Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio took a break from campaigning in Iowa to cross the state line and speak to a gathering of Nebraska Republicans, telling them America must face its problems or become a nation in decline.
Rubio was the headline speaker at the Nebraska Republican Party’s Founders’ Day event at the LaVista Embassy Suites and Convention Center.
Rubio told his fellow Republicans the GOP must shoulder some of the blame for the problems facing the United States, especially the national debt which he says has grown under both Republican and Democratic leadership.
“But there is no doubt in my mind, and there should not be in yours, that many if not most of the problems we face today are directly the result of the failed policies of the Left, and in particular the failed policies of this president,” Rubio stated, referring to President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
Rubio said the economy is changing rapidly in the 21st Century, spawning its own, unique problems, but also presenting incredible opportunity for the United States.
Rubio stated the country must make its economy more competitive, better train its workers, and increase its national security.
To tackle the national debt, Rubio stated federal entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare, must undergo reform. As an example, Rubio said his 85-year-old mother relies on Social Security and he said he wouldn’t do anything that would cut her Social Security check.
“We can save Social Security and Medicare and we can balance our budget and we don’t have to change anything for her or for anyone like her or for people who are about to retire,” according to Rubio. “But, here is the other truth, Medicare and Social Security are not going to be the same for me as it was for her. One way or the other, it either won’t exist or we reform it.”
Rubio decried proposed cuts to the military and to its intelligence gathering capability, saying they undermine the nation’s ability to respond to increased threats from Russia, China, and Iran.
“The world is growing more dangerous and we’re growing weaker, militarily. And then we’re making ourselves even more weak through a feckless foreign policy,” according to Rubio. “I even strain to call it a foreign policy because there’s nothing policy-oriented about it. We have a president that has left our allies feeling bewildered and betrayed and our adversaries feeling emboldened and potent.”
Rubio said the country has confronted great challenges from its beginning. He said it is time for this generation to do its part to continue the tradition of making the country better for the next.
AUDIO: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida speaks to the Nebraska Republican Party’s Founders’ Day. [42 min.]