In a historic Miami landmark that was at the center of a surge of Cuban immigrants to the United States in the 1960’s, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) officially declared his candidacy for President on Monday, making a pitch to voters that he is best positioned to lead positive change in America.
“This election is not just about what laws we are going to pass; this election is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be,” Rubio said to cheers.
The first term U.S. Senator, who will turn 44 years old next month, returned repeatedly to that theme, as he used his speech at Freedom Tower in Miami to make the case that he’s the best choice for Republicans in 2016.
“We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future,” Rubio said to cheers.
While Rubio did not mention Hillary Clinton by name, he took a clear swipe at her, arguing a Clinton in the White House would not move the nation forward.
“Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday,” Rubio said to grumbles from the crowd, “began a campaign for President by promising to take us back to yesterday.”
It also wasn’t hard to imagine that being a line which could be deployed against another Republican – former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Rubio becomes the third Republican Senator – all of them still in their first term – to join the race for the White House, along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
A number of other prominent Republicans are expected to join the race in coming months, including Jeb Bush, who has locked up the support of many south Florida politicians who might otherwise have been at this announcement in Miami.
Rubio will return to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for his Senate duties – which likely will include debate this week over economic sanctions against Iran.
Aides say Rubio will make his first foray as a candidate to New Hampshire on Friday.
Democrats were quick to ridicule Rubio; this from Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.