Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced Monday he’s running for president in 2016. “I have heard some suggest that I should step aside and wait my turn, but I cannot. Because I believe our very identity as an exceptional nation is at stake, and I can make a difference as president,” Rubio said at a rally in Miami, according to his prepared remarks.
Rubio took a hit at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D), who announced her presidential campaign on Sunday, in his remarks.
“Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday,” Rubio said. “But yesterday is over, and we are never going back. We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future.”
“We can’t do that by going back to the leaders and ideas of the past. We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them,” Rubio added. “That is why today, grounded by the lessons of our history, and inspired by the promise of our future, I announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America.”
Earlier Monday, Rubio told donors he was running for president. He also sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to talk about his White House bid.
“I think this country’s at a generational moment where it needs to decide not what party it wants in charge, but what kind of country are we going to want to be moving forward?” Rubio said. “I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction. I can help lead it there from the Senate. I can lead it there as president.”
Rubio, 43, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, when he defeated then-Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) and then-Gov. Charlie Crist, who left the Republican Party to run as an independent. Rubio, a tea party favorite, said his win over Crist represented “a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be not so long ago.”
Before becoming senator, Rubio served as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
Rubio has said he won’t let Bush’s decision about a 2016 run affect his own.
“I don’t think Jeb Bush, or anyone else for that matter, would make up their minds based on who else is running, and I wouldn’t either,” Rubio told Fox News in October.