Rubio stops by Ames on way to Ernst Roast and Ride

Florida Senator and 2016 Presidential Candidate, Marco Rubio speaks one-on-one with members of the crowd at the Holliday Inn in Ames on June 6. Rubio hosted a meet and greet before going to Joni’s 1st annual Roast and Ride, hosted by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.

Greg Zwiers

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) made a stop in Ames on Saturday for a meet and greet before he went to “Joni’s 1st annual Roast and Ride,” hosted by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst (R).

The senator spoke to the crowd for 20 minutes in front of a backdrop bearing his name and slogan “A New American Century” before stepping off the stage to speak one-on-one with members of the crowd.

Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said his parents were never rich, but they were able to live the American dream by having jobs, a home and four children who “went on to college and a better life.”

Rubio said he wants a tax code that gives tax breaks to businesses that pay their workers more. He said the current leadership in both parties is still living in the 20th century and the world is a different place now.

“We keep doing these things and the future is going to leave us behind. The time has come to turn the page and allow a new generation of Americans to lead us into a new century,” said Rubio.

Rubio advocated for education reform, but said not everyone needs to get a four-year college degree. He said America still needs middle class jobs like welders and airplane mechanics.

Rubio said he wants to lead the world in oil and natural gas production to stabilize the cost of energy and create jobs in those industries.

Rubio said he wants universities to have to tell students what the income for graduates with their degree from their school is before they obtain a loan “so you can make an intelligent decision about whether you should be borrowing $50,000 to become a Greek Philosopher.”