What We Know So Far
The 4 big messages from Rubio's announcement speech:
1. He's framing his candidacy as a generational rejection of "yesterday" — in other words, Hillary Clinton: "Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for President by promising to take us back to yesterday. But yesterday is over, and we are never going back."
Rubio's advisers believe his relative youth — he is 43 — is a tremendous asset both against Clinton and within the Republican primary, where he will compete with fellow Floridian Jeb Bush.
2. Rubio isn't going to defer to Bush, who he implicitly suggests wanted him to back out of running for president (or at least those around Bush): "I have heard some suggest that I should step aside and wait my turn. But I cannot. Because I believe our very identity as an exceptional nation is at stake, and I can make a difference as president."
3. He's going to go very hard on an interventionist, aggressive, pro-Israel foreign policy: "And if America accepts the mantle of global leadership, by abandoning this administration's dangerous concessions to Iran, and its hostility to Israel; by reversing the hollowing out of our military; by giving our men and women in uniform the resources, care and gratitude they deserve; by no longer being 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; then our nation will be safer, the world more stable, and our people more prosperous."
That message stands in contrast to particularly Rand Paul. Rubio, a hawkish senator, is currently competing for the favor of a number of high-profile, pro-Israel donors.
4. And he's still keeping changing immigration law as a priority:
"If we reform our tax code, reduce regulations, control spending, modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace Obamacare, the American people will create millions of better-paying modern jobs."
The issue was the source of his major defeat as a U.S. senator — he participated in a bipartisan effort to completely overhaul immigration policy — and the subject of much consternation within the conservative movement. He has since said one large bill is not a viable position.
Ahead of his announcement, the Rubio campaign has released excerpts of his speech:
"For almost all of human history, power and wealth belonged only to a select few. Most people who have ever lived were trapped by the circumstances of their birth, destined to live the life their parents had. But America is different. Here, we are the children and grandchildren of people who refused to accept this."
"My parents achieved what came to be known as the American Dream. But now, too many Americans are starting to doubt whether achieving that dream is still possible: Hard working families living paycheck to paycheck, one unexpected expense away from disaster. Young Americans, unable to start a career, a business or a family, because they owe thousands in student loans for degrees that did not lead to jobs. And small business owners, left to struggle under the weight of more taxes, more regulations and more government. Why is this happening in a country that for over two centuries has been defined by equality of opportunity? Because while our people and economy are pushing the boundaries of the 21st century, too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the twentieth century."
"At the turn of the 19th century, a generation of Americans harnessed the power of the Industrial Age and transformed this country into the leading economy in the world. And the 20th century became the American Century. Now, the time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American Century."
"This election is not just about what laws we will pass. It is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be."
"Yesterday is over, and we are never going back. We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future. Before us now is the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing story of America. We can't do that by going back to the leaders and ideas of the past. We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them."
"In many countries, the highest office in the land is reserved for the rich and powerful. But I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege."
In an interview with ABC News, Rubio said he thinks the country is at a "generational moment."
"I think this country's at a generational moment where it needs to decide not what party it wants in charge but what kind of country are we going to want to be moving forward?" Rubio told ABC News' Chief Anchor and This Week host George Stephanopoulos.
"I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction. I can help lead it there from the Senate. I can lead it there as president."
Rubio's advisers believe his optimism and pop culture fluency will give him a generational edge in 2016. He’s not “competing for who can be the whitest, oldest rich guy.
The generational contrast between Rubio, 43, and Clinton, 67, will be front and center in the media this week as TV newscasts fill with split-screen images of the two candidates launching their presidential bids within 24 hours of each other. Democrats widely view their presumptive nominee's long record of government service and accompanying gravitas as a distinct advantage, enabling her to overshadow the GOP's field of fresh faces and first-termers. But inside the tight circle of advisers and confidantes plotting Rubio's 2016 campaign, the senator's age is being treated as one of his deadliest electoral weapons — and one they won't wield against Clinton alone.
In interviews with multiple Republicans familiar with Rubio's strategy — including senior advisers, as well as donors and consultants who have been courted by his team — the candidate's youth was repeatedly identified as a key 2016 selling point, and one that could help distinguish him from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the early favorite among GOP elites.
Rubio, said one adviser, will not be "competing for who can be the whitest, oldest rich guy" in the Republican field. Instead, they will cast him as a symbol of America's future — a son of working-class immigrants, whose fluency in both Spanish and contemporary pop culture sets him apart from the flabby, boomer-built political establishment.
Full story here.
Marco Rubio formally entered the ever-growing Republican presidential primary race Monday.
The Associated Press first reported the news Monday morning after Rubio told a group of donors of his intentions.
The Florida senator rose to prominence as part of a wave of so-called tea party Republicans — including fellow candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul — who came to office in 2010 after campaigning to repeal President Obama's health care law. He's been a rising star in the party ever since, with his name being tossed around in 2012 as a possible vice presidential pick for Mitt Romney.
Rubio ran afoul of his tea party base in 2013, however, when he backed a comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate that included a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He has since recanted his support of the bill, telling Sean Hannity at the American Conservative Union Conference this year that the focus should be on securing the border first.
A Cuban-American whose parents immigrated to the states in the 1950s, Rubio has been one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration's efforts to normalize relations with the island nation. The issue also pits him against Sen. Rand Paul, who earlier this year engaged in a pointed back and forth with Rubio over the Cuban embargo.
Rubio campaigned and fundraised heavily for Senate candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire during the 2014 midterm elections, but has kept a low profile in the early primary states so far this year. That is sure to change now that he has launched his campaign, with many seeing him as one of the few candidates who can bridge the divide between tea party and establishment Republicans and win the nomination.
Rubio is expected to launch his campaign in Miami Monday evening. By announcing his presidential run, Rubio is effectively not running for re-election as senator. Florida law prevents candidates from appearing on the ballot for two different offices during the same election.