AMES, Iowa – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., headlined the Story County Republican fundraising breakfast in Ames attended by 83 people.
He also spoke at a Republican Party of Iowa event on Monday night, toured a small business with U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, in Ankeny, and then appeared at a fundraiser with Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, on Tuesday evening. Rubio’s trip to Iowa marks the first time the senior U.S. Senator from Florida has been back to the state since running for president in 2016.
At the Story County GOP breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ames, speaking after U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Rubio said some of the most hotly contested elections will be local races.
“I think some of the most hotly contested races in America moving forward are not just going to be Senate races and congressional races. It’s going to be school board races. Because people are realizing, hey, you know, what Joe Biden does is important. But what that school board member whose name I don’t even know does is really, really important. They determine whether my kids get to go to school this year or not. And, and so I think that’s important because it’s one of the strengths of our system,” he said.
Rubio is up for re-election in Florida but noted the importance of what happens in other states.
“I’m here to help,” he said, adding that just one or two states have made the difference in the U.S. Senate.
Rubio stated it is just one or two Democrats preventing the Senate from eliminating the filibuster.
“You know, if just one of them decides to change their mind to get rid of the filibuster, they’re passing anything they want by 51 votes. So I know how important it is what happens all across the country at the Senate level, also at the congressional level, where I know we have a chance to retake the majority, and all that’s happening at the local party level,” he argued.
Rubio argued that the pool of undecided voters has shrunk, especially for federal races.
“We’ve never been more divided. politically speaking. I think the number of truly undecided voters is very small, smaller than perhaps it’s ever been in the lifetime of anybody in this room,” he argued.
Rubio noted that the political parties and candidates who win identify their voters and get them to the polls.
“That happens at this level at the county level, at the state party level, at the local party level. That’s where you’re able to organize. The efforts to do with the ground game has never mattered more. The TV commercials have never mattered less, and that’s the truth. People know what they’re going to do. You got to go get them to do it. And that sort of ground game organizing is impossible without supporting organizations like yours and others across the country that are doing the hard work,” he explained.
Rubio said that American politics have changed and have changed even since he ran for president.
“For most of the lifetime of all of us, certainly in my lifetime, American politics is a debate between two sides, one who thought government should do more and one who wanted government to do with a little less, but both of whom agreed on some basic things,” he said.
Rubio said that there have always been people who criticized America, hated capitalism, promoted Marxism and socialism, and believed the nation was racist. They were, he said, always on the fringes of society, but no more.
“Suddenly we wake up one day, and we realize, oh, my goodness, these crazy professors, these radical ideas, these people that believe socialism is good. Marxism is good, and America is evil. These people aren’t just on the fringes of the faculty lounge. These people are in charge of things now. They run major organizations. They might be the CEO of a corporation. They may be elected to office. They may be the chairman of an important committee in the Senate, and they are staffing the White House and important agencies of our government up and down. Not to mention, this is being reflected more and more in the mainstream media. What we looked at as nuttiness just 25 years ago, 20 years, 15 years ago or 10 is now mainstream. And it is found at home and the Democratic Party,” Rubio stated.
He said he believes some Democrats think those views are crazy, but they are afraid to stand up and put themselves at risk of being canceled in their party, canceled on social media, and losing their elections.
“What we are engaged in today in America is not a debate between left and right. It’s a debate between whether America is truly a great country with a history we’re proud of and a future to be excited about, or whether what we know as America should be torn down completely and rebuild as something no one would recognize, and the world would be worse off. And that’s at the core of every one of our debates,” Rubio stated.
He rejected the idea that the United States is fundamentally racist.
“I’m not here to tell you there aren’t any racists in America. I know there are racists in America because there are racists all over the world, because human beings are flawed and fallen creatures. The difference is we are governed by rule of law. The difference is that, as a nation, we are united behind the principle that every single human being is equal in the eyes of God created with rights that come from our God, not from government, not from our leaders. And if we lose that, if we lose that we’re no longer America, we’re just another country, maybe a rich country, certainly a big one, but not special one,” Rubio argued.
He said that is at the core of every upcoming election, and it’s not mainly about Democrats versus Republicans.
“It’s whether we’re going to put people in office, at every level, but believe that America is unique and special, and are willing to fight to keep it that way. Or whether we’re going to allow people to take over political office who believe America is not unique and special, but inherently evil and flawed and broken, that we need to abandon our two-century experiment in self-government in favor of something else,” Rubio said. “You can find at the core of every one of these mistakes and every one of these catastrophes of the Biden Administration that fundamental debate.”
He then held a Q&A session with Ernst that you can watch below: