(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.
Yes, you do! First you need to stop listening to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh! That is why this conservative left!
Of course you don't need new ideas Marco... you all enjoy your free fall into oblivion!
Aaaah, still stuck in stage 1 pathological denial I see. "It's the messaging, not the message." Please proceed, GOPers/Teatrolls, please proceed.
Rubio the teabag from Florida won't even get realected here in Florida ,the so called savior of the gop . Where's your papers ??????
Sorry, but Rubio and the terrorist CPAC bunch know very little about true conservatism. The old true conservative [R]s are rolling in their graves over this bunch of rightwing monkees calling themselves "conservative". Hell, I'm not even in a grave yet, and I'm already "rolling" over.
We don't need a new idea, we need a new senator !!!!
Yes, you do Mr. Rubio, yes you do. Your party is actively trying to kill off the middle class, and only seeks to aid the wealthy. You won't win elections with a platform like that.
Considering the Republican-led House and the Republicans in the Senate have set records in the past 4 years on the number of filibusters, the number of blocked appointees, and the LACK of bills actually passed (even with a majority in the House), I find it incredibly bazaar that Rubio would assert that it is the DEMOCRATS who are the closed-minded members of the government. The Republicans really are defending their rapidly-shrinking reality bubble, aren't they!
Keep telling yourself that. Victory in 2016 is only a pipe dream for these clowns.
Nope, you don't need any new ideas...keep peddling the same old failed tripe and before you know it, you'll be able to hold the republican national convention in a Denny's parking lot.
To all democrats, the Bill of Rights is a good thing and not something for you to destroy.
You need a whole hose of new ideas. Let's start with the complete fallacy that "the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception".
I believe that the retention of Rubio, Ryan and Cantor in active politican positions will bring about the end of the Republican party as we know it. Holding on to Bachman and a host of other crrack pots, in somke cases only trying to feather their nests (ala Cantor after Boehner's job) or just playing to the Teaparty's base. More like the Gin party. The final result will be a party of irrelevance.
Is this anchor baby really thinking??? They don't need new ideas!!! If the old ideas didn't make them win, how can it be sticking on the same ideas make them win in the future. This doesn't need any brain surgery to come up on what to do in order to win. Why can't they count themselves out on everything if they don't have something new to come with???
Are you kidding me??? Calling the other side "Closed Minded" while at the same time stating that the Republicans don't need new ideas??? I'll repeat, Are you kidding me??? If they even stopped to do a truthful evaluation of why they lost so big in 2012, they would see it's the very bad ideas that a large number of the electorate totally rejected. Not to mention writing off large ethnic groups and women with those stupid ideas.
Again, Are you kidding me???
We don't need a new idea! But ill take a tall glass of water.
"Don't need a new idea", didn't even learn a lesson from last elections, none of you "Conservatives or Republicans" will be in white house for long time!
still delusional to the end
bubble rap anybody–their new idea bag is empty.
Another Republican who refuses to believe that the vast majority of Americans KNOW that bigots don't believe in gay marriage and Republican men think they should be able to legislate on whether women can make their own CHOICES.
He's just another conservative who didn't get the message from the last election. Good, maybe we can get rid of all the teabaggers in 2014!!
It is the social issues that are killing the GOP and the ultra-conservatiev/Tea Party fringe groups who are making things worse.
Leave out the social issues from the Republican agenda. Emphasize fiscal conservatism and responsibility and the GOP will beat the Democrats every time. Add the social aspect to the mix and the GOP is headed towards political extinction.
""Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot. "
Yes it does. The man who does evil is no different than the man who stands idly by and allows it to take place. Trying to hide behind "awww shucks, but that's just the rules and the law," particularly when the accuracy of that attempted legal argument is untenable at best, wont' save the GOP/Teatrolls. The only reason the Trojan Token "believes" that states should decide is because he believes it's ok to decide that private marriage contracts between gay individuals should be prohibited and go unrecognized by a government that recognizes those contracts for straight people. That's the very definition of bigotry and encourages and enables it around the country. America was founded on the self-evident truth that all men are created equal...and while it was imperfect on that point in the beginning and still has a long way to actualize that ideal, the right side of history has always been and will forever be the side fighting to snuff out inequality wherever found. THAT was the "idea called America." Learn that or learn to enjoy your irrelevance.
America is all our idea. What republicans need is a better idea of what they think America is about and for. And for a party that in order to win the election saw it proper to go to war on women, Hispanics, and 47% of the american people and lose because of it, then say they don't need any new ideas is to remain stupid. But then Rubio isn't that smart to begin with.
"Are you kidding me??? Calling the other side "Closed Minded" while at the same time stating that the Republicans don't need new ideas??? I'll repeat, Are you kidding me???"
Doublethink...it's what's for dinner.
I'm an Independent, an after the last election, it will be a very long time before I EVER trust or VOTE for a republican again.