Washington (CNN) – Two rising stars in the Republican party, each of whom may run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, give much anticipated speeches Tuesday night at a conservative gathering here in the nation's capital.
Sen. Marco Rubio, the freshman Republican from Florida, and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget committee chairman and Mitt Romney's running mate on the GOP ticket in this year's presidential election, both share the stage at the Jack Kemp Foundation's award dinner at the Mayflower Hotel.
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The foundation, named after the famous conservative congressman, cabinet secretary and GOP vice presidential nominee, will honor the 41-year-old Rubio with the Kemp leadership award. Ryan, 42, won the same award last year. This year he gives the keynote address at the dinner.
Rubio will use his post-dinner speech to talk about ways to grow the economy and make creating jobs easier, about reducing health care costs for middle class families, and about the impact of societal breakdown, according to a Rubio adviser who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak freely.
The adviser also told CNN that Rubio will discuss education and giving people the skills to earn middle class wages in the 21st century. Rubio will emphasize early childhood education, school choice, and tax code reform and incentives in education. The adviser said Rubio will further address the rising costs of college, mention reforming federal loan and grant programs, and will highlight his own experience with college loans, which the senator just recently paid off.
Ryan's pre-dinner speech will partly focus on reducing poverty through education and will detail his thinking on how people of different income levels can improve their standing, according to a Republican source.
There are more than a dozen Republicans who may be considering 2016 bids, but political strategists say that Rubio and Ryan would be near the top of any potential lists.
The next presidential campaign is still a long way away, but because of Rubio and Ryan's star power, the Kemp Foundation awards dinner is firmly in the political spotlight.