In the GOP debate Thursday in Miami, Marco Rubio used the most laid-back and polite of the Republican presidential debates to make clear that he is nothing if not a good son.
Looking out at the audience at the University of Miami where his mother was sitting, Rubio said that she was one of the three million Florida seniors on Social Security. Whatever is done with the program, Rubio said: “I am against any changes to Social Security that are bad for my mother.”
That was followed by Rubio laying out his plan to adjust the age of retirement under Social Security, phasing in a higher starting age, so that his generation would become eligible for funds at 68, rather than the current age of 67, and his children’s generation at the age of 70. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said he agreed with that approach, but added that he supports allowing younger workers to keep some of their Social Security funds in personal savings accounts.
Donald Trump disagreed, first criticizing the two Democratic candidates for “doing nothing with Social Security, they’re leaving it the way it is,” but then just moments later, saying, “I will do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is,” and instead cut “waste, fraud and abuse” in order to save the current system.
It was just one of many moments during the debate in which Rubio used his Florida roots to advantage.