Sen. Rubio hammers culture war issues during speech with Florida faith leaders

Rubio also addressed his views on abortion.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks to a crowd during the Keep Florida Free Tour on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Tampa.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks to a crowd during the Keep Florida Free Tour on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Tampa. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Sept. 1, 2022

DAVIE — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio hammered cultural issues during a speech with faith leaders in Davie, as he campaigns for reelection in a race that appears to be tightening ahead of the November election.

Warning about what he said was encroaching Marxist teachings and a “cultural purge” of Christian values by Democrats, Rubio made the case for his reelection on Thursday to a crowd of over 100 people who gathered at The Signature Grand in Broward County.

“This is a global effort popping up in country after country, but America would obviously be the crown jewel,” Rubio said. “So where does that bring people of faith? Well, it brings us to a point that I predicted five or six years ago. ... I said, the day will come when the teachings of mainstream Christianity are defined as hate speech. And that day is here.”

Without naming his opponent, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, Rubio said his election would be a battle between “common sense and insanity,” and defended Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law — dubbed the “don’t say gay” law by Democrats — a law that prohibits conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It was championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and received national attention when it was being debated earlier this year.

“People have a right to believe whatever they want. They can believe the earth is flat. They can believe whatever they want. What you don’t have a right to do is to believe something that’s not true. And then use the power of government to impose it,” Rubio said. “This is not between the left and the right. This is not between conservatives and liberals. This is not between Republicans and Democrats. This is a fight between common sense and insanity.”

Related: Vel Demings outspending Marco Rubio in a big way in TV, radio campaign ads

He added: “Like the notion that a man can get pregnant? I assure you, that’s not true. Because it’d be a very, very complicated delivery. I’ll just say that, you’re going to need more than one epidural, guys.”

Rubio also addressed his views on abortion, an issue that Demings has used to draw a contrast in the race for votes. She has frequently attacked Rubio over his anti-abortion views.

“My opponent won’t tell you which abortion should be illegal. The reason why she can’t is because you can’t have 100% from Planned Parenthood and 100% from NARAL [NARAL Pro-Choice America] and not believe in abortion on demand, taxpayer-funded at any point in a pregnancy,” Rubio said.

Pastor Mario Bramnick of New Wine Ministries in Cooper City, who was on the advisory board of Latinos for Trump, introduced Rubio at Thursday’s event. He told the crowd Rubio was “unapologetically pro-life.”

“It would take all day to tell you the ... catastrophe we’re living in. Drag queen shows in our public school kindergarten classes, seducing our children. This is worse than Sodom and Gomorrah ... sex changes to minors,” Bramnick said. “We are living in the most critical time of the history of the nation of the United States of America.”

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