CPAC 2013: Marco Rubio Argues for a Strong America

Florida senator says the United States should counterbalance China in the world.
3:00 | 03/14/13

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Transcript for CPAC 2013: Marco Rubio Argues for a Strong America
Let me just say I love the hospitality but this is an exaggeration. One should suffice. Better safe than -- thank you guys so much I'm so honored to be here with you guys to be back -- -- -- I don't know if you remember maybe -- -- here three years ago I came here. When my chances of winning in the US senate were about as much my chances of winning a papal -- -- -- but. I didn't win and we want thanks all of you and hope you've -- me your support. Let me tell you why I ran three years ago I ran because I believe this -- extraordinarily special and like many of you I believe -- -- -- that was headed in the wrong direction. And as we gather here today for this -- -- three years later. I believe that more today than I did just three years ago. And we have to do something about and that's what we're here to talk about today. Now five cents from a lot of people -- been talking to was this fear that somehow America's chains that are people changed. That we reached this point in time and we have too many people in America that want too much from government that made the changes that it happened or irreversible and that will never be the same again. I -- understand that that's not true. Our people have not changed. The vast majority of the American people are hard working taxpayers. -- or to take responsibility for their families. Go to work every day they pay their mortgage. John -- they volunteer the community this is what the vast majority of the American people still are. What's changed is the world around us. It's changed in dramatic -- just think how much the world has changed in the last ten years. The global economy is real we don't live in the national economy anymore. Everything you buy everything you -- everything you touch it's all impacted by things that are happening halfway around the world. The information age is real -- made our lives easier. It's allowed -- right now. Take pictures of your -- than we every word I say for -- against me. It's changed the world and it's made out like -- there it's also changed our economy. You going to a grocery store today and you'll find machines doing the job the people wants to do. You find -- day and many businesses that one person because of automation can do the work at five people used to do. It's the world around us that has changed. And this is had an impact. On our people. On our hardworking people. Many of -- their jobs wiped out jobs they've been doing for twenty years disappeared overnight. Many of them and and that many of them do things the right way for example they pay their mortgages on time. And now when the housing bubble came they were stuck with the bill up for bailing out the banks the cost. For bailing out the people took out mortgages they couldn't afford to pay. Everywhere they look. Basic trouble around the they look to Washington DC a that they don't have enough trouble to begin with. Every week Washington's creating some sort of man -- prices for them to worry about. And they look at the political process whether it's fair -- not. And what many of them see is they think that one side is fighting for the people -- have made any and all the other side does this fight for government policies to protect the people who are struggling. And they don't want to take anything away from anybody the vast majority of Americans in the hard working middle class. They don't want to take away from people that have made it they don't want to hurt the people that are trying. But they wonder who's fighting for them. As fighting for the hardworking everyday people of this country who do things right and do not complain that a built this nation and have made an exception. And it's conservative believers and limited government and free enterprise. That is both our challenge and our opportunity. To -- airport. And by the way I can't think of a better -- Because our hardworking middle class. Is one of the things that makes America different and special from the rest of the world. Every country in the world -- rich people. Unfortunately every country in the world have poor people but few have the kind of vibrant widespread middle class that America does. A widespread middle class that everyone we have said should have any opportunity to be -- part of the middle class or even better. It sets us apart from the world. And in that -- you hear all this debate about infighting among conservatives infighting among people that believe in limited government that's really foolish notion. People who disagree on all sorts of things in the real world work together all the time on things they do agree. And there has to be -- home and a movement in America for people who believe in limited government. Constitutional principles and a free enterprise system and that should be out. Now in order to work together -- people that you disagree with. There has to be mutual respect. That means I respect people to disagree with me on certain things but they have to respect need to. Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me -- -- This. Just because we believe that life all life on human. It's worthy of protection at every stage of its development does not make. -- The people who are actually close minded American politics. Are the people that loved to preach about the certainty about science when regards to our climate. But ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception. Our challenge is to create an agenda applying our principles. Are principles they still work. Applying our time has the principles to the challenges of today. And what is an agenda like like that look like. What the government has three things that can do to help. A limited government has three things that it can do to help the first -- can make America the best place in the world to create middle class jobs. That's why we needed for example to engage in the global economy -- fair trade. But we also need to engage in the world -- we're living in a global economy America must be -- Eisenhower uses global influence we can't solve every war. We can't be involved in every armed conflict but we also can't be retreating from the world. And so that balance is critically important for us to strike because we live in the global economy. Beyond that we need to have pro -- energy policies including oil and natural gas. Our regulations. Our regulations -- -- be the product of a cost benefit analysis you -- you go to some of these other countries the government is trying to help the business community. In America business feels like government is there impediment -- competitive -- and the stock. -- -- Cannot be used to inflate things -- and distort our economy. The list goes on and now we know about tax policy we need to have a program tax structure not one that's designed to take from -- and give to others. And about and last but not least we believe in solving our debt problem not just -- some ideological affinity but because it's hurting job creation. Jobs are not being created America there are jobs that are not being created in this country because we have sixteen and a half trillion dollar debt. Only scheduled to get bigger. Have to be solved and you can only solve -- the only real approach that -- is the combination of fiscal discipline and rapid economic growth there is no. Tax increase in the world that will solve our long term debt problem. A but secondly. -- our government can help with there was help ourselves by acquiring the skills of the 21 century and that's why I think every parent in America should have been. Opportunity to send their children to this love their -- It's. Finally. We should encourage Career Education. Not everyone has to go to a four year liberal arts -- Yeah. We still need plumbers. He parked under wire we graduating more kids not to with a high school diploma but -- an industry certification and a career a real middle. One afternoon and last -- -- time last but not least. Do not underestimate I -- this movement does not the impact that the breakdown of the American family is having on our people and their long term future. Now. Government's role in solving that is limited we have to talk about -- -- -- Government's role in solving this is limited but ultimately should recognize we do have obligations to each other. In addition to our individual rights are individual responsibilities to each other but not through government through community. -- our churches and through our neighborhoods as parents and neighbors and friends. -- of the best ways in which we conserve our fellow Americans. Through voluntary organizations where every single day Americans from all walks of life. Are literally changing the world one day when life when neighbor at a time. And last but not least the cost of living is real and that's why we need -- Health Care Reform. But not a Health Care Reform that injects the federal government and a takeover of the world's highest quality health care industry. But -- Health Care Reform that -- Americans so they can buy health insurance from any company in America that's willing to sell -- My last point. My last point on cost of living and you'll hear a lot about -- you should be very concerned about student loan that is the next big bubble in America. I know something about -- I graduated with over a 100000 dollars in student loans. And I paid it off last year with the proceeds of my book which is America available on Amazon for 1299 and. Anyway. We have and let me tell you that really hurts student loans you know that really hurts it hurts the middle class. Because many of them their parents make a little bit too much to qualify for grants. And so they have to rely on the student loans and we have to start solving that problem there are kinds of innovative ideas whether -- self directed learning. Whether -- -- and empowering people with more information so they know how much they can expect to make it -- graduate with a certain degree -- how much they can expect. Whatever it may -- we have to tackle this issue. It is a major problem for our future and a major problem for the American middle class my time is up to let me close. Couple things. If you look at our government. You have a right to be pessimistic. But here's the good news our government has never been -- there. America's never been our government. America has never been our politicians. America's always been our people. With all -- bad news out there you can still find the tremendous promise tomorrow in the -- stories of our people let me tell you once. There's this couple that I know there on my sons tackle football team seven. Missed their sanity -- There's a couple their mayor. She works as a receptionist at a dental office and medical office he loads boxes from trucks at a warehouse. I don't have to tell you -- struck. -- live in a little small apartment they share one car. They want they're not freeloaders. Are not liberals. They're just everyday people who want what everybody else wants. They want a better life they want a better life for themselves and an even better life for their children. And they're desperate and sometimes when you're like that let me tell you no matter how. -- maybe you're susceptible to this argument that maybe government is the only thing. And explain that that's not true. The first thing they really need is an economy. -- back and vibrant economy that's creating the kind of middle class jobs that will allow them to get for themselves that better future. The next thing they -- skills for those jobs. There are three million jobs available in America there are not filled because aren't too many of our people don't have the skills -- those jobs. That's what they -- -- for those new jobs so instead of being a receptionist she can be an ultrasound tech. -- instead of loading boxes from a truck he can be fixing those trucks. And the third thing they -- as a place where their cost of living was affordable. Where -- -- paycheck isn't leading the way. Let me tell you what the stakes are the stakes are not just America. The stakes are bigger than. Never never in the history of the world's water and -- popular. And -- you know. Our -- I tell you what I think is at stake a lot bigger than just the American political debate. As you know yesterday -- was the transition in the government trying. Avenue president they have new leaders this -- allowed to go around giving speeches where he refers to something called the Chinese the China dream. You missed it what's the China dream does that mean and -- -- China dreams. The China -- -- the -- A book that was written by I think the -- the Chinese army colonel let me take -- the -- -- the book it'll -- -- the time reading. That China's goal should be to surpass the United States as the world's preeminent military and economic -- That's what the China -- In fact in the forward avenue rights and other general right to the -- percent to should -- a race. To see who can become the champion country to lead world progress. So while we are here victory in this country and arguing about whether which spend more than we take in -- government's role should be. There is a nation trying to -- us as the leading power in the world. And you may think -- -- why that matters some people would say let someone else take the lead for awhile we're tired of solving the world's problems and believe me I understand. I do it's frustrating. But let me -- something first let me explain to -- to the Chinese -- The Chinese. Provide the people no access to the Internet. The Chinese Government will -- citizens prisoner without any right to recourse the Chinese Government. Courses and tortures people until they get confessions from them. The Chinese Government restricts the ability of people to -- some. If you escape China they actually put pressure on governments to forcibly return. The Chinese Government has coercive birth limitation policy which means that in some cases they are forcing -- person abortions and sterilizations. The Chinese Government use of forced labor. And this is what they -- to their own people. Have to be the leading country in the world. Want that to be the leading voice on this planet. That's the stakes. That's what's at stake in America's greatness this is not just about national pride. The truth of the matter is don't take this for granted. What we have here is different and special and historic. In the vast history of the world and of mankind almost everyone that's ever been born as poor and disadvantaged with no ability to get ahead. What's made -- different is that here people had a real chance to get a better life no matter where they started out. And do not underestimate what that is meant for the world. Now Susan down speaking out time but the criticism on the left is -- be number one he drank too much water. They didn't offer any new ideas and there's the fallacy of it. We don't need a new idea there is an idea the idea called America and it's still work. You want to. You want proof that it's still work. You want proof that it still works look around the world today who were they coughing they're not -- the former Soviet Union. They're not -- Russia they're not even -- China they are copying us -- every step towards free enterprise. Millions of people all over the world are emerging from poverty millions of people. The world are emerging from generational poverty because they were inspired by the American idea they may claim to hate us but they sure would like to BS. And the question -- in the world that we believe our children. What will be the dominant country in the world what will be the light shining example for the world. A country like the one I just described to -- when China and other places or country like ours. That is what's at stake. And I believe -- I know that -- make the right choice because I believe in my heart what I have always believed. That it would give our people the opportunity. And free enterprises and and and and upward mobility they will do what they've always done. They will build and sustain a vibrant middle class and beyond. That we give our children the skills they need for the county for centuries they will do what Americans have always done they -- change the world for the better. That if we do what we are supposed to do we will always be who we are destined to be the single greatest nation in the history of the world thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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