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Senator Rubio Criticizes President’s Rhetoric, Lack Of Leadership On Senate Floor

Jun 30, 2011 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio spoke on the floor of the Senate today to address the most critical issue facing our nation, Washington’s out-of-control spending and our nation’s massive debt. Senator Rubio also commented on President Obama’s press conference yesterday, during which his rhetoric failed to address these serious issues and stoked the flames of class warfare.

For a broadcast quality version of this speech, click here. You can also find the video on Senator Rubio’s YouTube account. For a full transcript of Senator Rubio’s remarks, see below:

Senator Rubio: “Thank you, Senator Johnson.

I too yesterday watched the President’s lecture on television.  Watched it again this morning just to make sure I was well informed before I came here. My reaction is twofold.

One is I’m disappointed, and the other is I’m alarmed.

First, I’m disappointed because America does not have a tradition of class warfare. It’s never been part of our nation. In fact, one of the things that distinguishes us from the world is that Americans have never believed that you somehow have to take money away from somebody else in order to be better off.

On the contrary, we’ve always looked to advance the cause of everyone in the belief that we can all be prosperous and in the hopes of growing our economy that way. That’s the American tradition and that serves our nation well.

Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know that from the speech yesterday, a rhetoric that, quite frankly, was deeply disappointing.

The idea that if we raise taxes, as the President said, on millionaires and billionaires, raise taxes on oil companies, raise taxes on owners of private jets, that that somehow is going to make a difference in America’s debt in terms of having a real impact, is not only misleading, I think, quite frankly, it’s disappointing.

It’s class warfare, and it’s the kind of language that you would expect from the leader of a third world country, not the President of the United States.

But I’m also alarmed and worried about the speech because I think from it you can only take two things. Either the president doesn’t truly understand the nature of the problem that we face, or he’s decided that this is a political issue, not a policy one.

I say he perhaps doesn’t understand the nature of the case because, for example, he mentioned the corporate jet tax six different times, and yet the impact it would have is so insignificant that the White House to this very moment  has not even been able to give an estimate about what it means in a dollar figure.

Going further, by the way, it’s important to note that that exact tax provision was part of the President’s now-infamous ‘stimulus’ plan that passed in February of 2009.

The bigger problem, though, is maybe the President fundamentally doesn’t understand how jobs are created. Politicians don’t create jobs. U.S. Senators don’t create jobs.

Senator Johnson pointed out jobs are created by everyday people from all walks of life that start a business or expand an existing one. And our job here in government is to make it easier for them to do that, not harder. And threatening to raise taxes, threatening to wage class warfare does not accomplish that purpose.

Here’s what I would suggest to the President: I would suggest that we have done this before as a people of America, things like a simpler tax code. People around here are in favor of tax reform. A simpler tax code, a manageable and sane regulatory environment, and of course a government that doesn’t spend money it doesn’t have. These things have worked before, and they will work again. And I urge the President to lead us in that direction.”