“Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the
United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the
start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State
of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially
honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and
in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but
you are always in our prayers.
The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is.
For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where
a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.
But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every
stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as
far as their talents and hard work will take them.
Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated
here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children
the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad
working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit
any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity
to accomplish my dreams.
This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where
you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a
vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business.
And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the
money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.
Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have
known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class
But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the
economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend
enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to
virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and
This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small
– it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a
housing crisis created by reckless government policies.
And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to
help hardworking middle class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every
time it’s been tried.
More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you
More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit
And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new
private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty.
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