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Longboat Key Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 10 years ago

Senate hopeful Rubio speaks to Argus Foundation

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

For Marco Rubio’s father, how far he would go in life was determined for him before he was born, Rubio says. Born in Cuba, Rubio’s father began working at age 6 before he and Rubio’s mother immigrated to the United States.

Speaking to The Argus Foundation Friday, Jan. 29, at the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s Harbourside Dining Room, Rubio, who is running against Gov. Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate, said that the Founding Fathers chose a different course for the United States than western European countries, one that involves more liberty and less government.

“I’m grateful that the United States was the country 90 miles away (from Cuba) and not western Europe,” Rubio said. “I actually think America can be freer and more prosperous in the 21st century than it was in the last.”

Rubio said that he supports limited government, not anarchy. But he criticized government-spending programs, including those intended to create jobs.

“Spending money you don’t have under the guise of job creation is not just wrong,” Rubio said. “It’s economically unsound.”

Approximately 150 people attended the meeting.

A Feb. 1 Rasmussen Reports poll showed Rubio leading in the race for the Republican nomination with 49% of the vote, compared to Crist’s 37%.

During a question-and-answer session, one attendee asked Rubio how he would cure “Washington-itis,” which Rubio said he understood as a combination of gridlock and moral deficit. Rubio said that the federal government was designed to be inefficient, with power concentrated in state and local government.
“Part of what we’re running into is the genius of the system,” he said.

One attendee asked Rubio about school funding, to which Rubio responded that the best way to fund schools is to have a healthy, vibrant economy.

When asked about government programs such as Social Security and Medicare, Rubio said that the federal government has the obligation to pay what it promised to those who have been paying into the system. But he said that younger workers should have the option of putting part of what they pay into Social Security in an alternative investment. He also said that workers under 45 might have to accept that their retirement age will be higher than their predecessors and that he doesn’t have a problem with government programs such as Social Security and Medicare when they are used as a safety net.

“There is no conflict between believing in limited government and believing in a safety net,” he said.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]

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