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. Kman821

    Looks like Rubio is just another little putz trying to further the right-wing lie that Obama is a failed leader ... to be called a failed leader by low-life Republicans is actually an honor. Their constant barrage of outright lies and dog-whistle racial rhetoric merely show just how scared they are of our President.

    January 28, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  2. John

    The Only one that fail at leadership Is you Republican. You try and take People right away, and than you have the do NOTHING CONGRESS lead by the Republican Control Congress. All you Republican care about Is what you can do for the Rich and Big business. All you do Is LIE and run your mouth.

    January 28, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. Inrealityhere

    Rubio would help anyone's ticket for sure.

    January 28, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. kevin

    Its truly sad that Rubio has fallen into the GOP trap. They never cared about the Hispanic, in fact the 2010 elections were based on hatred of hispanics. So hopefully one day he'll see the light and leave the darkside.

    January 28, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. WiredweirdinSF

    Somebody had to do it. The liberally biased press certainly won't. Remember the Politica Ticker Fact Checker just used the opportunity to attack Mitch Daniels. Ohter less biased news organization fact checkers actually reported the lies of the inept, incomptent, corrupt union toady president, not CNN of course, but honest news organizations that have not sold their souls to the DNC.

    January 28, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. gimmesometruth

    The Republican establishment should trust the American People. Sarah is right. There is no excuse for this establishment attack on Newt. He is the candidate most qualified for the job and has proven he can get things accomplished. Boy, do we need it. Romney unfortunately is a very weak candidate, although being like a CEO and so skilled at being politically correct, he is a well packaged actor-candidate. When are we going to wake up and realize that we should not be voting for a President based on their campaign alone – that is why it has become all about who has the most money.

    January 28, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Just a thought

    aww....yet another rider for the GOP/Clown Car express...going no where fast on a huge pack of lies....ALL ABOARD

    January 28, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. sickofstupid

    blah blah blah blah same old same old......what are his thought on Newt colonizing the moon in the next 10 years. I'm sure that will be cheap....LOL

    January 28, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. ST

    What is this anchor-boy talking about? He says our President doesn't talk about his records!! What about him (Rubio) who doesn't talk ( or rather misleading) exactly when his parents freed to USA. I do think charity always starts at home!

    January 28, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Phil T. Listener

    ""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."

    Impressive? I guess it is all relative.

    January 28, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. tew

    Rubio is a liar. He lied about his parents cuban status and he is now spreading false info about the Prez. Class divisiveness began with tax policies implemented by the GOP that favored the 1%. It continues with GOP policies that pit unión workers against non unión. State workers against private sector workers. Christian against non Christian. GOP is all about division

    January 28, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. JR

    The country is split almost 50/50 in how people believe things should be done. Neither side is going to control or at least control for long, the govt. as a whole. Ruling from the center is a must if the country is to proceed. The more these candidates repeat that "this president is not getting anything done, taking this country in the wrong direction, taxes are evil, he is not a legit president, etc." they are setting themselves up, or anyone else who happens to win an election, to not be able to do what needs to be done to rule the country. The winner will only have a fine line majority (or maybe not even a majority) and thereby will be resisted at every effort to make changes, by those who feel they lost. Amazing how each extreme thinks that they are not radical... no doubt the Taliban doesn't think they are radical either.

    January 28, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Gino

    Rubio is a fake and a liar" about his family background, about his positions, about everything. As someone once said" Every word he says is a lie, including "the," "a," and "and." Take it from a Floridian, we don't want him anywhere near the White House

    January 28, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Rubio the paperboy rebuts the middle-class and 99% of Americans. So what? Big deal. Who cares? His insignificant StOoPiD opinion means less to the world than a flea on Godzilla.

    January 28, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    He is just another protector of the rich who has decided to give the middle-class the middle-finger for all eternity.

    January 28, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. works4me

    Is this from all of the years of experience he has? He needs to reach puberty in Washington before he shouts out ignorant stuck on stupid partisans. Even Palin has a little more knowledge than him and she's a dumb as a cypress knee.

    January 28, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    God hates Rubio.

    January 28, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. What??

    How can republicans say with a straight face that the reason the economy is struggling is because of Obama? Were they not in this country in 2008 when the economy went into free fall. Has that not stopped, thanks to the stimulus? Isn't the economy growing again even though at slow pace? How will going back to the policies that caused the melt down solve the problem now? Why would we ever believe a republican when they say they know how to fix the economy? When you hear people who do not acknowledge facts and just say what is convenient for them to win an election, you know that they cannot be trusted to ever tell the truth.

    January 28, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Sean

    I still don't see what's supposed to be so special about this guy. His rhetoric is as generic and bland as any other Republican and he hasn't done anything of note in his young senate career.

    Oh, yeah! He isn't white.

    January 28, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Bye Bye Teabaggers

    Mr Rubio sounds like the self-fulfilling prophesy. The GOP had a mission coming in – to make Obama a "one term president." In so doing, they have either obstructed his agenda or given him bills that THEY KNOW he wouldn't sign. NO compromises means NOT WORKING. I think the problem is the GOP and it is time that they were reduced in numbers.

    January 28, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Indy

    I wonder if there will ever be a day that Republicans think about "We the People". Republicans complain every single day about Obama but there only solution is to everything is the same failed policies of forty years of lowering taxes and deregulating everything except womans bodies.The GOP has been blinded by the light and all they have is party first ideas and it is more important to take down Obama then to serve the people.

    January 28, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Bill Stone

    Ms Palin: You've had your 15 minutes of fame. Please, please just go away. You show your ignorance supporting Newt.
    You have shown your ignorance on the public stage for some years now. Please just live your life. We really get tired of your brand of dialogue. Hope you can see the construct in this message. Bill

    January 28, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. john kenney

    this idiot lying about his records shd give us a break.if he has anything to offer,he shd go and liberate cuba.

    January 28, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. ohreally

    Rubio, you are another wanna be. "U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio charged grocery bills, repairs to the family minivan and purchases from a wine store less than a mile from his West Miami home to the Republican Party of Florida while he was speaker of the Florida House, according to records obtained by the St. Petersburg Times."

    January 28, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. amlcpamaine

    mafiaMarco's view of "failed leadership" is a bit different from ours. As a FL voter I accuse him of "failed leadership" for supporting the wholesale bickering and blockage of ANY progress in Washington, just because he and his tea party goons can't get their way (actually can't get the way of their billionaire puppeteers). This weasel will be in the news a LOT but will fade when the general public learns what he really is and what his background includes.

    January 28, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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