Marco Rubio probably will not be the next Republican nominee for president. However, at forty-three, he likely has a long political career ahead of him. And, as a senator from Florida, a state with twenty-nine electoral votes, Rubio may be a contender for the vice-president slot. So it’s worth getting to know him.
His campaign announcement is a good place to start. A positive is that Rubio chose the symbolism of freedom as his backdrop:
I chose to make this announcement at [Miami’s] Freedom Tower because it is a symbol of our nation’s identity as the land of opportunity. . . . For almost all of human history, power and wealth belonged only to a select few. Most people who have ever lived were trapped by the circumstances of their birth, destined to live the life their parents had. But America is different. Here, we are the children and grandchildren of people who refused to accept this.
Rubio’s speech was short on policy details, but he did offer a broad outline of some of his main goals: He wants to “reform our tax code, reduce regulations, control spending, modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace ObamaCare.”
Refreshingly, Rubio does not toe the anti-immigrant line so common among conservatives. Instead, he favors legislation that, although flawed, would move in the direction of a rights-respecting immigration policy.
Regarding taxes, as James Pethokoukis points out, Rubio would modestly cut the “top tax rate on labor income . . . to 35 percent from 40 percent” and expand tax credits; however, I’ve seen no indication that he’d get serious about cutting federal spending. . . .