Politics
AP Photo AP Photo  

Rubio ties middle class strength to American exceptionalism

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

DENVER, Colo. – Campaigning for Mitt Romney in Denver hours before tonight’s debate, Sen. Marco Rubio gave a speech hailing Mitt Romney as the savior of the middle class to a largely Latino audience.

At a rally for Juntos con Romney – the Latino coalition supporting the Republican nominee – Rubio simultaneously addressed a demographic that is giving Romney trouble in the polls, while also delivering a stirring tribute to the middle class.

“Every country in the world has rich people, and unfortunately every country in the world has poor people,” Rubio said, addressing a crowd of approximately 300 people. “What makes America different is that we have a vibrant…middle class.”

“I know the middle class, because I’ve lived it,” Rubio said, describing his upbringing with his father working as a bartender and his mother working a number of different jobs.

“Why did my parents have jobs? They had jobs because somebody who had access to money decided to risk that money. …They could have kept it in the bank. They could have brought gold, but instead…they put that money to work,” Rubio said.

“When you open a new business you create new jobs, and the people who work those jobs get a paycheck, bring that paycheck home, and they buy a house for it and provide a safe and secure environment for their kids, and they allow their kids to dream,” Rubio said.

“That,” Rubio said, “is the story of the great American middle class.”

But, Rubio said, quoting Vice President Joe Biden, “for the past four years the middle class has been buried.”

He went on to describe how regulations and complicated tax laws come down hardest on the middle class and small businesses because billionaires and big corporations have the money to hire the lawyers and accountants that can find ways around those rules.

Those regulations, things that Rubio suggested the Obama administration would just perpetuate and augment, threatened to destroy the middle class.

“If we lose the American middle class, we become just like everybody else,” Rubio said, uniting Romney’s proposals of lessened regulations and a simplified tax code with the existence of American exceptionalism.

“Four more years of Barack Obama threatens to take away from us what makes us different and special from the rest of the world,” Rubio concluded. “And so what we are deciding in this election is not just who we want to see in the White House, but our identity as a nation.”

Follow Alexis on Twitter