Rubio goes anti-’47 percent’

March 14, 2013

The day after the person who surreptitiously recorded video of Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments came forward, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday sought to cast himself as strongly opposed to the sentiment Romney expressed in that video.

While in the video Romney suggested nearly half of the country was reliant on government services, Rubio argued that that's not the case.

"Our people have not changed," Rubio said during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington. "The vast majority of the American people are hard-working taxpayers who take responsibility for their families, go to work every day, they pay their mortgage on time, they volunteer in their community. This is where the vast majority of the American people are.

"What's changed is the world around us."

The potential 2016 presidential candidate, speaking immediately before another potential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), argued that globalization and technology have changed the game when it comes to the economy.

"Many people do the right thing," he said. "For example, they pay their mortgages on time. And now, when the housing bubble came, they were stuck with the bill for bailing out the banks that caused it, for bailing out the people who took out mortgages they couldn't afford to pay."

Later in his speech, Rubio drew his biggest laughs by talking about a middle-class family that fit that description.

"They're not free-loaders; they're not liberals," he said.

Rubio closed with one of his biggest applause lines, alluding to arguments that the Republican Party needs to reinvent itself.

"We don't need a new idea; the idea is called America, and it still works," Rubio said to huge applause.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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