AMES, Iowa — Before heading to Boone to join Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) Roast and Ride — a GOP fundraiser held over the weekend — presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida met with Iowa voters here.
“There’s some issues that he’s not probably as strong on as people would like,” Richard Sucher, an Iowa voter told Breitbart News, highlighting foreign affairs. “And the whole issue of defense. There are candidates that are much more knowledgeable and stronger on defense issues.”
“That will be a critical issue – and running against the Democratic supposed entry – they’re going to push the fact that their candidate is really really strong on foreign affairs,” Sucher said.
Breitbart News asked Sucher if Iowans think Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, has any accomplishments to run on from her time as Secretary of State.
“We would say that she has done little or nothing. But obviously they’ve been pretty successful over the years to spin nothing into … you know, they can turn manure into filet,” he said about the Democratic Party.
Sucher also raised concerns expressed by many Iowa voters – that Rubio doesn’t have enough experience yet to run for President of the United States.
He referenced President Obama’s lack of international experience.
“Some people could say we shouldn’t do it again, because look at what he’s gotten us into,” Sucher said.
“We’re having a lot of good people leave the military. The sequestration has been a terrible thing and that needs to be addressed,” he said, adding that his son-in-law is in the military.
Rubio did touch on the military during his speech, saying America is going to “rebuild our military once again.”
And as president, Rubio said he would make sure “Israel survives and prospers as a Jewish state.”
Sucher recently retired after owning a small business for 35 years and he said the current administration has put forward too many burdensome regulations that hurt small business.
“We’ve lived that experience,” he told Breitbart News. “It’s amazing what it takes to create your own business to be successful in this environment. There’s a lot of what I perceive to be anti-business sentiment, and really, really doesn’t speak to the efforts it takes to be successful.”
Rubio touched on the struggles of small businesses by saying it’s time to make America the best place in the world to start a business.
He said as president he wants to “repeal and replace Obamacare before it continues to repeal and replace small businesses.”
Younger Iowa voters say Rubio is a favorite thus far out of all the GOP campaigns.
Iowa voter Justin Choate recently graduate college and is living in Des Moines, attending law school at Drake University.
He said that Rubio is his favorite so far, but that he’s been hearing some buzz “about Rick Perry and Ted Cruz, but that’s about it.”
“I’m more or less interested in how he’s going to connect with my generation – the younger generations. I feel like there’s a disconnect between young voters and the Republican Party right now,” Choate told Breitbart News about Rubio.
During his speech to voters, Rubio touched on the hardship of student loans plaguing millennials.
“Not everyone has to go to a four year college,” he said, adding that America needs welders, airplane technicians, and other skilled jobs that are good paying jobs that even pay better than some jobs that people get four-year degrees to have.
But he also said, those that can afford college and graduate degrees are able to “get that higher education” and it can change one’s life.
Other Iowa voters told Breitbart News during the Roast and Ride that Rubio may be the perfect candidate as he can pull both younger voters and Hispanic voters over to the Republican Party.
Rubio closed his speech in Ames by telling his supporters now that his older daughter is out of school for the summer, his family will come to Iowa to get to know everyone.