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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio promises to 'keep talking about God' in Iowa



From the Associated Press in Iowa:

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio promised to keep "talking about God" as he campaigned across Iowa Monday, reminding influential evangelical voters of his commitment to Christian values just two weeks before the state's leadoff caucuses.

The Florida senator's GOP rivals have dismissed him as too moderate at times, but on Monday, he spoke of how Christian conservative values would guide his decisions in the White House, if he is elected. The Florida senator, a Catholic, opened up about religion when confronted by an atheist during a town hall-style meeting in Waverly, Iowa.

"No one's going to force you to believe in God. But no one's going to force me to stop talking about God," Rubio told the atheist, Justin Scott, of Waterloo.

Added Rubio, "Not only am I a Christian, not only am I influenced by my faith, but it is the single greatest influence in my life. And from that I'll never hide.

In Waverly, the second of five campaign appearances Rubio had scheduled Monday, he renewed his opposition to abortion and promised to strip funding from Planned Parenthood if elected. He also said pastors, bakers and florists shouldn't be penalized for refusing to participate in a same-sex marriage. On abortion, Rubio supports an exception for the life of the mother, but opposes exceptions in cases of rape and incest.

"I believe every human being, no matter what stage you are in your development, even if you don't have a birth certificate, even if you don't have a lawyer, even if you don't have a name, has a right to live," Rubio said, adding that he respects people on the other side of the debate.


[Last modified: Monday, January 18, 2016 2:15pm]


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