Defending conservatism, Rubio says 'we don't need a new idea'
March 14th, 2013
02:55 PM ET
2 years ago

Defending conservatism, Rubio says 'we don't need a new idea'

(CNN) – Sen. Marco Rubio offered a loud endorsement of some of the most contentious social positions of the Republican Party Thursday during his speech to conservative activists outside Washington.

Saying respect was required to work with members of opposing viewpoints, Rubio came down hard on liberals he characterized as closed minded.

"I respect people who disagree with me on certain things, but they have to respect me too," Rubio said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot. Just because we believe life – all life – is worthy of protection at every stage of its development does not make you a chauvinist."

"The people who are actually closed minded in American politics are the people who love to preach about the certainty of science in regards to our climate but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception," Rubio continued.

As Republicans continue to search for ways to attract new voters after last year's election, which saw GOP nominee Mitt Romney lose among all groups except white men, many are looking to Rubio as a rising star within the party. He delivered the Republican response to last month's State of the Union address, and has been a leading voice on comprehensive immigration reform.

Appealing to younger voters, Rubio made an impassioned call for reforming student debt in the country, saying the massive amounts that some college grads owe hurt America's future and middle class.

And rebuffing the Republican notion raised during last year's campaign that a large chunk of Americans are dependent on government, Rubio stressed the "vast majority of the American people are hard-working taxpayers who take responsibility for their families, go to work every day, they pay their mortgage on time, they volunteer in their community."

But if some in the party were looking for Rubio to adopt a moderate tone on social issues, or to offer a bold new path for the Republican Party, they likely came away disappointed from his CPAC speech Thursday.

"We don't need a new idea. There is an idea. The idea is called America, and it still works," Rubio said to a loud round of applause.


Filed under: CPAC • Marco Rubio
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. naksuthin

    I agree. The Republican party has great ideas
    Just look at the last time a Republican held the White House
    The DOW had plunged to 8000
    The US auto industry was on the verge of bankruptcy
    The Bank were so desperate they had to be bailed out by the US taxpayer
    800,000 people a month were LOSING JOBS
    The housing bubble has not only burst...it exploded in the worst housing crisis ever
    Osama Bin Ladin was sending monthly radio messages mocking the US and threatening more attacks
    We were mired in TWO simultaneous wars that were costing hundreds of billions of dollars and going no where

    Yes. I miss the good old days

    March 14, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "You're close-minded"

    "But history and experts and facts and evidence and all this other stuff shows you've been wrong about that opint for years"

    "Yes, but that's what makes you close-minded: you won't let us try again and see if it works next time if we just do it harder."

    Yawn. I think we all know how Einstein defined insanity.

    March 14, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Boomer in Mo

    Conservatives want to save infants from abortion, but don't care if they get sick and die after they are born. Abortion is horrible and ungodly, but so is letting someone die of a common ailment which is what happens when people don't have insurance and the old and confused can't afford their medication or lack nursing care. But they were not aborted so,as the GOP thinks, let them die as they apparently are or were irresponsible lowlife members of the 47 percent. Two years ago, Missouri, which has just under 6 million residents, had $1 BILLION of unpaid medical care. I assume that has happened during the two years since. If the GOP wants to repeal Obamacare, they also ought to repeal all the laws that require hospitals to treat all comers because those of us with insurance and who pay our bills are paying off that $1 billion in Missouri every year in higher bills and insurance premiums. If we didn't, every hospital in the state would be closed as bankrupt. The same thing goes on in every state and is A HIDDEN TAX. The GOP knows it but wants it to go on forever so big medicine, big Pharma and doctors can take the rest of us for every cent we have.

    March 14, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Right Wing Conservatism is a Disease

    Yes, all life is worth protecting, unless we need to send soldiers to their deaths to improve Cheney's Haliburton profit margin. And anyone who isn't American is not worth protecting either.

    March 14, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. dd

    Republicans have been recently compared to the movie Groundhog Day, where a weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again. Unlike Bill Murray's character who realizes all of the mistakes that he made in the past and uses each new day to correct them by making changes for a better outcome in the future, the GOP wakes up every morning refusing to believe that anything is wrong with their way of doing things. They refuse change, they refuse new ideas, or compromise. With this way of thinking, the GOP will be out of power for at least a generation.

    March 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    " We don't need a new idea."

    How well has your spin on things been going the last 4 years? Marco Rubio is doing well, but are you?

    March 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. naksuthin

    "we believe life – all life – is worthy of protection at every stage of its development "
    Except once you are born and can't afford to feed yourself YOU ARE A LAZY BUM OR A WELFARE QUEEN

    March 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Ray E. (Georgia)

    True,
    The Liberal's have all the good ideas. They just want the Conservatives to pay for them. Well after 75 plus years and nearly 17 Trillion dollars in debt you would think everything would be fixed, wouldn't you ? But no, the Liberal's want to blow another 17 Trillion. The cold hard facts have reared it's ugly head. But some can't see the forrest for the trees and still think there is a free lunch.

    March 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. LouAZ

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. – John Kenneth Galbraith

    March 14, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. PJ

    Of course he doesn't need a new idea. He has embraced the values of the GOP Tea Party which got him elected in the first place. What a character this guy is.

    March 14, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. w l jones

    Liberals mean interlecture why as conservative mean close minded which show through very well. Said enough.

    March 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. SarahTonin

    Rubio is a dunce! Only a fool could read the tea leaves and make a statement like that. Good luck in 2014 with your present ideas ... make us proud!

    March 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Not_an_Idiot

    Well, looks like even the "rising star" of the GOTP is as big of an idiot as the rest of them. When will they learn that their stance on almost ALL socials issues is the complete OPPOSITE of the majority of the country? Hell, even most of their positions on fiscal issues are hated by most of the country at this point. I thought rubio would be different. Clearly he is just republican token hispanic whose being used as a puppet for the old white racists that still lead the GOTP. Once he gets his head out of the ground, he will realize he is just a pawn for getting the same bigoted message out there but making it SEEM different because a minorty is saying it.

    March 14, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. SarahTonin

    Rubio's true colors! Only someone with little insight could read the tea leaves and make a statement like that. You Republicans should look carefully at him and see that he's not part of the plan in 2014. That's a winning strategy!!

    March 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "we believe life – all life – is worthy of protection at every stage of its development "

    And yet, they will send you off as cannon fodder in one of their pointless wars in a heartbeat
    -------------------------------------------------
    Our friends to the North, unlike many RWNJs here, not only attended school but they also paid attention.
    Spot on Canuck!

    March 14, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Zenger Folkman

    "We don't need a new idea. There is an idea. The idea is called America, and it still works,"
    I am America! And so can you!!

    March 14, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Larry L

    If liberals don't accept abortion they don't get one. If they don't believe in gay marriage they do not marry a person of their same gender. Liberals tend to keep their spirituality personal – not insisting that others follow their religious tenets nor persecuting others for those they practice. Liberals tend to embrace the wonders of science and support initiatives that protect our land, air and water. It's hard to see how conservatives consider themselves more alligned with freedom and personal responsibility – when so much of their ideology is about intrusion into the lives of others.

    March 14, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. mk1

    Ok, fine you don't need new ideas. That is great by me. It will help lead the GOP into oblivion which is where it belongs. Let them keep on spouting their hatred for the poor, the elderly, women, minorities, gays, you name it. That will continue to do them about as much good as it did during the election last year. For me, that is wonderful. Keep up the good work and dream on.

    March 14, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Somebody needs to wake up Spike Lee.
    That lectern appears to have a logo that could be a patent infringement on "40 Acres and A Mule".

    March 14, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that these conservative ideas are based on certain assumptions that are wrong. He believes that everyone will act honestly and for the betterment of everyone else. That is clearly not happening. The market won't correct itself without some major pushes from other forces like government in most cases. This is just a start.

    March 14, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I respect people who disagree with me on certain things, but they have to respect me too," Rubio said
    -------------------------------------------------
    No they don't. Respect is earned NOT demanded, and when you speak like a paid trained monkey more concerned about spouting what your benefactors want you to say than what needs to be said you can't expect people to take you seriously much less respect you.
    Furthermore, your conduct as an elected official is reprehensible and an embarrassment to the Latin community. You need to handle your affairs, business and personal, above board and beyond reproach if you expect others to respect you. Maybe if you did these things you wouldn't look like a jackass going around like Aretha Franklin singing "Respect".

    March 14, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. KenneyP of Colorado

    States ALREADY has the right to define marriage whether that is nontraditional or traditional. Kansas defines it as between 1 man & 1 woman where as Vermont defines it differently. So what hidden agenda does he have besides prohibiting states from defining marriage in nontraditional ways?

    He says that the GOP doesn't need NEW ideas. They wish to continue representing old wealthy white men's agenda in spite of the scientific fact that America's demographics have changed.

    Some people believe religiously that life begins at the time of fertilization while others religiously believe it occurs upon birth. Who is the government to interfere in each group's beliefs or force a belief by prohibiting personal medical procedures?

    March 14, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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