• David Baldridge

Potential President Profile: Senator Marco Rubio

The United States presidency is a very important office, not just for Americans, but around the world, due to the immense global power that the U.S. possesses. Unfortunately, one candidate, Donald Trump is taking up the majority of the media's attention. It is important to get to know some of the other people vying to hold the most powerful position in the world. Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida, is one such candidate.

In many ways, Marco Rubio has one of the best chances to secure the Republican Party nomination. He was born in Miami, Florida in 1971 to Cuban parents fleeing from Fidel Castro's communist regime. In comparison to the other candidates he is young, and he speaks fluent Spanish. This might help with two demographics that the Republicans are struggling with: young people and Latinos. His rhetoric is polished and he comes across as competent (at least compared to Mr. Trump and some of the other more extreme Republicans.)

However, his views in a number of areas do not differ from the standard Republican dogma. He is against abortion, skeptical of man-made climate change, and strongly against the legalization of recreational marijuana. He is tough on foreign policy, calling Russian president Vladimir Putin a “gangster”, and he is in favor of implementing a flat income tax (where all people pay the same tax rate, regardless of income). And of course, he wants to repeal Obamacare.

One area where Senator Rubio differs from the party’s base is on the issue of immigration. In the Senate he fought -- but failed -- to pass the "DREAM" act, which would have granted legal residency to millions of people who came to the United States illegally as children, but have since proven to be of “good moral character” and have completed some kind of education. This is no doubt due to Senator Rubio's own family history.

Another area where he has interesting ideas is with regards to the American student debt crisis. Senator Rubio most likely understands and can relate to the troubles facing college students today, as it was not so long ago that he himself was in college. His plan is to bring private capital into the financing of tuition. An interested investor could finance a student's education in a particular area with the promise of a share of their future earnings. Some people have concerns that this would lead to a kind of servitude, but it can be regarded as opening up a student’s options. An example of this would be a law graduate being financed. Because of this method, he could choose to become a public defender rather than a corporate lawyer, as the future repayments would be linked to income, making the public defender path less of a financial burden. If the student had taken out a normal student loan, then the repayment would have been the same no matter which job he chose.

Senator Marco Rubio is a viable candidate for the Republican nomination and the presidency. He does have an interesting background and a few new ideas, but on the vast majority of issues, he takes the standard Republican view.