Senator Rubio Tells Iowans U.S. Faces "A Break Point”
By Rod Boshart, Reporter
ANKENY, Iowa - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio warned Iowa Republicans that the United States is “at a break point” due to a massive debt crisis and GOP president candidate Mitt Romney is the country’s best hope for finding solutions to rein in government and get the economy working again.
“We owe $15 trillion. Our debt is larger than our economy now. That’s unsustainable. No country’s been able to do that,” Rubio told about 250 Iowa Republicans who gathered at the Ankeny Regional Airport to greet the Florida senator and Romney’s youngest son, Craig, for a wind-blown rally in an open airport hangar.
“Our country is at a break point here,” Rubio told the crowd. But he said the most troubling element is that the national debt continues to grow by $1 trillion a year and President Barack Obama has failed to provide the leadership needed to reverse the problem. He said at some point the country will no longer be able to borrow money, adding “we don’t know when that is and let’s not find out.”
“Our national debt cannot be overstated. It’s the size of our economy,” he said, noting it’s detrimental effect on growth and job creation. “Every penny that’s going to the government debt is money that’s not available for investment in the private sector,” he added.
Rubio said Romney brings a mix of experience as a private-sector businessman and former Massachusetts governor that is needed at this time in contrast to the big-government approach the president has pursued the past four years.
“I’m not here to tell you the president is a bad person. He’s a bad president,” said Rubio, who told Iowans they will play a critical role in deciding the outcome of the Nov. 6 balloting and need to “keep doing what you’re doing times 10” to get pro-Romney voters to the polls with less than two weeks remaining in the 2012 campaign.
In an interview, Rubio said he believes the No. 1 issue for the Hispanic community in this election is “economic empowerment, upward mobility, the ability to leave your kids better off than yourselves.” He questioned whether Obama could make good on his promises to craft a compromise to solve the nation’s financial crisis or pass immigration reform in 2013 if he wins re-election, noting that “he said the last time he ran.”
Rubio said immigration reform will not be achieved via a big comprehensive package. Instead it must be done in sequences, starting with border security and employment verification, then by modernizing the legal immigration program and finally finding a solution for illegal immigration that is “somewhere between” providing amnesty and mass deportation of 12 million people residing in this country illegally.
Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said it was no surprise Rubio spoke about Romney in glowing terms because “they’re two extreme peas in a pod.”
“Much like Mitt Romney, as Sen. Rubio’s star has risen, so has his extremism,” Dvorsky said in a statement. “Since being elected to the Senate, Rubio has consistently sided with the far-right extremist Tea Party groups and campaigned on policies that cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires on the backs of the middle class.
“Both Romney and Rubio have worked to cut education, health care and want to restrict women’s access to birth control. Meanwhile they’ve also endorsed the Ryan budget plan that would make draconian cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare which are the bedrock of economic security for millions of seniors,” she added.
Rubio’s first appearance on Iowa soil came on a day when the Romney campaign launches its Iowa “Juntos Con Romney” Hispanic leadership team, chaired by John Ortega of the Scott County Republican Party and a former GOP state central committee member.
“President Obama has let down Hispanics in Iowa and across the country. Four years ago, he promised he would create millions of new jobs, stop runaway government spending, and reform our broken immigration system by the end of his first term. On all these counts, he has failed, and now he won’t offer any new solutions to get America working again,” Ortega said.
“Mitt Romney will strengthen the middle class by creating millions of new jobs in his first term alone, reduce the tax burden on middle class families, put our country back on the path to a balanced budget, and act to reform our immigration system,” he added. “Latinos know the right choice for president is Mitt Romney because we want to build a stronger America and create an easier pathway to the middle class.”
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