The third – and youngest – Republican to announce a 2016 presidential candidacy did so Monday in a speech he delivered at Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, Fla. Judging by his comments, an early theme of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign will be a contrast between his vision of America’s future and those candidates he feels are stuck in the past.
Though fellow Republican senator and primary rival Ted Cruz is less than six months older than him, Rubio nonetheless attempted to establish himself as the candidate capable of taking the nation into “another American century.”
He lamented that many of today’s leaders are “stuck in the 20th century,” citing the Democrat Party’s first official candidate as evidence.
“Just yesterday,” he said, “a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over and we’re never going back.”
Rubio went on to share a page from his own history while taking a veiled swipe at potential rival Jeb Bush – the son and brother of former presidents.
“I live in an exceptional country,” he explained, “where 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.”
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos for ABC’s This Week, he touched on the same talking points, declaring that he “absolutely” feels he is the most qualified candidate for 2016.
Some reports noted that, despite his potential appeal to younger voters, many Tea Party voters who helped secure his 2010 senatorial victory are less enthusiastic about his White House bid.
“I’m through with him,” said one former supporter. “He will never get my vote. ‘Disappointed’ would mean that he has an opportunity to restore his credibility; and there is no opportunity for that. The overwhelming perception is that Marco Rubio is not a Tea Party candidate.”
Do you support Marco Rubio? Let us know in the comments section below.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.