Rubio Makes Pitch to Those Who Have Had 'Faith in the Promise of America' Tested
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told the Republican National Convention tonight that the purpose of November's election is "to make sure that America is still a place where tomorrow is always better than yesterday."
"This is a big honor for me," the senator said of the speaking slot to introduce GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. "Not so long ago I was just a underdog candidate. The only people who thought I could win all live in my house. Four of them were under the age of 10."
Rubio said that the only consistent advice he received about what to say in this pivotal speech was "don't mess it up."
"Our problem with President Obama is not he is a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, a good father, and thanks to lots of practice, a good golfer," he said. "Our problem is not that he is a bad person. Our problem is that he is a bad president."
"Do you think he's watching tonight? Because his new slogan is the word, forward. Forward," Rubio continued. "A government that spends $1 trillion more than it takes in? An $800 billion stimulus that treated more debt than jobs? A government intervention into healthcare paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare, scores of new rules and regulations. These ideas do not move us forward. These ideas move us backwards."
"These are tired and old big government ideas that have failed every time and everywhere they have been tried. These are ideas that people come to America to get away from," the senator said. "These are ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world instead of helping the rest of the world become more like America. As for his old slogan, under Barack Obama, the only change is that hope is hard to find."
November's election, he said, "is not simply a choice between a Democrat and Republican. It is a choice about what kind of country you want America to be."
Acknowledging that, for some in the TV audience, the last few years "have tested your faith in the promise of America."
"You want to believe we're still that special place where anything is possible. You just do not seem -- things not seen to be getting any better, and you wonder if things will ever be the same again," he said. "Yes, we live in a troubled time, but the story of those who came before us reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings, and Mitt Romney is running for president because he knows, if we are willing to do for our children what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been."
On the subject of new beginnings, Rubio began his speech with a nod to a country's a few hundred miles away from Tampa.
"There is no freedom or liberty in Cuba, and tonight, I ask for your prayers that soon freedom and liberty will be there as well," he said.