After Trump’s withdrawal from speaking, presidential candidate Marco Rubio, who initially decided to stay out on the campaign trail instead of speaking, made a surprise announcement that he was speaking a few hours shortly after Trump’s designated speaking time.
Unlike Friday, the second day of CPAC, there were no secret service or TSA agents rummaging through attendees’ bags. However, the giant ballroom where the programming has been taking place for the past several days was jammed pack. Every single seat was taken and people crammed in along the walls. The room felt like a rock concert as One Direction, Fall Out Boy, Journey music blasted before Rubio arrived.
As Rubio walked on stage, the crowd chanted “MARCO” over and over multiple times.
“What kind of country is this going to be in the 21st century?” Rubio asked the audience. “This generation will inherit a country worse off than previous generations if we stay on the same room.”
Rubio proposed that a conservative agenda is the only solution to fixing the country. He discussed the fundamentals of conservatism and said that it’s not about being angry or fearful because anger and fear doesn’t solve our problems. He did say that fear and anger can be strong motivators.
He discussed the importance of free enterprise and shared his story of how his Cuban parents could come to the US, work, and raise his family. He credited his principles in free enterprise to his faith in God.
“You don’t understand our history if you don’t understand the role the faith community plays.” Rubio said.
While Trump has bullied Rubio and made the joke about his “small hands,” Rubio still stood up for himself. Rubio said that he has spent a lot of his campaign fighting back but he did say that if people keep punching, someone will get punched back.
“Where are we now that a supporter of Planned Parenthood, someone who doesn’t stand with Israel, and a believer in government-sponsored healthcare is now the front runner for the Republicans?” Rubio then yelled out, “[CPAC] is reserved for conservatives!
He then reminded the audience that the country must re-embrace the Constitution and free enterprise.