, she did not.

      At present, I believe the federal government is erring too much on the side of purportedly helping the environment. Some of the regulations and laws currently in place hurt the American people more than they help the environment.

  11. Brittany, I think it is so nice of you to share about the candidates like this. And I love your photos!