It was quite clear that [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] won last night’s Fox Business GOP Debate. It is not surprising. Rubio has the best political skill set of any of the presidential candidates. He is charismatic, optimistic, very knowledgeable about the issues and can communicate complicated concepts more articulately and succinctly than anyone.
Most participants in a Fox News focus group conducted pollster Frank Luntz thought Rubio won the debate describing Rubio as “eloquent,” “passionate,” “young,” “very articulate,” “inspirational,” and “fresh.” Some participants said they changed their support from Ben Carson and Jeb Bush, to Rubio.
I was lucky enough to have met Marco Rubio seven years ago during the first RedState Gathering in Atlanta. I just happened to be standing at the right place and had a few minutes one on one with him. I was very impressed — not just with his charisma, but how well he communicated. Ever since then I have been telling anyone who asked that someday Rubio will be president.
You don’t have to just take my word on it. Even Andrew Breitbart thought Rubio could be president. You don’t have to take Breitbart’s opinion either. As a matter of fact you should make up your own mind. Watch the following compilation of what Rubio had to say during last night’s debate. I know its asking a lot, but invest the 13 minutes required to watch the whole thing and decide for yourself.
Transcript via The New York Times:
CAVUTO: Senator Rubio, you called the recent Democratic debate in Las Vegas a night of giveaways, including free health care, free college and a host of other government-paid benefits. Since you aren’t a fan of all they’re giving away, tell us tonight what you would take back.
RUBIO: Well, let me begin by answering both the first question and this one, because they’re related. As I’ve said many times before, my parents were never rich people. My father was a bartender. My mother was a maid. They worked for a living. But they were successful people, because, despite the fact that they weren’t well educated and had those jobs, they made enough money to buy a home in a safe and stable neighborhood, retire with dignity, leave all four of their children better off than themselves.
We call that the American dream, but in fact, it’s a universal dream of a better life that people have all over the world. It is a reminder that every country in the world has rich people.
What makes America special is that we have millions and millions of people that are not rich, that through hard work and perseverance are able to be successful.
The problem is that today people are not successful working as hard as ever because the economy is not providing jobs that pay enough. If I thought that raising the minimum wage was the best way to help people increase their pay, I would be all for it, but it isn’t. In the 20th century, it’s a disaster.
If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine. And that means all this automation that’s replacing jobs and people right now is only going to be accelerated.
Here’s the best way to raise wages. Make America the best place in the world to start a business or expand an existing business, tax reform and regulatory reform, bring our debt under control, fully utilize our energy resources so we can reinvigorate manufacturing, repeal and replace Obamacare, and make higher education faster and easier to access, especially vocational training. For the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.
If we do that — and if we do this — if we do this, we will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans and we will be able to leave everyone better off without making anyone worse off.
CAVUTO: Thank you, Senator Rubio.
[. . .]
BAKER: Senator Rubio, Senator Rubio, let me — let me take you to a question that I think gets to the root of a lot of the anxiety that people have in this country. The economy is undergoing a transformation through information technology. Americans are anxious that the new economy isn’t producing higher-paying jobs. Many are concerned that the new wealth seems to be going mainly to innovators and investors.
Meanwhile, with factories run by robots and shopping done increasingly on smartphones, many traditional jobs are just going away. How do you reassure American workers that their jobs are not being steadily replaced by machines?
RUBIO: Well, you know, that’s an excellent question, because what we are going through in this country is not simply an economic downturn. We are living through a massive economic transformation. I mean, this economy is nothing like what it was like five years ago, not to mention 15 or 20 years ago.
And it isn’t just a different economy. It’s changing faster than ever. You know, it took the telephone 75 years to reach 100 million users. It took Candy Crush one year to reach some 100 million users.
So the world is changing faster than ever, and it is disruptive. Number one, we are in a global competition now, and several of the candidates have said that. There are now dozens of developed economies on this planet that we have to compete with. And we lose that competition because we have the highest business tax rate in the industrialized world, because we have regulations that continue to grow by the billions every single week, because we have a crazy health care law that discourages companies from hiring people, but because we’re not fully utilizing our energy resources, that if we did, it would bring back all kinds of growth, especially in manufacturing, and because we have an outdated higher education system.
Our higher education system is completely outdated. It is too expensive, too hard to access, and it doesn’t teach 21st century skills. If we do what needs to be done — tax reform, regulatory reform, fully utilize our energy resources, repeal and replace Obamacare, and modernize higher education, then we can grasp the potential and the promise of this new economy. And we won’t just save the American dream. We will expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And then truly this new century can be a new American century.
BAKER: Thank you.
[. . .]
BAKER: Senator Rubio, your tax plan includes a large expansion of child tax credits to raise off (ph) the tax incomes for low-income parents. A similar tax credit that you previously proposed in the Senate was estimated to cost as much as $170 billion a year, according to the Tax Foundation.
Isn’t — isn’t there a risk you’re just adding another expensive entitle program to an already overburdened federal budget?
RUBIO: The most important job I’m ever going to have, the most important job anyone in this room will ever have, is the job of being a parent. Not the job of being president, or the job of being a senator, or the job of being a congressman.
The most important job any of us will ever do is the job of being a president (sic), because the most important institution in society is the family. If the family breaks down, society breaks down.
You can’t have a strong nation without strong values, and no one is born with strong values. They have to be taught to you in strong families and reinforced in you in strong communities.
And so when we set out to do tax reform, we endeavor to have a pro-family tax code, and we endeavor to do it because we know how difficult it is for families in the 21st century to afford the cost of living.
It is expensive to raise children in the 21st century, and families that are raising children are raising the future taxpayers of the United States, and everything costs more. In 35 out of 50 states, child care costs more than college.
There are millions of people watching this broadcast tonight that understand exactly what I’m talking about. They don’t know how they’re going to make that payment every month, and if they can’t make it, they can’t work, because someone needs to watch their kids during the day. They don’t know how they’re going to save for their kids’ future, to go to college.
And so, yes, I have a child tax credit increase, and I’m proud of it. I am proud that I have a pro-family tax code, because the pro- family tax plan I have will strengthen the most important institution in the — in the country, the family.
[. . .]
RUBIO: So let me begin with this. I actually believe — first of all, this is their money. They do pay. It is refundable, not just against the taxes they pay to the government, but also the — on their federal income tax, it’s refundable against the payroll tax.
Everyone pays payroll tax. This is their money. This is not our money. And here’s what I don’t understand — if you invest that money in a piece of equipment, if you invest that money in a business, you get to write it off your taxes.
But if you invest it in your children, in the future of America and strengthening your family, we’re not going to recognize that in our tax code? The family is the most important institution in society. And, yes…
[. . .]
RUBIO: I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I’m not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the United States is the strongest military power in the world.
PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco! Marco! How is it conservative, how is it conservative to add a trillion-dollar expenditure for the federal government that you’re not paying for?
RUBIO: Because… PAUL: How is it conservative?
RUBIO: …are you talking about the military, Rand?
PAUL: How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if you’re going to keep promoting new programs that you’re not going to pay for.
RUBIO: We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe. There are radical jihadist in the Middle East beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon, the Chinese taking over the South China Sea…
RUBIO: …Yes, I believe the world is a safer — no, no, I don’t believe, I know that the world is a safer place when America is the strongest military power in the world.
[. . .]
RUBIO: I need to add a couple of points to this. The first is, I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, but I know enough about him to know he is a gangster. He is basically an organized crime figure that runs a country, controls a $2 trillion economy. And is using to build up his military in a rapid way despite the fact his economy is a disaster.
He understands only geopolitical strength. And every time he has acted anywhere in the world, whether it’s in Ukraine or Georgia before that, or now in the Middle East, it’s because he is trusting in weakness.
His calculation in the Middle East is that he has seen what this president has done, which is nothing, the president has no strategy, our allies in the region do not trust us. For goodness sake, there is only one pro-American free enterprise democracy in the Middle East, it is the state of Israel.
And we have a president that treats the prime minister of Israel with less respect than what he gives the ayatollah in Iran. And so our allies in the region don’t trust us.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
Vladimir Putin is exploiting that weakness, for purposes of edging the Americans out as the most important geopolitical power broker in the region. And we do have a vested interest. And here’s why.
Because all those radical terrorist groups that, by the way, are not just in Syria and in Iraq, ISIS is now in Libya. They are a significant presence in Libya, and in Afghanistan, and a growing presence in Pakistan.
Soon they will be in Turkey. They will try Jordan. They will try Saudi Arabia. They are coming to us. They recruit Americans using social media. And they don’t hate us simply because we support Israel. They hate us because of our values. They hate us because our girls go to school. They hate us because women drive in the United States.
Either they win or we win, and we had better take this risk seriously, it is not going away on its own.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BAKER: Thank you, Senator.
[. . .]
RUBIO: Can I just add what — he’s right on point there. Do you know why these banks are so big? The government made them big. The government made them big by adding thousands and thousands of pages of regulations. So the big banks, they have an army of lawyers, they have an army of compliance officers. They can deal with all these things. The small banks, like Governor Bush was saying, they can’t deal with all these regulations. They can’t deal with all — they cannot hire the fanciest law firm in Washington or the best lobbying firm to deal with all these regulations. And so the result is, the big banks get bigger, the small banks struggle to lend or even exist, and the result is what you have today.
And in Dodd-Frank, you have actually codified too big to fail. We have actually created a category of systemically important institutions, and these banks go around bragging about it. You know what they say to people with a wink and a nod? We are so big, we are so important that if we get in trouble, the government has to bail us out. This is an outrage. We need to repeal Dodd-Frank as soon as possible.
[. . .]
BARTIROMO: Welcome back to the fourth Republican presidential debate.
Senator Rubio, Hillary Clinton is the clear front runner for the Democratic nomination. If she is indeed the nominee, you will be facing a candidate with an impressive resume.
She was the first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator from New York, and secretary of state under Barack Obama. She has arguably more experience, certainly more time in government than almost all of you on stage tonight.
Why should the American people trust you to lead this country, even though she has been so much closer to the office?
RUBIO: Well, that’s a great question, and let me begin by answering it.
This election is about the future, about what kind of country this nation is gonna be in the 21st century. This next (ph) election is actually a generational choice. A choice about what kind of nation we will be in the 21st century.
For over 2.5 centuries, America’s been a special country, the one place on earth where anyone from anywhere can achieve anything, a nation that’s been a force for good on this planet.
But now, a growing number of Americans feel out of place in their own country. We have a society that stigmatizes those that hold cultural values that are traditional.
We have a society where people — millions of people — are living paycheck to paycheck. They’re working as hard as they ever have, but they’re living paycheck to paycheck because the economy has changed underneath their feet.
We have young Americans who owe thousands of dollars in student loans for a degree that doesn’t lead to a job. For the first time in 35 years, we have more businesses dying than starting, and around the world, every day brings news of a new humiliation for America — many the direct response — direct consequence of decisions made when Hillary Clinton was the secretary of the — of state.
And so here’s the truth: this election is about the future, and the Democratic Party, and the political left has no ideas about the future. All their ideas are the same, tired ideas of the past. More government, more spending. For every issue for America, their answer is a new tax on someone, and a new government program. This nation is going to turn the page, and that’s what this election should be about, and, as I said at the first debate…
RUBIO: …If I am our nominee, they will be the party of the past, we will be the party of the 21st century.
[. . .]
CAVUTO: Senator Marco Rubio?
RUBIO: Ours — the story of America is an extraordinary story. It is the story of a nation that for over two centuries each generation has left the next better off than themselves. But now, because Washington is out of touch, for the fault of both political parties, for the first time in our history, that is in doubt.
And that is what this election must be about, because if the next four years are anything like the last eight years, our children will be the first Americans ever left worse off by their parents. This election is about making a different choice, about applying our principles of limited government and free enterprise to the unique issues of our time. And if we do, we will not just save the American dream. We will expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And the 21st century can be a new American century.
So tonight, I ask you for your vote and I ask you to join us at my website, marcorubio.com.
BARTIROMO: He’s funny.