#CPAC2013: Rubio Praises “Struggling” Americans, Advocates Compassion

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)  spoke this afternoon in the Potomac Ballroom to one of the biggest crowds of the day. This is not surprise - the rising GOP star entered and exited the stage to standing ovations and was interrupted for applause at least five times.

Senator Rubio has been gaining traction in recent months with rumors of a 2016 presidential bid surrounding him. His speech was characterized by an ‘artful tact to the middle’ dressed in buzzwords that touched the right erogenous zones for conservatives along vigorous ‘rah-rah’ cheerleading for this beloved nation.

Rubio rejected the language “moochers,” in a subtlety nod to and tack away from the infamous Romney “47%” confab.  “Our people haven’t changed, the world has changed,” Rubio exclaimed, citing outsourcing of jobs overseas. “They’re not freeloaders,” he declared; following-up with “they’re not liberals,” to laughter of the gathered conservatives.

Rubio identified the conservative problem as: Americans “look at the political process and…what many of them see is: they think that one side is fighting for people who have made it” and the other side pushing “government policies to protect the people who are struggling.”

Senator Rubio is best known for his outreach to minority communities, mainly the Hispanics community, and has become a leading voice in the U.S. Senate for immigration reform. He implicitly tweaked austerity rhetoric, saying Americans “don’t wanna take anything away from anybody, especially people who are trying and trying hard,” he added. Instead, he called for an alternative viewpoint: “We should recognize we do have obligations to each other but not through government…but through voluntary organizations.”

Further, he called for conservative messaging about reducing the national debt to be cast “not out of some ideological occupation,” but instead about job creation. Channeling Reagan, he called for a robust sense of American exceptionalism. He cited recent comments from Chinese leaders forecasting an eclipsing of American power in the 21st Century and insisted Americans must not let that happen.

Liberals, Rubio predicted, would criticize his speech saying, “[I] didn’t offer any new ideas.” Rubio roared in response: “we don’t need a new idea! The idea is America; and it still works!” to a thunderous applause from the audience. Recently, Rubio has received a lot attention because of his State of the Union response in February. Rubio’s response marks the first time response was delivered both in English and Spanish. Today he made two self-effacing jabs at his own much-lampooned water drinking episode in last month’s State of the Union response. “He drank too much water,” liberals would say of his speech.

At another point, when he took a sip from a glass at his podium, scattered chuckles could be heard in the audience. “Never in the history of the world has water been so popular,” he deadpanned.

#CPAC2013: Mike Lee

After taking the stage forty minutes late and switching rooms at the last minute, Utah Senator Mike Lee finally managed to rally the crowd with his quick speech on the importance o[...]