2016 Presidential Candidate Profile: Marco Rubio

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Follow this link to read about my 2016 Presidential Candidate Profiles.

Candidate Profile: Marco Rubio

Current Office: United States Senator from Florida

Age: 44 (born May 28, 1971)

Party: Republican

Real Clear Politics Poll Average (as of November 25, 2015): National 12.5% (3rd); Iowa 11.8% (4th); New Hampshire 12.0% (2nd).1

Campaign Website: marcorubio.com

Marco Rubio is running in the Republican primary for President. He is the junior United States Senator from Florida. Prior to being elected to the Senate in 2010, Senator Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He has declined to run for reelection in the Senate in 2016 in order to focus on his Presidential campaign.

Marco Rubio on the Key Issues:

Immigration:

Senator Rubio was part of the “gang of eight” seeking to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.” He has since backed away from certain aspects of the ultimately-failed gang of eight effort. He states on his website that he supports granting certain persons here illegally temporary nonimmigrant visas, and allowing some to then apply for permanent residency after 10 years. Senator Rubio supports reforms prioritizing immigration enforcement and increasing the preference for “merit-based visas” (such as employment-based immigrant visas) over family-based immigrant visas before addressing people already present in the United States illegally. He opposed both DACA and DAPA.

Israel:

Senator Rubio is not only one of the strongest supporters of Israel in the field, but also one of the strongest voices for defending American values around the globe. In a powerful speech on the Senate floor [PDF version] in March of this year, he placed his unwavering support for Israel in that context: “If America doesn't stand with Israel, who would we stand with?”2 He opposed the disastrous Iran deal at every step and worked to strengthen the Congressional review process.

Issue of Interest — Tax Reform:

Senator Rubio, along with Senator Mike Lee of Utah, has an interesting tax proposal [PDF version] (follow the link to read the proposal).3 His proposal promises to cut rates and simplify the tax code just like most conservative tax reform proposals. However, the Lee-Rubio proposal includes a substantial child tax credit. While there are valid concerns about the high top rate (by conservative tax proposal standards) and the overall cost about the plan, the Lee-Rubio proposal is a compelling addition to the conservative tax reform debate.

Summary:

Senator Rubio is my second choice from the strong Republican field behind Chris Christie, and I believe that he is our best prospect for winning the White House in 2016. While his positions on immigration have been somewhat fluid over his tenure, he now strikes a delicate balance between supporting legal immigration while emphasizing immigration enforcement. Senator Rubio has been a true friend of Israel in the Senate, and his strength on the issue is based upon his commitment to our shared values.

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  1. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html (retrieved on November 25, 2015)
  2. C-Span, http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4531970/marco-rubio-israel&start=0, (March 20, 2015) [From the Congressional Record]
  3. Retrieved from www.rubio.senate.gov

Resources and Materials:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Marco_Rubio.htm