Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for president in 2016 at a political kickoff rally in Miami Monday, saying the way to change the decisions being made in the United States is by "changing the people making them." Rubio faces competition for the GOP nod from already-announced candidates Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Accompanied by his wife and daughters and under a banner reading “A new American century,” the Florida native of Cuban descent said his parents’ story of immigrating to the U.S. and raising a family epitomized the American dream.
He said for other families like his to succeed in America, the country needs new solutions. He took a swipe at both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination Sunday, and potential Republican rival former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother and father both captured the White House.
“Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday, began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday,” Rubio said. “Yesterday is over, and we’re never going back. We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them. And so, that is why tonight, grounded by the lessons of our history … I announce my candidacy for the president of the United States.”
Rubio called on lawmakers to lower taxes, repeal Obamacare, and end the “dangerous concession to Iran and its hostility to Israel.”
“If we do these things, the America people will create millions of better paying modern jobs,” he said.
Prior to the rally, Rubio indicated his intent to run during a conference call with his top donors Monday. "This election is not just about what laws we will pass," Rubio said in an excerpt of his Miami speech earlier Monday, according to the Star Tribune. "It is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be."
Rubio, 43, was born in Miami and is the son of Cuban immigrants. His political career began in 2000 when he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. Rubio became a rising star in the GOP party when he landed a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2009.
In 2013, Rubio delivered the GOP rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address, but it was an awkward water break that defined his speech.