The Republican response to the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama is to be delivered by Florida Senator Marco Rubio next Tuesday. Rubio’s selection was announced yesterday by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky and House Speaker John Boehner from Ohio.
Boehner stated that Marco Rubio was one of the party’s most inspiring and dynamic leaders. He added: “He carries our party’s banner of freedom, opportunity and prosperity in a way few others can. His family’s story is a testament to the promise and greatness of America. He’ll deliver a GOP address that speaks from the heart to the hopes and dreams of the middle class; to our party’s commitment to life and liberty; and to the unlimited potential of America when government is limited and effective.”
Rubio’s response to the State of the Union address will mark the first time in history that a GOP response has been issued in Spanish. The choice of Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, to respond to the President’s address is a clear attempt by the Republican Party to try and curry favor with the Hispanic community, who unreservedly rejected 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and played a crucial role in re-electing Obama.
Rubio’s profile has been increasing ever since the humiliating election defeat and in recent months he has taken on an active role in steering the Republican Party toward accepting the need for a comprehensive US immigration plan. “Legal immigration is good for America,” Rubio said in an interview with Newsweek last month.