RALEIGH — Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) spoke out against the Democratic Party using the Constitution on Saturday afternoon during a rally at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
“Seven years ago, America made a horrible mistake by electing President Obama," Rubio said. “If we get this election wrong, we may not be able to turn this around. That’s why I ran for president.”
Rubio looked to get his 1,300 supporters in attendance to identify with him by citing his low-income upbringing and immigrant parents. He spoke about his past struggles with student loans and the challenges he has faced with raising a family.
He argued his modest upbringing provided him with a major advantage over Democratic Party front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“I can’t wait to run against Hillary Clinton," he said. “She can’t beat me and she knows it. “
Video Clip: Rubio insults Democratic Party candidates. Video by Elon Local News reporter Paul LeBlanc.
While much of his speech involved harsh criticisms of Clinton and President Barack Obama, he also outlined his visions for the future if elected president.
One of his major talking points was a proposed Convention of States. He argued he would use Article V of the Constitution to limit the jurisdiction of the federal government. After repealing all of Barack Obama’s “unconstitutional executive orders,” Rubio said he would enact and support a balanced-budget amendment. This amendment would put a term limit on federal judges and members of Congress.
“If you want to live in a nation where the government runs the economy, there are dozens of countries in Europe," he said. "You should move over there. I want to live in a nation where we support the economy, and right now our president does not support free enterprise.”
Another issue Rubio tackled was immigration and the war on terror. He argued the Islamic State is taking advantage of the United States’ immigration policy and has created a major refugee crisis in the Middle East. He assured those in attendance he would keep the people of the U.S. safe.
“This is primarily a national security issue first and foremost,” he said. “If we don’t know who you are 100 percent for sure or why you want to come here 100 percent for sure, you’re not getting in. We also need to rebuild our military and intelligence agencies to get rid of ISIS once and for all.”
Like Rubio himself, many of his supporters at the fairgrounds were young.
Andrew Smith, a senior at North Carolina State University, said he had been supporting Rubio for a while but was still on the fence. But because of the senator's performance in Raleigh, Smith's vote is now set in stone.
“The one that could crush Hillary and get all the swing states is Rubio," Smith said. "When he’s speaking, you want to support him."