Republican presidential aspirants converged on Nashua, N.H., today for a “First in the Nation Summit,” a two-day GOP fanfest where potential 2016-ers are addressing several hundred political activists. A look at some notable moments:
By turns inspirational and apocalyptic, Rubio won a standing ovation from the audience both before and after his talk, in which he recounted the story of his immigrant parents, his proposals to make college more affordable for students, and his grim view of threats facing the U.S.
The U.S. should not have entered negotiations with Iran over nuclear capabilities, Rubio said, because economic sanctions were working. Allowing Iran to have any nuclear capacity is a mistake because it could not be sufficiently monitored to prevent development of a nuclear weapon. “We’ve seen this movie before. It’s called North Korea,” he said.
“We may have to decide at some point what is worse: a military strike against Iran or a nuclear-armed Iran,’’ Rubio said. “I am not a cheerleader for war,” but Iran with nuclear weapons is “an unacceptable risk for the region.’’
The threat of terrorist attack in the U.S. has only grown since he entered the Senate, Rubio said, dismissing concerns raised by, among others, his presidential rival Rand Paul about government electronic surveillance. “This risk is real. It is not hyperbole.”
Rubio, who had the marquee dinner-time speaking slot, unleashed a patter of introductory jokes that was late-night-TV worthy: After his introduction by former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, Rubio said Brown was the only senator who actually used the Senate gym to work out. “Everybody else is just there to watch Morning Joe on the TV.” He also ribbed Brown for telling him that Hillary Clinton plans to raise $2.5 billion for her presidential campaign. “That’s a lot of Chipotle, friend.”
SOURCE: Martha T. Moore