In GOP address, Rubio rebuts Obama's State of the Union
January 28th, 2012
07:27 AM ET
11 years ago

In GOP address, Rubio rebuts Obama's State of the Union

(CNN) - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Saturday accused the president of failed leadership during the weekly Republican address as political attention turns to his home state leading up to its primary.

Rubio, who is popular among the GOP presidential contenders, focused on the president's State of the Union address.

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"This president didn't talk about his record for one simple reason; he doesn't want you to know about it," Rubio said, referring to President Barack Obama's address to Congress Tuesday. "But you do know about it, because you feel the failure of his leadership every single day of your life."

Rubio predicted Obama would use politics of division in the upcoming election year to secure his own re-election.

"He tells Americans worried about their jobs that the way to help them is to raise their bosses' taxes, Rubio said. "He tells those who are hurting that the only way they can be better off, is for others to be worse off. He tells all of us that the only way for some of us to climb up the economic ladder is for others to be pulled down."

"This divisive rhetoric, this effort to gain political support by convincing some that they will be better off if we punish others, this stuff has never worked anywhere it's been tried," Rubio added.

Rubio's address comes as political attention turns to his home state Florida, which holds its primary Tuesday. Candidates competing for the GOP nomination have criss-crossed the state over the past week, establishing their positions on issues important to Florida voters, such as immigration, housing and the future of the U.S. space program.

Despite consistently saying he doesn't harbor any vice presidential aspirations, buzz has surrounded Rubio as a potential running mate for months. Political observers have said Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, could help any candidate draw in Latino voters.

In his address Saturday, Rubio alluded to his upbringing, saying his success was linked to America's system of free enterprise.

"No economic system is perfect," Rubio said. "But the American free enterprise system has empowered millions of people in the past. I know, because I saw it with my own eyes. My father was a bartender. And I thank God every night that there was someone willing to risk their money to build a hotel on Miami Beach and later in Las Vegas where he could work."

Rubio has not endorsed a candidate, and his spokesman said he remained "neutral."

That hasn't stopped GOP candidates from singing his praises. At a CNN debate Thursday, candidates were asked which Hispanic politician they would consider appointing to their Cabinets. Rubio's name was the first mentioned.

"I mean I hate to throw one to Florida, but obviously your Sen. Marco Rubio is a pretty impressive guy," former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was even more effusive.

"I actually thought about Marco Rubio on a slightly more dignified and central role, than being in the Cabinet, but that's another conversation," Gingrich said.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, answering third, also commended Rubio.

"Of course, Sen. Marco Rubio is a terrific Hispanic-American," Romney said.

Also see:

Romney: Gingrich debates complaints like 'Goldilocks'

Palin decries GOP 'cannibalism,' defends Gingrich

Romney surrogates shadow Gingrich campaign

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Marco Rubio
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. John D

    It's a shame the apple doesn't fall far a way from the tree

    January 28, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  2. MaryM5

    Rubio, the little man that lied to the voters about his parents rebuts the President? The GOP are nothing but a pack of liars.

    January 28, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  3. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    I'm pretty sure the President mentioned his "record" during his speech, so it's kinda bizarre that Rubio would lie and say otherwise. On the other hand, Rubio has been lying about his family history for years, so this is not really surprising. Being an accomplished liar is now a job requirement for the GOBP deathcult.

    January 28, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  4. Nancy

    Omg! STFU Rubio. You're a liar and just became a Senator so relax and behave like a junior you really are. None of the republican candidates will want you as a VP so just STOP.

    January 28, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  5. Cyrus

    And GOP's favorite son, Herr Rubio has arrived in his brown shirt!

    January 28, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  6. Debra From Georgia

    This guy is an idiott

    January 28, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  7. Keith in Austin

    Rubio is a shining star of the GOP and is exactly right regarding his comments on Obama, The Great Divider in Chief!

    January 28, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  8. jbreezy

    i guess rubio has learned well, do not tell the actual truth. potus did cite his record from the very beginning. what he did not do is blame rubio and his gop co-horts for blocking everything he wanted to do. dispite their failure the economy is on the right track. this is not the time for conservative leadership.not that any time is good for them but until we bring this country all the way back from the cliff they held us over we must stay the course.remember, from day one they wanted failure ,not just for this president but all of us. i call it treason at the very least they all should be fired.

    January 28, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  9. Namejkane fl

    How can any Latino support the republican party that wants to slash your mom and dads soc sec Medicare medicade and food stamps and deport your families. All teapublicans need to be kicked out of office in fl. And across the USA!!!!

    January 28, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  10. diridi

    I told long time ago, this idiot does not have any brain. what an idiot. well, Latinos are fully aware of it that this jerk is using to grab their votes. Were they educated, they would know how this idiot plays drama. Check his immigration first. God bless.

    January 28, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rubio is not the brightest senator, so be patient with him. It is the wealthy republicans and right wingnuts who are envious of those who have social security and medicare benefits, veteran's benefits, a decent job with good pay, pensions, and, of course, the middle class. Why else would republicans attack these people on a daily basis?

    January 28, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. Ron

    Silly rabbit. He's right. The average republican must think that multi-millionaires and billionaires having to pay their fair share of taxes will result in them being "worse off". Maybe, the GOP establishment doesn't know the avverage income of the average republican?? Maybe, the GOP establishment doesn't know that those peons actually vote?? Maybe, those peons will wisen up and see that the GOP establishment is all about fooling the average republican into thinking the establishment is looking out for them?? in the meantime, average republicans busting hump to make $50K a year will continue to pay 25% tax while the elite who golf/vacation all year pay less than 15% on millions IN PROFITS!!

    January 28, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  13. king

    Dubious said that Obama is taking away the free market system which made America great by taxing the rich. I have to ask, where in American history have the rich payed such low taxes and we we were successful. Lesson Mr dubious, you need to get off ideology and get on practicality. This country is 75 percent economy driven. If you keep cutting middle class spending power and give to the rich, what do you expect to happen? The share holders will not hesitate a second to skip to China with American jobs as soon as demand dips. Obama is focussing on small businesses by allowing the spenders in our economy to have money so that small businesses can expand and hire more spenders. We cannot afford to weeken our spending base and expect to compete with China and India for American jobs, hell! We are trying to get their jobs.

    January 28, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. gg

    Just say no to everything and do nothing then blame the president for everything.

    January 28, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. Tony in Maine

    Let's see – "failed leadership," "class warfare." Any other phony buzzwords the tiny minds can understand Marco?

    Everything has to be reduced to a bumper sticker – no more tan three words. That's why the Republicans are unable to articulate (look it up!) anything substantive. It's too long so go on a 2X12 piece of adhesive backed vinyl.

    January 28, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. Tony

    Yah, the "free enterprise" system worked real well up until now right? Come on.

    January 28, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. westward

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    January 28, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. rightospeak

    Marco Rubio needs to support Ron Paul, who is the only candidate to beat Obama. Obama 's b.s. can be countered by Ron Paul 's substance and intelligence. Others ,like Gingrich, Romney , Santorum are not even in the same league as Obama and will lose. If the Republican Party continues to support and elects one of the clowns they will lose to Obama with ridicule-it will not even be a contest. Obama is a master of b.s. and Gingrich,Romney or Santorum with their b.s. will look silly.

    January 28, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  19. af

    Rubio don't forget the Floridians tax payers Credit card that you'he used to fix your mom car. You are very deshonest

    January 28, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    You know, I'm sick of this "failed leadership" accusation over and over again from a party that has no ideas other than to make sure the president fails. President Obama comes up with the ideas, and they get shot down by every Republican on the hill, including Rubio, through every legal maneuver available, especially in the Senate. Where are the ideas, guys? Where are the jobs bills? Tax cuts is not a jobs bill, it's a proven failed theory. We've been trickled on enough. We pay these folks a lot of money to govern, and they do nothing but accuse, obstruct, delay, and throw childish temper tantrums. We're not getting our money's worth.

    January 28, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    “He tells all of us that the only way for some of us to climb up the economic ladder is for others to be pulled down." Marco Rubio Ridiculous
    As a success full small business owner that comment is Ridiculous
    There are no money circulation , right now money stays in one place that wont speed up the economy

    January 28, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Quirkydude

    Who the hell is Rubio? He is made out to be the next coming because he is a well-spoken Latino?

    January 28, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. Name zoiram

    When will his term be up? I hope the people from Florida get this joker out of office!

    January 28, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. Ray E. (Georgia)

    What made this country great was free enterprise, not big government programs of which now has brought us a 15-5 trillion dollar debt. Marco Rubio get's it. But the liberals still think they are doing something great by expanding government. 47 Million on Food Stamps says something different.

    January 28, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. Michael Q

    When the campaign leaves Florida, so will they leave Rubio except to bring his name up when they hit their next heavy populated Hispanic States. Rubio has been drinking the GOP kool-aid which is ok, but to become VP at this time is a joke especially on a GOP ticket that will set history for losing in both the Senate and the Congress. It is better to sit back and let the current establishment GOP takes its final licking before rebuilding around a new modern thinking Republican base.

    January 28, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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