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Marco Rubio's Political Views
Currently serving as the U.S. Senator from Florida (where he is facing a challenge from Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy), Marco Rubio was considered by many to be a rising star in the Republican party when he was elected to the Senate in 2010. Indeed, Rubio was considered to be a favorite to become the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 2016 and was the "establishment pick" for the nomination after Jeb Bush dropped out. However, Rubio failed to get much traction in early states, only winning Minnesota, DC, and Puerto Rico, and ultimately suspended his campaign after finishing a distance second to Donald Trump in the Florida primary. This hub will attempt to take an unbiased look at the political positions of Senator Rubio so interested voters can see how he stacks up to Donald Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and other leading Republican politicians.
Rubio on the Issues
1. Budget Deficits and Taxes: Like many of his fellow Republicans, Senator Rubio has consistently called for large cuts in federal spending to reign in persistent budget deficits, stating on his website that he believes "we must immediately freeze non-defense, non-veterans spending at 2008 spending levels." Rubio also voted for a referendum disapproving of the decision to raise the debt ceiling in January 2012, though he did not offer an alternative plan that would have allowed the federal government to meet its spending obligations without risking a possible default. Rubio also voted for the so-called Ryan Plan,which called for a $6.2 trillion dollar cut in federal spending over 10 years, in 2011.
2. Jobs and Economic Growth: Rubio generally echoes the positions of his Republican colleagues, calling for decreased regulations and taxes. As Rubio states on his website, "To create the environment for businesses all across Florida and our nation to create jobs Senator Rubio believes we need to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that will sunset in two years, cut corporate taxes, permanently end the Death Tax, end double taxation, reform the Alternative Minimum Tax and ensure that we do not pass a value-added tax." Rubio also came out against the bank bailouts initiated by President Bush in 2008 and continued by President Obama in 2009.
3. Health Care: Rubio was a co-sponsor (along with South Carolina Republican Senator Jim Demint) of a bill to repeal the health care reform law in 2011. Rubio states that his health care policy has three main goals: "repealing and replacing Obamacare; allowing individuals to control their own health care choices; and returning control of health policy to the states." Rubio also voted for the Ryan Plan as part of a larger deficit reduction plan (see his above position on government debt), this plan, if enacted, would have gradually replaced Medicare with a system based on vouchers.
4. Global Warming and Environmental issues: In a 2010 February interview with a Florida newspaper, Rubio stated that "I don't think there's the scientific evidence to justify climate change." Rubio has strongly opposed the implementation of a cap and trade system and has called for increased drilling in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
5. Foreign Policy: Rubio has generally called for an engaged and active American foreign policy. During the 2010 campaign he expressed support for the "surge" in Iraq and has come out against any definite timetable for US withdrawal from Afghanistan, drawing criticism from some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, Rand Paul among them. Rubio has also been warned of the potential dangers of a nuclear Iran, telling reporters in February 2012 "we need to have every single option on the table because the idea of a nuclear Iran is so catastrophic that there’s virtually no price too high to pay to avoid it."
6. Social Issues: Rubio is very conservative on most social issues. He was a strong supporter of the Blunt amendment, which would allowed employers to opt-out of providing certain types of health care coverage for moral or religious reasons. He described abortion "a definitional issue" in a February 2012 speech, and summing up his position on choice by stating that "there is no compelling argument for why a woman’s right to choose trumps a child’s right to live." Senator Rubio also opposed President Obama's decision to repeal the military's Don't Ask, Don't tell policy prohibiting openly gay soldiers from serving in the military.
7. Immigration Policy: Senator Rubio has called for increase enforcement of current immigration rules and opposes any amnesty for illegal immigrant currently residing in the United States. The Senator has criticized some of his Republican colleagues for demonizing illegal immigrants, stating in January 2012,"For those of us who come from the conservative movement, we must admit that there are those among us who have used rhetoric that is harsh and intolerable, inexcusable." Rubio went on to state "I challenge the Republican nominees and all Republicans to not just be the anti-illegal immigration party... That’s not who we are and that’s not who we should be, we should be the pro-legal immigration party."
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