WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio said the Obama administration’s policies are relics of the past. According to Rubio, they fail to address the single most important problem in the country: the devastating lack of values instilled by family.
The Florida Republican appeared as one of five key speakers in the kickoff of the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference Thursday afternoon.
“The single greatest contributor to economic and educational underperformance in America today is the breakdown of families,” he said.
Rubio criticized the Obama administration’s long-held attempts to undermine traditional family values, and he identified that as one of the most existential threats of the American republic.
“So the first two things we have to do is make America the best place in the world to invest and innovate — create millions of jobs — and give people access to the skills they need, but here’s the third you never hear discussed: We must reinvigorate the role of values in our country,” he explained. “You see, I believe you can have all the diplomas on the wall you want. If you don’t have the values of hard work, discipline and self-control, among others, you will not succeed.”
Rubio reminisced on his upbringing. Telling the story of his hardworking grandfather and parents, he said the values they instilled in him — not a government program — made him successful.
“And the irony of this is the people in charge of the White House today actually ran on promise of helping people like that,” the senator said. “And yet by every conceivable measure, people who are trying to get ahead are worse off today than they were six years ago.”
“For every single problem that I just mentioned to you, has a government sponsored solution,” Rubio continued. “They think the economy will grow if we borrow more money and spend government money into it. They think they can educate more people by simply pouring more money into an outdated and broken educational system, and they completely ignore the importance of families with values in our society, thinking that instead, those things can be replaced by laws and government programs.”
He said while the government is incapable of instilling children with a moral compass, it’s not inherent. This, to Rubio, is why the family is so important.
“And the trick is that no one is born with these values,” he explained. “There is not a person in this room, in this country or on this planet who was born with those values. Those values were taught to you, and they were reinforced. They were taught to you in strong homes, and they were reinforced by churches and synagogues and the community around you and by your family as well.”
“We have to talk about this,” Rubio continued. “You see, in this country, we tell people all the time not to smoke because it causes cancer. I have no problem with that. We tell people to be careful and not gain too much weight because it causes heart disease and diabetes. I have no problem with that. We also need to tell people it’s important for you to keep your family together. It’s important for you to be good parents. It’s important for you to instill values in your children.”
Rubio also said politicians in both parties fail to speak out for strong families and values because they are afraid of being seen as judgmental. But Rubio says that’s not the case. When a person comes from the place of Judeo-Christian values, it’s conveying truth for the good of the nation.
“We’re not seeking to sit in judgment of them, but we know that there are fundamental truths proven though thousands of years of human history,” Rubio said. “And we have an obligation to our country and to our fellow man to use our positions of influence to highlight those values. And no matter how much we spend to reform education, no matter how attractive we make America economically, we cannot have a strong country without strong people, and we will never have strong people without strong values.”