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Sen. Marco Rubio Holds Town Hall in Burlington

Jason Parrott
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke to a crowd of 200+ during a town hall meeting Monday afternoon at the Burlington Public Library

Presidential candidates continue to criss-cross the Hawkeye State ahead of the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1. Those making the rounds include U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who held a town hall meeting Monday afternoon at the Burlington Public Library after cancelling a similar event the week before due to weather.

"I am here today in the hopes of earning your support in the Iowa Caucus, which are now 28 days away," said Rubio to a crowd of roughly 200. "The Iowa Caucus is going to be the first time that Americans get to answer the fundamental question of what kind of country we are going to be after [President] Barack Obama."

Rubio said the U.S. has been a very powerful country that embraced free enterprise and personal liberty and served as an inspiration to the world.

"But now things feel a little different. As I travel the country, whether it's here in Iowa or other states, or even the grocery store back home, you know what a lot of people say to me: I don't recognize my own country, this does not feel like the same place I grew up in, I feel out of place, I feel left behind," Rubio said.

"The reason why is because in 2008, we elected as President someone who wasn't interested in simply fixing the problems in America, we elected someone as President in 2008 who wanted to fundamentally change America. There's a difference in fixing America and changing America."

Rubio said the United States needs a president who understands what is going on in the everyday lives of citizens. He said he's lived paycheck-to-paycheck, he's had tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and he's raising four children in the 21st century.

Rubio said the United States also needs a president who knows what they will do in office. He laid out what his presidency would look like, pledging to: 

  • Repeal Obamacare
  • Tear up the Iran nuclear deal
  • Stop the implementation of Common Core
  • Prohibit the use of tax dollars for overseas abortions
  • Appoint Supreme Court Justices who will defend the Constitution
  • Endorse an energy plan that includes wind, solar, biofuels, oil and natural gas
  • Defend the 2nd Amendment
  • Reform the tax code to help businesses and individuals
  • Strengthen the military

Rubio said he would also support a Convention of States to amend the constitution to impose term limits on judges and Congress and to implement a balanced budget amendment.
"This exceptional nation, America being special, was not an accident. It did not happen on its own. Do you know why America is a great country? Because for over 200 years, each generation did what they needed to do. For over 200 years, each generation confronted their challenges, not leaving them for their children and each generation embraced opportunities, and for 200 years, each generation has left the next better off," Rubio said.

"Now it is our turn, now the time has come for this generation of Americans to do our part to confront our challenges and embrace our opportunities, and if we do, this country has an chance to be greater than it has ever been."

Entire Rubio Town Hall

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.