Another Republican presidential hopeful dropped in on the Detroit Economic Club Tuesday.
Florida senator Marco Rubio was the latest Republican candidate to address the Economic Club, which has already hosted Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Rubio’s speech focused mostly on his vision for restoring a 21st century version of the “American dream” of ever-growing opportunity — with lower taxes, fewer regulations, and expanded trade.
Rubio called next year’s presidential election a “generational choice.”
The 44-year-old said he’s best positioned to bring about an updated “American dream” in the realities of the new global economy.
Rubio also said that no city understands the “pain of losing that dream … better than Detroit.”
“And that is why this city — truly the heart of the old economy — is the perfect place to discuss how we can embrace a new American economy,” he said.
Rubio praised “pro-growth policies” he said are reviving Michigan and post-bankruptcy Detroit.
He also opined on everything from NSA leaker Edward Snowden (a “traitor), to a proposed deal meant to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons (“It’s a really good deal for Iran, and it’s bad for the rest of the world”), to heightened racial tensions.
Rubio called police aggression, especially against people of color “a legitimate issue," and said the country “can’t ignore … a legacy of racial discrimination.”
“We cannot be a great nation in the 21st century … if a significant percentage of our population feels locked out of the future,” said Rubio, adding those issues should largely be addressed through social change, not government programs.
Rubio also noted that he didn’t mind being in the midst of such a crowded Republican field — joking that Democrats are “struggling to find one” candidate.