Marco Rubio: America’s History of Racial Discrimination Still Hurts Minorities

Marco Rubio
AP Photo/Christian K. Lee

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says the United States must acknowledge a “painful” history of racial discrimination that still affects many minorities.

Rubio told reporters in South Carolina on Monday that the biggest problems are a lack of economic opportunity and sour relationships between minority communities and law enforcement.

The Florida senator said the federal government should address the issue by creating better economic conditions and educational opportunities. He said existing discrimination laws are sufficient.

Rubio is on his first campaign trip to South Carolina since the June massacre of nine churchgoers at a black congregation in Charleston.

The Florida senator did not mention the killings or race relations during two campaign speeches in Greenville before overwhelmingly white audiences.

Rubio said he will discuss race more prominently “when it’s appropriate.”