May 2nd, 2010
09:00 AM ET
8 years ago

Rubio says his views are mainstream, dismisses Crist's departure


Florida Republican Marco Rubio sat down for a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Candy Crowley where the Senate candidate discussed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the GOP's past and future, and the Tea Party movement. (Photo Credit: CNN)

(CNN) - Having all but secured the Republican nomination for Florida's open Senate seat, Marco Rubio called his view of conservative principles well within the mainstream of U.S. political ideology and downplayed the decision of his one-time rival, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, to abandon the GOP primary.

In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" broadcast Sunday, Rubio said the decision by Crist to run an independent campaign in November instead of contesting the Republican primary was of little consequence to the GOP.

Watch: Rubio on Crist

"I don't think it means anything for Republicans in Florida," Rubio said. "Our party has never been about an individual. It's been, hopefully, about a set of principles and ideals - the idea of the free market - free enterprise system has made Americans the most prosperous people in the world - that our constitutional republic has made us the freest people in the history of the world. I've always felt that, that belief system finds its natural home in the Republican Party."

Polls showed that Crist, a moderate Republican, was trailing the more conservative Rubio in a head-to-head matchup.

Later: 'I'm much happier now,' says Crist

In the CNN interview, Rubio said his goal was to be part of a Republican resurgence that would present a viable alternative to the Obama administration and Democrats.

"The Republican Party needs to be not just the opposition," Rubio said. "I don't want to go to Washington and be the opposition. I want to be part of the alternative. And - and ultimately, why I think we've had success in the Republican primary so far is because we've offered not just the opportunity to be in opposition to the Obama administration, but an alternative on some very important issues."

At the same time, Rubio rejected the notion that his conservative views and support from right-wing circles are outside the political mainstream.

Related: Rubio is too far right for Florida, says Meek

"I'm not ever running away from the title" of conservative, Rubio said. "I think that limited government - conservatism, is what most Americans are. I think that's mainstream American thought." Rubio added, "I'm not an anarchist. I believe government has an important role to play in society. I just don't think it should play a dominant role. I don't believe government is the most important institution in society. I believe in entrepreneurship. I believe in the free market. I want to live in a country where people can open up a business in the spare bedroom of their home, even if it's in violation of the zoning code. I want them to be able to pursue their dreams."

Full story

Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida • GOP • Marco Rubio • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. vegage

    Mainstream? I do not think that saying the stimulus money has not helped Floridians is a mainstream thought. I am latin, and I just can smell another corrupt latin looking to be elected to office.

    May 2, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. swedypie1

    Here we go again – a slick attempt to silence the opposition. Too bad he was willing to use a commencement event to do so. It's another example of President Obama's thin skin and unwillingness to consider other opinions himself. It was a political address, not an inspirational moment. Nice try but I don't think he will succeed at silencing his critics this easily.

    May 2, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Ken in NC

    Rubio is young and dumb. He does not realize that Gov. Crist has opened the door for him to depart. Crist is smart and savy. Rubio doesn't have a clue that he is being set up for the slaughter.

    May 2, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. Robert Warner

    Great... When your elected, all of Florida can follow your economic policies and bill their groceries to the Republican Party. This hypocrite claims rails against spending while and living off misappropriated funds.

    May 2, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. ben san roda

    Good riddance. Republicans have nothing to do with a chamellion Crist.

    May 2, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. Doug

    Yes, Marco. Let's go back to the days of limited government, and let corporate America run wild. The Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980's under President Reagan, the Enron meltdown, the current recession...they are all the direct result of small government and the limited regulation of big business. That is exactly what the American people want. About 25 percent of the people on the right side of the political spectrum share your views. That is NOT mainstream. Charlie Crist represents about 50 percent of us in the middle. That IS mainstream. He has my vote because he will restore rationality and balance to this campaign.

    May 2, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. annie s

    Mainstream? The Tea Party darling? Ah, politicians...before Senator Christ threatened to take the moderate Republican (are there any?) Democratic and Independent votes in this State, Mr. Rubio was screaming his conservatism to anyone who would listen...including stating it proudly in his TV commercials.

    May 2, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. ramtruck2500

    Gee is there anything going on but Rubio? Man I hope so. It seems this is all thats on here lately. Very little economic news nothing on Illegals after they had there welfare not workfare day. Is there any news other than what this nut bag rubio cube thinks?? I guess not.

    May 2, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Rubio do I see sweat on your brow? I think you and those trader republicans are getting nervous. I'm a Floridian and I can tell you that when you people do your polls of your republican teaparty friends, you think that the rest of us Floridians don't out number your teabaggers. Well you will see when we say up yours in November.

    May 2, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. Rico

    Name me a republican led administration in the last 20 years that made the government smaller? Anyone? I thought so.

    May 2, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. huh?

    By "redistributing the wealth", we of course mean, "lowering taxes for everybody", which is actually what happened. Of course we'd hate to let facts get in the way of a good radio talking point.

    May 2, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Epheus Beatty

    Why is it that republicans complained about government being the problem or been too big but yet are figting to become part of it? And I dont hear any republican complaining about Arizona extending their government in such a broad manner. Politicians!!!!! Their beliefs or policies are as good as their current poll standings. MCcain is no longer a maverick!!! and it took a senate race to deny it? He ran for the presidency as a maverick but all of a sudden he is not!

    May 2, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. AJ

    And killing Jews was "mainstream" in NAZI Germany, did that make it right?

    May 2, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Djinn

    Earlier in our history Rubio would have feared a lightening bolt from God for talking such saccharine feces. Today he is just another sound-bite Repugnican, trying to put a pretty face over corrupt and proven wrong ideology. He is further right than W. Bush and less aware of his own lies than a four year old. I am no fan of any Republican, but Crist is at least a member of what was a political party and not someone hopeful of playing in an Oligarchy.

    May 2, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. El Kababa

    As near as I can figure, right-wing lunatics apparently believe that they are normal people. How odd.

    May 2, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. mb

    About that "business in the bedroom" notion; first of all, you can already do that as long as it's not any kind of retail operation that has lots of people coming and going from your house, parking in front of your neighbors homes, at whatever hours, etc. So, if you want to run a business that has no direct impact on your neighbors, there are no codes to violate. If, on the other hand, Mr. Rubio is suggesting that anyone should be able to run a retail store from there house. how do you think he'd like it if his neighbors decided to run a 24 hour discount clothing shop next door? Or a home theater? His attempts to try to present himself as a moderate are lame.

    May 2, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. chris

    I love how Republicans keep trying to perpetuate these myths. As if they repeat them often enough they become the truth. The Democrats are for redistribution of wealth. The Democrats drive up deficits. In reallity, the largest redistriubution of wealth happened under Republicans watch. It was all upwards. The top few percent of the country got incredibly rich, while every one else became much poorer. And the largest deficits have been under Republican administration. Those are facts, not mindless partisan dogma. Which is why the GOP ignores them.

    May 2, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. GI Joe

    "I believe in entrepreneurship. I believe in the free market. I want to live in a country where people can open up a business in the spare bedroom of their home, even if it's in violation of the zoning code. "
    Translation: I believe in more DEregulation so we can "sleep" with wall street and take their winnings(taxpayer money) all day and all night.

    May 2, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Sinseanathair

    The Republican party should be ashamed to have Rubio as a potental representative. He has already shown that he doesn't have the integrity of Idi Amin.

    May 2, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |