At a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Saturday, a little girl told GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio that her parents are going to pass this nation down to her generation. She asked what he thinks the most pressing issue is and how he is going to fix it.
There’s no other way to explain this except to say that Rubio totally nailed it. He channelled Reagan’s optimism and reminded me why I was so enamoured with him back in 2011.
He began by telling the little girl that seeing her made him miss his own children. “It’s hard to be away from my kids because I’m never going to get these years back that I’m away.” But he said he’s running for president “because I want them to inherit a country as special as the one that was given to me.” Rubio said that’s his most important issue because “America changed the history of my family.”
He went on to talk about how his family came to America, penniless and unable to speak English, telling the story in a way that an 11-year-old—or an 80-year-old—could relate to.
“My parents never became rich or famous. They never made a lot of money,” Rubio said. “But they were able to own a home, and they retired with dignity. And the most improtant thing to them was they lived to see all four of their children better off than themselves. There’s no other place in the world where that would have happened.”
“Why I’m running is because I want my four kids—and quite frankly, I want you (he pointed to the girl in the audience), when you’re my age, to live in a country that still is that. I want you, and I want my children, and I want that generation to inherit a country, not just as good as the one that welcomed my parents, but one that’s better. And we’re losing that. We’re losing that.”
He said we have a president who is trying to make our country like the places other people are trying to get away from.
“There is no way I can stand by, after everything America’s done for me and watch that happen,” he said. “My kids deserve to inherit a country as good or better than the one that my parents left for me and your grandparents left for your parents. And if I’m president, I’ll fight every day to make sure that happens.”
This is Rubio at his best: relatable, likeable—very human—and passionate about American exceptionalism and preserving the American Dream for future generations. It’s inspiring to watch and you might even get a lump in your throat as Rubio describes his love for this country. See for yourself: