Rubio host CF town hall


NICK FISHER, Executive Editor

Cedar Falls received a visit from another presidential candidate this past Thursday. Instead of speaking on campus, like many past presidential candidates, Rubio opted to give his speech at local marketing firm, Mudd Advertising.

When asked why the event took place at Mudd Advertising, a Rubio campaign organizer (who preferred to not be named) said, “They just held the event here.”

Rubio said the nation’s higher education system is obsolete and doesn’t work anymore. While saying there is a need for students to graduate with degrees that lead to jobs, he said educating students in trade areas and manufacturing skills is important.

“I will be your vocational education president,” Rubio told a crowd of roughly 500.

Rubio went on to say, “A welder makes a lot more money than a Greek philosopher.”

One member of the audience, Dylan Keller, graduate history major said Rubio’s “youthful energy” appealed to him.

“I think Rubio is the X-factor in the campaign,” Keller said. “There’s a generation that needs to step up and take less and to ensure more for the future generations, and he had that tone, that rhetoric, tonight.”

“This election is a generational choice about what kind of country we want to see in the 21st century,” said Rubio, positioning himself as a generational candidate.

However, Keller said he strongly supports another candidate — John Kasich.

A Sept. 29 NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll has Rubio at 11 percent, tied with Carly Fiorina for third behind Ben Carson (20 percent) and Donald Trump (21 percent).

Iowa State Senator, Jack Whitver, said Rubio’s boost (up six percent from one month ago, according to the same poll) comes from voters consolidating as a result of Governor Scott Walker’s withdrawal from the race on Sept. 21.

Rubio spoke in depth about his Cuban heritage.

Rubio’s family was poor in Cuba, and his grandfather died of tuberculosis at the age of 46. His father dropped out of school at the age of seven to work and never returned to his education.

Rubio’s parents moved to the United States, where Rubio said they were able to work into the middle class. With this, he justified his faith and the so-called American Dream, a prominent talking point.

His speech that focused on a conservative call for a less-regulated private sector, specifically in healthcare, business and the environment.

For example, Rubio said he supports the practice of fracking.

“I believe we need to be able to utilize all of our energy resources,” said Rubio. “Fracking has allowed us to have access to natural gas and oil deposits that aren’t just important to our economy, but to our geopolitical advantage.”

“Immigration has played such an important role in your life. So, on this issue, where do you stand: with Pope Francis or Donald Trump?” asked an audience member.

Rubio said the United States has an immigration problem.

According to Rubio, immigration can be controlled with programs such as E Verify, “fencing walls in key sections of the border” and preventing work visa overstays.

“Over 40 percent of people here illegally come legally,” Rubio said of visa overstays, referring to a report from that relied on data from 1997.

Rubio expressed respect for the other Republican nominees.

“We have some high-quality candidates; the Democrats can’t even come up with one,” Rubio said.

It was his only explicit mention of the Democratic presidential candidates.