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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio stumps in Nevada ahead of caucuses

Florida senator picks up a slew of endorsements in the Silver State

♦By Andy Donahue, contributor

on-the-trail-nevadaNORTH LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CFP) — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida campaigned at the Texas Station Hotel and Casino in North Las Vegas prior to Nevada’s “First in the West” Republican Caucus.

Ranking Nevada Republicans joined the presidential hopeful in one of the most definitive signs of establishment encouragement any conservative candidate has enjoyed. With what began with only Lt. Governor Mark Hutchenson, Rubio’s endorsements have increased to include State Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, who is running for the U.S. House, and U.S. Senator Dean Heller.

Rubio campaigns in North Las Vegas

Rubio campaigns in North Las Vegas

This event was the first for Heller as a Rubio supporter, as he initially endorsed Jeb Bush. While conceding, “others could attest it took (him) a little bit longer” to join the Rubio campaign, Heller still proclaimed “this is Marco Country we are in today.”

Heller noted that Rubio’s diverse range of legislative endorsements makes his campaign distinct: “There’s a reason why Marco Rubio gets the support of his colleagues in Washington D.C.” because he “is the real deal America needs.”

Upon arriving on stage, Rubio welcomed supporters who have “been with us for so long” and “others (like Heller) who have come on out team in the past few days.”

Expressing confidence in his standing in Nevada, Rubio focused on the viability of Democratic candidates and the gravity of the 2016 election, which he framed as deciding “what kind of country will America be in the 21st century.”

The two possibilities Rubio offered were a country in decline or a country that reaches new heights. Espousing the latter, Rubio pledged to unify the party through new conservatism.

Forecasting defeat if the party is divided entering the autumn, Rubio said he is the only candidate able to unite the GOP. Recognizing that “there are not enough of us,” Rubio shared his plan to expand and grow his “conservative movement.”

Rubio extolled free enterprise as “the greatest economic system” and the only way to help people who have been told for decades that Republicans do not care about them. He said free enterprise seeks to make “poor people richer without making rich people poorer.”

Rubio also pledged that if elected, he would wage a “real war on terror,” based on honesty and intelligence. Expressing dedication to members of the American military and their families, Rubio committed himself to providing for veterans and also said anyone who lied to grieving military families is disqualified from holding office as commander-in-chief.

Rubio, who spent part of his childhood living in Las Vegas, said the experience helped his family “discover the American dream” and helped him learn that many Americans are only a “generation or two removed” from people who immigrated into the United State and sacrificed for the current generation to seize modern opportunities.

“The time has come for this generation to do its part,” he said.

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