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Economic issues dominated U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s town hall meeting Tuesday in Pensacola.

The freshman senator from Miami told a crowd of about 150 people — largely supporters — that the national debt can no longer be ignored, and that the current debt ceiling should not be raised.

“This is the perfect opportunity to talk about the issues related to the debt limit,’’ Rubio said. “If all we do is raise the debt limit, it would be catastrophic and tell the world we’re not serious about debt problem.’’

Rubio’s 75-minute question-and-answer session also covered stalled BP oil spill claims — “we need to put pressure on the process, and if that doesn’t happen, look at other options'' — and foreign policy.

“This administration moved too slowly in Libya and the result now is probably the worse possible scenario — a stalemate,’’ Rubio said.

He also ruled out any presidential or vice-presidential dreams for 2012 — Rubio’s name has been tossed around by politicians and pundits.


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