In the crowded Palafox Wharf meeting area on a wet Saturday night, Sen. Marco Rubio presented his case for the Republican presidential nomination.
He told his supporters, “We have problems. We always have. There’s never been a perfect time in America. The thing is that for over two centuries, each generation before us had problems, too, but they confronted them. And they solved them. And each generation has left the next better off. And now the time has come for us to do the same.”
Rubio said that we would not leave a better world for the next generation if Secretary Hillary Clinton is the next president.
“We’re not going to be able to do it if Hillary Clinton is elected President,” he said, “because she’s going to continue the same policies that go on in this administration. She will continue the exact same policies or worse.”
Rubio warned, “We can’t dodge this election…If we nominate, to be frank, I don’t want to beat around the bush here. If Donald Trump is our nominee, we’re going to lose.”
He added, “If Donald Trump is our nominee, he will define conservatives for a generation. When people think of what does it mean to be a conservative, they will think, “Oh, Donald Trump.”
Rubio ran off a list of Trump’s positions:
“He’s a supporter of Planned Parenthood. He’s a supporter of government-run health care. He won’t stand with Israel. He has no idea what to do about Social Security or any issues for that matter. We can’t afford it. We can’t afford to lose this election.”
Rubio said, “I’m as conservative as anyone in the race. I will hold my record against anyone who is running for President when it comes to conservative.”
He added, “This election is a referendum on our identity. As Republicans, as conservatives, and also as Americans. I will never give up, because if my parents had given up, I would never be standing here today.”
Rubio talked how his father and mother came to United States from Cuba with nothing and built a life here.
“Their first years here were difficult. Much harder anything I’ll ever face. And I thank God daily they didn’t give up. Because less than ten years after they came here under those conditions, my parents bought their first home.
My dad was just a bartender at a hotel on Miami Beach and they owned a home. And let me tell you what they achieved. Because they never made a lot of money. They never became famous. They never owned more than one property at a time. But my parents persevered. And they never became, as I said, wealthy, but they retired with dignity. And they left all four of their children better off than themselves.”
Rubio added, “This is not just the country I was born in. This is the nation that changed the history of my family. This is the country that gave me the chance to fulfill all of the dreams, all the hopes, my parents once had for themselves.
If there’s anything worth fighting for, it’s that. And my story is not my story, it’s our story. In America, we are all a generation or two removed from someone who made our future the purpose of their life.”
In his close, Rubio talked about the importance of this presidential election.
“We have it within our reach to have the greatest era within American history and I want you to know what history is going to say about us if we do what needs to be done,” he said. “If in this election we make the right choice, and our leaders do what needs to be done, here’s what history will say about us.”
Rubio continued, “It will say that we, who lived in this generation, lived in the early years of this century in a very difficult time. And the world was changing and our economy was changing, and we were troubled by it and people were being left behind.
“And after eight years of Barack Obama, and one crazy election, we came this close to getting it wrong, but then we remembered who we were. Then we remembered what America was, and we confronted our challenges. And we solved our problems. And we embraced our opportunities.”
He said the 21st Century could the greatest in the nation’s history.
“This is what we have a chance to do together in this election right now,” Rubio said. “And it begins here on Tuesday in Florida. And so I’m asking you for your vote. I’m asking you to go find other people to vote for me, so that together we can leave our children with what America’s always leaves their children.
The single greatest nation in the history of all of mankind.”