Marco Rubio CPAC Speech: GOP Senator Addresses Beliefs On Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion Rights

03/14/2013 02:30 pm ET | Updated Jun 10, 2013
  • Elise Foley Immigration And Politics Reporter, Huffington Post

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) threw some social conservative red meat to CPAC-goers on Thursday in a rant against Democrats who criticize him and members of his party for opposing same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

"Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot," he said, his words drowned out by cheers from the crowd as he talked about his belief in the protection of human life "at every stage of its development."

"The people who are actually closed-minded in American politics are the people who love to preach about the certainty of science with regards to our climate but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception," he continued.

Rubio does not often speak so forcefully on social issues, but if there's any venue to do it, it's CPAC. His speech was wildly popular: he entered the stage to the first standing ovation of the day, and drew applause every time he took a sip of water. (He also made plenty of jokes about water, a nod to his awkward sip during a post-State of the Union speech.)

His CPAC remarks focused largely on economic issues, from lowering taxes to defunding Obamacare. He railed against China and other countries that criticize the United States. He noticeably did not mention immigration reform, an effort he is leading to chagrin from some conservatives.

Rubio concluded with a crowd-pleasing message praising the United States.

"As soon as I'm done speaking, I'll tell you what the criticism on the left is going to be," Rubio said. "Number one, he drank too much water. Number two: that he didn't offer any new ideas.

"And there's the fallacy of it. We don't need a new idea. There is an idea: the idea is called America, and it still works."

Below, a liveblog of the latest updates from CPAC:

03/16/2013 5:31 PM EDT

Rand Paul Scores Straw Poll Win

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came out on top of this year's CPAC straw poll. Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:54 PM EDT

Birther's 'Inappropriate' Questions Face Fire

From HuffPost's Paige Lavender:

Orly Taitz, commonly known as the "Birther Queen," was rebuked by blogger Pamela Geller during a Saturday panel on Islam and national security at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:53 PM EDT

Walker Goes 47%: Obama Wants 'Government Dependence'

HuffPost's Jason Linkins reports:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the stage Saturday at CPAC, praising the assemblage for its support during the fraught Wisconsin recall fight, which Walker won, allowing him to stay in power. His speech was themed around the idea that the states are the laboratories of policy -- "Real reform does not happen in Washington, it happens in the statehouses throughout this country," he said -- and that he, in particular, was leading the way to end "government dependency."

If future GOP presidential runs depend on silver-tongues articulation of dorm-room "makers vs. takers" arguments, then Walker's future is pretty bright.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 1:51 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Sarah Palin Drinks 'Big Gulp' On Stage: 'Bloomberg's Not Around. Don't Worry'

sarah palin cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:37 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Rick Santorum Looks Like He Is About To Give Us A Knuckle-Sandwich

santorum cpac 2013

(Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:34 PM EDT

CPAC Highlights: Steve King

@ elisefoley :

RT @EvanMcSan: Steve King calls them "undocumented Democrats" #Immigration #CPAC2013

03/16/2013 1:01 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Michele Bachmann: Conservatism Is "The Movement Of Love, The Movement Of Care."

michele bachmann cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 12:57 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly Invited CPAC Audience To Follow Her On Twitter

@ achorowitz :

Phyllis Schlafly just asked if we would please follow her on Twitter. What.

03/16/2013 12:52 PM EDT

Schlafly On Immigration

@ Bencjacobs :

Phyllis Schafly says immigrants will all vote Democratic, I don't think Marco Rubio agrees #cpac

03/16/2013 12:51 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly On Amnesty

@ jmartpolitico :

Phyllis Schlafly: "comprehensive is a synonym for amnesty"

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