Rubio Makes Electability Argument in GOP Debate

Marco Rubio
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) made the case at the GOP Debate in Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday evening that he is the most electable Republican candidate in the presidential primary.

Rubio was responding to a prompt by former Breitbart News editor Larry O’Connor, who asked:

In 2008, we saw how motivated an electorate can be when they think their vote is making history. Let’s face it: if Hillary Clinton is the nominee for the Democrats. you’ll be running against the prospect of the first woman president. How will you change that narrative and motivate the electorate behind your candidacy?

Rubio responded:

I think it’s already happening. Look at the turnout in Iowa. Historic number of people came out and voted in those caucuses. They’re saying the same thing is going to happen here in New Hampshire. Look at the rallies that every single person on this stage is having. Much higher numbers than you used to see in the past. And here’s why: because people are starting to understand, very clearly, that this election is going to be a turning point. That 2016 is not just a choice between Republican or Democrat. It is a referendum on our identity as a nation and as a people. And so here is what Hillary Clinton needs to understand. We’re going to have our primary, we’re going to have our debates–which, by the way, are twice as many as the Democrats have been willing to have themselves–but we’re going to bring this party together. And we are going to defeat Hillary Clinton, because she is unqualified to be the president of the United States of America. She put classified information on her computer, because she thinks she’s above the law. And anyone who lies to the families of people who have lost their loved ones in the service of our country like she did in Benghazi can never be the commander in chief of the United States of America.

While Rubio did not say explicitly how he personally would “change that narrative,” he did so subtly, by casting “identity” as the key question in the election. Rubio is the candidate whose identity–Hispanic, first-generation, and young–is often touted as a key asset.


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