Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for president. That makes two Cuban-Americans (with Ted Cruz) and two Floridians (assuming Jeb Bush runs). He claims that he can attract Hispanics and other minorities, young people, and the less well off, bringing these important demographics into the Republican fold.
Do you think he can? Do you think he would be a good president? How do you think he stacks up with the other candidates?
Hoping to turn his youth into a benefit, Sen. Marco Rubio entered the presidential race Monday with a promise to move the nation beyond the politics of the past, a jab at both Democratic favorite Hillary Rodham Clinton and his one-time Republican mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Standing in front of a banner that proclaimed “A New American Century,” the 43-year-old Cuban-American used his first speech as a presidential candidate to take on two of America’s political dynasties. In doing so, he bet heavily on the electorate’s frustrations with Washington and his ability to change how his party is seen by voters.
“This election is not just about what laws we will pass,” he said Monday evening. “It is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be.”
He said it’s also a choice between the haves and have-nots, nodding to his own upbringing by working-class parents. “I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”
Rubio spoke first to his top donors a day after Clinton announced her bid for the Democratic nomination and as she was traveling to Iowa on her first trip as a candidate. Rubio, a first-term Republican from Florida, told his most generous backers that he feels “uniquely qualified” to pitch his party as one that will defend the American Dream.
Rubio said the dream is slipping away for too many families and young Americans face unequal opportunities to succeed. He’s banking on the hope that he, alone among many GOP rivals, can make inroads with groups that have long eluded Republicans — young people, minorities and the less affluent.