In Rubio's visit to Iowa, some get whiff of 2016
ALTOONA, Iowa — Sen. Marco Rubio said the way to turn around the nation's struggling economy is not to raise taxes on the wealthiest individuals, but rather to make “poor people richer” as he visited this politically important state in a trip certain to stoke speculation about Rubio's plans for 2016.
Ostensibly, Rubio's visit was for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.
“For Gov. Branstad's birthday, his 66th,” Rubio said, flashing a grin when asked what he was doing in the state.
But his birthday wishes for Branstad were more like a roadmap for his party looking for a new direction and an argument for a Rubio presidential campaign.
In a 24-minute, campaign-style pitch to fellow Republicans, Rubio ticked through conservative goals: Lower taxes to spur economic growth. A compassionate immigration overhaul. Reduced regulation to let small businesses grow. Stronger families to give children more stability at home.
He said Mitt Romney's loss should not be taken as a rejection of Republicans' views.
“The way to turn our economy around is not by making rich people poorer, it's by making poor people richer,” Rubio said, taking aim at President Obama, who has advocated that those making more than $250,000 pay more in taxes.
Branstad said the party was ready to “turn the page” on the Romney candidacy and praised Rubio as the “kind of inspirational leader that's going to help point us in the right direction.”
In the less than two weeks since Romney's loss, Republican officials have been plotting a comeback for the party and many have urged a shift in the way leaders sell the GOP's message to voters — especially Hispanic and younger voters.
Among the one in 10 voters who were Hispanic, Obama carried 71 percent of them, according to exit polls. And among the 19 percent of voters under the age of 30, Obama carried 60 percent.
Rubio, a Cuban-American who has criticized his party at times on immigration policy, could help Republicans make inroads with the growing demographic group of Hispanics.
“People understand that we need to do something to address those issues and they want to do that in a reasonable and responsible way,” Rubio told reporters.
The visit — so soon after Election Day — is among the first hints of a field of contenders for 2016. It was roughly this time four years ago that Romney started pushing his national profile ahead of a second presidential bid; his New York Times op-ed “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” was published on Nov. 18, 2008.
Of course, none of the potential candidates are anywhere close to deciding on a White House run, let alone announcing it. But early trips like this one start to introduce the politicians to the local activists and volunteers that fuel the early nominating states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Rubio joked he was surprised “people so far from Florida even care what I have to say.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Eagle egg breaks, parents abandon nest
- Players respect coach, refuse to blame Johnston
- Pirates notebook: Locke makes bid for final rotation spot, Tabata cut
- Rogue Catholics in Society of St. Pius X to reopen West End church
- Couple taken into custody after 8-hour standoff in Hempfield
- Penguins coach Johnston’s mother dies
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin
- Cal U women win Division II national title with 86-69 win
- Pa. woman charged with forging docs to claim she was an attorney
- MLB commissioner: Pirates’ success starts in the front office
- Lombardi leads IUP to brink of men’s basketball national title