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It’s On: Paul, Rubio Stir Up CPAC with 2016-Caliber Speeches

Both were at their personal best in terms of ease, messaging, and humor — and sandwiched into 15-minute slots on a Thursday afternoon. (Related: Don't miss Bridget at the PJ Tatler: "Rick Perry: If Only You’d Actually Nominated a Conservative…")

Bridget Johnson


March 14, 2013 - 12:22 pm
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Rubio, who was introduced to One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” laid out a vision that included school choice and vocational education and leaned heavily on restoring America’s greatness, but the Gang of Eight member avoided any talk of immigration.

Earlier in the day, an immigration panel was greeted with a lukewarm response and a couple of shouts from the crowd calling it “politically correct.”

“My chances of winning the U.S. Senate were about as much as the chances of winning a papal conclave,” Rubio quipped.

He then launched into a retort of sorts, without directly mentioning it, of Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comment.

“Our people have not changed,” Rubio said. “The vast majority of the American people are hard-working people who take responsibility for their families.”

“What’s changed is the world around us — the global economy is real. We don’t live in a national economy anymore,” he said, adding that the vast majority of Americans “don’t want to take away from people who have made it — but they wonder who is fighting for them.”

Rubio contended that focus on infighting within the conservative movement is “really a foolish notion.”

“I respect people that disagree with me on certain things; they have to respect me, too,” he said, citing gay marriage and abortion.

Rattling off problems ranging from middle-class jobs to monetary policy and healthcare reform, the senator urged CPAC to “not underestimate the impact that the breakdown of the American family is having.”

“You should be very concerned about student-loan debt,” he also said. “It is the next big bubble in America.”

Rubio framed the next big challenge, though, as not letting China overtake the United States as the world’s superpower. Citing the abysmal human rights record of the People’s Republic, he asked, “We want that to be the leading country in the world? That’s the stakes… the truth of the matter is don’t take this for granted.”

He said liberals complaints about him boil down to “he drank too much water,” and he’s not offering enough ideas.

“We don’t need an idea — the idea is America and it still works,” Rubio said, stressing countries around the world copy the U.S. and are emerging from poverty as a result.

“They may claim to hate us, but they sure would like to be us,” he added.

Senate Republicans on the Hill issued statements thanking Obama for the meeting today but stressing that distance remained on key issues.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t have lunch with him today,” Paul panned, then referenced his CPAC speech. “Maybe he’ll be able to see it on C-SPAN.”

Also read: Dick Morris to CPAC: Stop Talking Balanced Budget, Roe v. Wade, Entitlement Reform

Related: Rick Perry: If Only You’d Actually Nominated a Conservative…

(Don’t miss Next Generation’s members-only coverage of CPAC 2013 — featuring former Congressman Allen West and Michelle Fields. Click here to learn more.)

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Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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This is how the world works with the illegal aliens crisis: first they get legal status which becomes amnesty, which become citizenship, which becomes hradcore Democrat votes. Since amnesty inevetably becomes votes it is tied to all other issues and will drag down every conservative / libertarian politician. All of the pretty speeches about the Constitution and limited government will be swept away in a tidal wave of hardcore Democrat votes.

Marko Rubio and Rand Pauo are both trying to push planis to give amnesty to illegal aliens (although they call it legal status). Their proposals are suicide for Republicans / libertarians / conservatives.

For heaven sake stop pushing these guys like some kind of hereoes.

If Sean Hannity, CPAP and etc. keep pushing these guys, there will be one hell of a nasty fight among patriots who ought to be allies working with eachother. Surely we can find real statesmen whom we can all unite behind.

Illegal aliens must leave the country. If that does not happen everything that follows is meaningless and ineffective.

Open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens will destroy this country. There are millions of us who will fight like hell to preserve our national sovereignty. Please -- please do not try to shove Rubio or Rand Paul or Newt Gingrich or their open borders, amnesty ilk down our throat.

Lets work together please.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
just checking in on the crazy and am delighted to see ya'll loving on rubio and ryan for 2016.

apparently repubs learned nothing from two national landslides!

good idea to keep doing exactly what you're doing : )

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paul, Rubio, Cruz and a few others on Capitol Hill.
Patriotically inspirational to many conservatives, but out of the 535
on the Hill, we really need dozens more like these men in order to thwart
and even stop the White House's agendas.
Good luck, America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rubio, Paul, 2016? Yup, it's over.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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