Washington Times on April 13, 2015, reported that Sen. Marco Rubio hailed his personal story as the son of Cuban immigrants as he announced his run for the Republican presidential nomination — once again tapping the same biography that helped make him a rising GOP star five years ago. Excerpts below:
His inspirational upbringing helped him rise from a county commissioner to speaker of the Florida House and then to U.S. senator,…
“I know that my candidacy my seem improbable to some watching from abroad,” Mr. Rubio said Mfrom the Freedom Tower in Miami — a spot known as the Cuban Ellis Island because it was the government building that welcomed refugees fleeing Fidel Castro’s communist regime.
“After all, in many countries the highest office in the land is reserved for the rich and the powerful, but I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and same future as those who come from power and privilege,” he said.
Polls put the Floridian in the middle of the pack among Republican contenders, both nationally and in early primary states.
“No one has a better story, more eloquently told, than Marco Rubio,” said Ron Kaufman, a member of the Republican National Committee from Massachusetts who served in the administration of George H.W. Bush and advised Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.
“Wherever he goes and tells that story, he wins friends and influences people,” he said. “But after he tells the story, he needs a narrative, which will explain what has he done to prove that people should volunteer their time, their effort and money to help him become president.
On April 13, Mr. Rubio broadly outlined his vision for the nation, saying the U.S. must “once again accept the mantle of global leadership,” strengthen its education system, reform the tax code and reduce spending. Mr. Rubio said it is time to fix the nation’s broken immigration system and to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Mr. Rubio announced his candidacy a day after former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton entered the race.
“Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday,” Mr. Rubio said of Mrs. Clinton. “Yesterday’s over, and we are never going back.
“We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future and before us is now the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing story of America,” he said,…
“Too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” he said. “The time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American century.”
Mr. Rubio jump-started his political career in the late 1990s as a city commissioner in West Miami. In 2000, he won a seat in the Florida Legislature and rose to become the first Cuban-American to hold the post of House speaker.
Since being elected to the Senate, Mr. Rubio helped usher an immigration bill through the Senate in 2013 that would have provided quick legal status to illegal immigrants, as well as a pathway to citizenship in exchange for more border security.
Rubio has been busy touting his foreign policy credentials.
Mr. Rubio circled back to his story toward the end of his speech, saying the U.S. “is literally the place that changed my family’s history.”
“I regret that my father did not live to see this day in person,” he said.
His father, he added, used to tell him, in Spanish, “In this country, you will achieve all the things we never could.”
“My father was grateful for the work he had, but that was not the life he wanted for his children,” Mr. Rubio said. “He wanted all the dreams that he once had for himself to come true for us. He wanted all the doors that closed for him to open for me, and so my father stood behind a small portable bar in the back of a room for all those years so tonight I could stand behind this podium in front of this room and this nation.”