Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced his entry into the race for the White House on Monday.
Rubio, 43, made the announcement in Miami, his hometown, in front of the city’s Freedom Tower--an iconic, Ellis Island-like landmark where the federal government once processed Cuban immigrants fleeing the Castro regime. The downtown site holds great personal importance for Rubio, his family and the city's influential Cuban-American community.
Speaking in front of a banner that read "A New American Century," Rubio talked about his Cuban immigrant parents' struggles and successes:
"I live in an exceptional country where the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege."
Rubio's supporters applauded as he vowed to reform higher education and the tax code, "repeal or replace Obamacare," and reaffirm America's alliance with Israel.
He called upon Americans to "remember that the family, not the government, is the most important institution in our society."
Rubio also emphasized his relative youth, calling the upcoming election, "a generational choice about what kind of country we will be," and referring to Democrat Hillary Clinton (who announced her presidential bid on Sunday) as "a leader from yesterday."
"Yesterday is over," he told his audience. "And it's never coming back."
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