Sen. Marco Rubio Says Upcoming Iowa Trip Isn't A Presidential Feeler, Talks Benghazi

on November 15 2012 1:30 PM
Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is believed to be a 2016 presidential candidate. He is one of eight bipartisan senators working on a 2013 immigration bill. Reuters

With the post-election fervor beginning to die down, both parties — though not officially — have started to murmur about the 2016 election.

 

On the Republican side, Florida Senator Marco Rubio's name is already being floated as a possible GOP presidential candidate for 2016.

 

Speaking ahead of a planned trip to Iowa scheduled for Nov. 17, Rubio on Thursday shot down rumors that he was visiting the Hawkeye State to test the waters for run at the White House in 2016.

 

"My trip to Iowa has nothing to do with 2016," said Rubio. “I'm one of 100 senators.”

 

Those senators will travel to Iowa to attend a fundraiser for the state's Republican governor, Terry Brandsted, according to Yahoo.

 

Speaking this week in Washington, Rubio said he expected to go to Iowa knowing that Mitt Romney and the GOP controlled the White House. With that plan changed, the Senator is already focusing on what his party can do better to ensure victory in 2016. In particular, he says, Republican leaders needs to reconnect with the middle class.

 

“If we don't,” Rubio says, “we'll have more days like last Tuesday. What makes America vibrant is a middle class. My dad is a bartender, my mom is a maid. ... [But] our country is not creating middle-class jobs.”

 

Rubio, who comes from Hispanic heritage, also stressed the need for the GOP not to alienate Hispanics, which pundits on both sides feel it did during the 2012 campaign. Rubio in the past has called for revisions to be made on the DREAM Act and said Thursday that Republicans need to identify more closely with Latino voters.

 

"Rhetoric is important," Rubio said. "We're speaking not about statistics, but about human beings."

 

Speaking alongside Rubio on Thursday at the Atlantic's Washington Ideas Forum were Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC.), both of whom have been intensely critical of the Benghazi investigation, saying Obama officials purposely covered up and miscast events that occurred there.

 

McCain and Graham have both stated publicly that they will do everything in their power to block the potential nomination of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice as Secretary of State. Rice, the Senators claim, is “unqualified” and mischaracterized events that took place during the siege at Benghazi.

 

Rubio hasn't publicly taken a militant stance against Rice's nomination. Instead, he says he's waiting for upcoming hearings so he learn more facts so as to not “prejudge” Rice. Still, Rubio told the public he wants to know more about what happened at Benghazi.

 

"I think we need to know the truth," he said.

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