In remarks at the Faith and Freedom summit on Saturday, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told the assembled masses that America is a great country -- but that the "wrong people" are now in charge of it.
The gathering of Christian-minded conservatives kicked off in Waukee, Iowa this weekend. In addition to Rubio, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) were also in attendance.
In his speech, Rubio paints a dark picture of what's going on in the world right now. Americans turn on the news, the presidential candidate explains, observe that "evil is winning" in a foreign country, and feel helpless to do anything about it. We'll "pay a heavy price" for underinvesting in defense, Rubio warns. The spread of "radical jihad" from "North Africa through the Middle East into Afghanistan, Pakistan, even Indonesia," is among the news stories Rubio says Americans are concerned about. As well as Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to "relitigate the end of the Cold War" and China's claim "to own the South China Sea."
Rubio says we are confusing our international allies. Rubio paraphrases the sentiments of global policymakers: "How can it be that our president shows more respect for the Ayatollah in Iran than our allies in Israel?” Further "if this is way America treats Israel," even giving the weight of its lobbying presence in D.C., "imagine what they will do to us."
"Millions of people are starting to doubt," Rubio laments, whether the United States is still a "great nation."
"In most places on earth," Rubio says, referring to other countries, "they believe your rights come from your government and your laws." In contrast, the United States "was founded on the belief that your rights come from your creator." Rubio tells a history of an America that triumphed against foreign tyranny, embraced the industrial revolution, and made the 20th century the "American century."
"Two times in the last century America saved the world from evil," Rubio points out. "It confronted and defeated imperial Japan and Nazi Germany, and then again during the Cold War it defeated communism."
Rubio made no mention of shameful events that took place in America during the last hundred years, including convict leasing, Jim Crow laws, voter suppression, or the advent of mass incarceration.
In his speech, Rubio argued that the United States could reclaim its position as the "single greatest nation in the history of all mankind" if we enact some "simple but important" policies. These include lowering taxes, deregulating business, putting more monetary resources into the U.S. Military, requiring colleges to provide major-specific income projections to prospective student loan applicants, and prioritizing family structures that consist of one woman and one man living with their offspring in the same house.
Watch Rubio's speech here: