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Marco Rubio talks conservative principles at Grand Rapids rally

U.S. Senate | CC BY 3.0

GOP candidate Marco Rubio visited with supporters in Grand Rapids Tuesday evening. His speaking engagement was hosted by auto parts supplier Lacks Enterprises.

"Our next President of the United States, Marco Rubio!" 

The Florida Senator took the stage explaining to the more than 1,500 supporters, and some undecided voters, what actions he would take as president. It begins with the repeal all of President Barack Obama’s executive orders and protect the 2nd Amendment.

"When I’m President of the United States," Rubio says, "for the first time in eight years you’re going to actually have a president that follows the Constitution of the United States of America." 

Calling himself a true conservative, Rubio took a swipe at GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump.

"I didn’t just become a conservative like a year and a half ago when I thought about running for president," Rubio says. 

Rubio describes himself as the Republican Party’s unifying force - the most conservative candidate who can win in November.

And if he and the party doesn’t win?

Rubio tells the crowd the greatest threat is another Democrat in the White House. He takes aim at candidate Hilary Clinton, saying she lied as Secretary of State to the families of the four Americans killed during the Benghazi attacks.

"Anyone who does that can never be Commander in Chief of the United States of America," he says. 

When it comes to the issues Rubio explains he’ll limit government, void the Iran nuclear deal and rebuild the U.S. military while fighting what he calls a real war on terror.

What stood out tonight for supporters?

"Just pure passion," explains Alex Oslapis from Dearborn. "I’ve seen Kasich speak. I’ve seen Governor Jeb Bush speak. No one has the passion that Rubio does."

"We need to make sure that we’re safe. Keep our people safe," says 19-year-old Samuel Jefferson. "Marco Rubio is the man for the job, his passion and his ability to get this done."

Yet there were some voters who left the rally undecided.

"I was hoping to hear some actual plans," says Julie Lubbers from Holland, the speech falling short in her mind. "I think he just said what we all want to hear, what we hope for." 

Rubio's hopeful his message resonates with supporters on March 8th.

"Two weeks from tonight, Michigan’s voice will be heard in this country," he says. "Two weeks from tonight we will take another step towards replacing Barack Obama as President of the United States." 

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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