Monday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) announced he is running for President of the United States. It was feared by some that Hillary Clinton’s announcement the day before might overshadow his moment in the limelight. Those fears would not be warranted, as he shined on his big day. He is the latest GOP hopeful, after Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, (also freshman Senators) to throw his hat in the Presidential election ring.
In his speech given from the famous Freedom Tower in Miami he made several references to his Cuban immigrant parents. Toward the climax of the speech he remarked: “I live in an exceptional country were the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams, and the same future as those who’ve come from power and privilege.”
He used the opportunity to draw sharp contrast between his vision for America, and that of Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic nominee. He maintained that his was the more forward looking agenda and suggested his perspective opponent’s was stuck in the twentieth century saying: “They’re busy looking backwards…They look for solutions in yesterday, so they do not see the good-paying modern jobs require different skills and more education than in the past.”
He also sought to distinguish his foreign policy from that of Obama/Clinton, claiming his would not be “passive in the face of Chinese and Russian aggression,” and “…by ending the near total disregard for the erosion of democracy and human rights around the world, especially Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.”
After Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 election, it’s been widely suggested that the GOP would have to do more to reach Hispanic voters in order to win in 2016. Aside from his heritage, Rubio seemed to want to accentuate his innate advantage in that department by delivering several lines of speech in fluent Spanish, quoting his late father’s words of encouragement. He referred several times to Latin America, and especially Cuba. He gave his family’s story, one of immigrants working hard to make a better life for their children, a story he no doubt hopes will resonate with a Hispanic audience. It may well resonate with most of America. If it does, he will be a formidable candidate.