Rubio to deliver Republican response to Obama's State of the Union
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the nationally televised Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday, a high profile assignment adding to the 2016 presidential speculation around him.
The address will be delivered in both English and Spanish.
"I’m honored to have this opportunity to discuss how limited government and free enterprise have helped make my family’s dreams come true in America,” Rubio said in a statement. “Limited government and free enterprise are the very foundation of what makes America special and separates us from the world, particularly through our strong middle class. I look forward to laying out the Republican case of how our ideas can help people close the gap between their dreams and the opportunities to realize them.”
Rubio won't likely go deep into immigration reform, an issue he's deeply involved in. "His speech will focus on the Republican Party’s agenda to grow the middle class," his office said. "Immigration will likely be mentioned as one way to grow the economy, but the speech really is about the Republican Party’s commitment to limited government as the best way to help the middle class, and how it differs from the President’s plans for bigger government."
Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist, said on CNN that Rubio is an "outstanding choice" because he can push GOP to the middle. (So far, Rubio has found a home largely on the right.) Republican commentator Alex Castellanos said Rubio could present fresh alternatives. "Republicans have had only one thing to say: No," he said, summing up the party response to Obama's tenure.
“Marco Rubio is one of our party’s most dynamic and inspiring leaders. He carries our party’s banner of freedom, opportunity and prosperity in a way few others can. His family’s story is a testament to the promise and greatness of America,” said House Speaker John Boehner. “He’ll deliver a GOP address that speaks from the heart to the hopes and dreams of the middle class; to our party’s commitment to life and liberty; and to the unlimited potential of America when government is limited and effective.”
“Marco Rubio embodies the optimism that lies at the heart of the Republican vision for America. On Tuesday, he will contrast the Republican approach to the challenges we face with President Obama’s vision of an ever-bigger government and the higher taxes that would be needed to pay for it,” said Senator Mitch McConnell. “Marco’s own experience as the child of immigrants has always informed his belief in limited government and free enterprise, which is why he has helped lead the fight against out-of-control spending and job-destroying tax hikes that continue to hold our economy back and stifle opportunity for millions. He was a natural choice to deliver the Republicans’ alternative to the administration’s reliance on government and debt.”
Given how practiced Rubio is with his message and (and on TV) don't expect a Bobby Jindal-like train wreck: