The Future is Now
There is no question conservative republicans have their eyes and hearts set on Sen. Marco Rubio to make a run at the Oval Office ... sooner rather than later. In his recent Iowa debut he has broken fundraising records...
ALTOONA, Iowa – As the Republican Party regroups after Mitt Romney’s defeat, the message Saturday night at Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad’s birthday fundraiser was “turn the page” and “look to the future” — and what that future apparently holds is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the event’s featured speaker.
Rubio was invited to speak at the event around Sept. 1, Branstad told The Daily Caller, and had Romney won, the atmosphere might have been a bit different.
But only 11 days after voters went to the polls and Republicans came up short, Rubio was speaking to a crowd that had trained its sights squarely on 2016.
In his speech, Rubio weaved together the personal and the economic. He discussed the importance of a stable family life to a stable economy, and how critical the success of the middle class is not just to the country’s financial situation, but also to its place in the world. American exceptionalism, Rubio said, is important to every nation, not just the United States.
“The way to turn our economy around is not by making rich people poorer; it’s by making poor people richer,” Rubio said.
The Florida senator talked about the need to improve the country’s immigration system and develop a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. He also emphasized the importance of education reform, which he said is necessary to ensure that future generations are competitive in the global economy.
“People understand that we need to do something to address those issues, and they want to do that in a reasonable and responsible way,” Rubio told the crowd.
This was Rubio’s coming out party, his first chance to woo the voters that will make the first determination about who will become the Republican nominee for president four years from now.
By all accounts, he hit a home run.
“I heard a number of people indicate to me that, ‘My gosh, why wasn’t he on the ticket?’ And so that alone indicates to me that he’s a viable potential candidate for 2016,” said Doug Gross, a veteran Republican political operative in Iowa.
“I was sitting next to our secretary of agriculture, Bill Northey, and he remarked on how when Marco Rubio talks about American exceptionalism, he does so in a way that we understand it, and it sweeps us up and makes us feel good and proud and also gives us a sense of goal and destiny,” King added.
Even before they heard him speak on Saturday, Iowans were attracted to Rubio. Branstad said the fundraiser generated more than $600,000, a total he said was greater than he had raised before in any single event.
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