Marco Rubio urges students to caucus during ISU visit


Max Goldberg

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., held a rally in the Maintenance Shop during the afternoon of Dec. 10. Rubio talked about tax reform, healthcare and the education system in America.

Travis Charlson

Students crammed into the Maintenance Shop of the Memorial Union on Thursday to catch a glimpse of Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio as he made his latest swing through Iowa. 

The Florida senator gave his stump speech to eager students and community members, insisting that an optimistic yet pragmatic approach is the best way to handle issues facing the nation today. 

Rubio has often used his personal story — having been raised by poor, immigrant parents — along with an optimism for working class people to try and attract voters. With so many candidates running for election this cycle, presidential hopefuls are faced with the daunting task trying to find ways to make themselves stand out. 

“I didn’t really know anything about Marco Rubio before,” said David Jahn, sophomore in civil engineering. “I really liked it; I learned a lot about the candidate.”

Rubio touched on a wide range of topics, covering issues facing the economy, higher education, the Islamic State group and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamaccare. 

One area of focus for the GOP hopeful was jobs and the economy. He detailed his plan of bringing jobs back from overseas, emphasizing the importance of successfully competing and collaborating with the increasingly globalized economy.

“The world I grew up in is very different than the world we live in now,” Rubio said. “The economy we live in today is a global one.”

Tax reform and regulation reform, he said, are keys to getting the economy on the right track and will lead to increased competitiveness and innovation.

“I like how he is trying to help businesses to grow, especially small- and medium-sized businesses,” said Matt Gunkelman, senior in finance. “They help to grow our economy.”

Rubio further emphasized the importance of higher education reform and health care reform, laying out his plans to make college more affordable and available and promoting privatized health coverage.

He pointed out the vast number of auto insurance commercials that are on television and how each ad promises you lower rates and better coverage. Health care coverage, he said, should be run in a similar manner — with competition being the catalyst for better coverage at more affordable rates.

Support for Rubio has only increased since the first debates, and state Sen. Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, urged people in attendance to continue that trend with the Iowa caucuses ahead in the not-so-distant future, saying how important it is for Rubio supports to show up Feb. 1.

“You all are getting ready for your final exams,” Whitver said. “The final exam here in Iowa [for Rubio] is Feb. 1.”