Presidential candidate visits Joplin

As the 2016 presidential campaign shifts into high gear, one candidate made a visit in Joplin on Friday afternoon. 

“One of the things that makes our country unique is it doesn’t matter where you start in life, we believe you have the God-given right to go as far as your talent and work will take you,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) during his 30-minute address to approximately 400 people who came out to see the candidate at Millennium Tennis and Fitness Club. 

“If we keep doing things that our government is doing now, we are going to be the first Americans to leave our children worse off than ourselves,” Rubio said. 

Rubio says he wishes only one party was to blame; however, he felt that one party was more to blame than the other. 

“We face extraordinary challenges as far as security, and we face real challenges for our prosperity,” Rubio said. “But it doesn’t have to stay this way.” 

Rubio said he chose to run for president because he felt the time to act is now. He said there is much at stake. He added that we have the chance not to leave things in shambles for the next generation. 

Rubio said we can do this, if the government does two things. 

“It will take a government that understands prosperity is not created by the government, but by the private sector,” Rubio said. “The job of those of us in government is to make things easier for the private sector. 

“Another thing we must do is repeal and replace Obamacare,” Rubio added. 

                                                                                    Another area Rubio addressed was educational opportunities for students. Rubio said education should be made cheaper and easier to access. He also said that a four-year university may not be for everyone, but vocational training should be more readily available. 

“I will be a vocational president,” Rubio said. “One of the ways we’re going to do this is we’re going to open up the Pell Grant.  

“We’re going to open up the Pell Grant to high school students so that if your school doesn’t offer vocational training, then you will be able to go to high school in the morning and then use the Pell Grant as a 15 or 16 year old to go to trade school in the afternoon or evening,” Rubio added. 

Rubio also discussed making alternatives to student loans. One idea was to have private investors in the sector in which the student is seeking a degree fund that student. If the student succeeds, the investor will see returns on the investment by way of sales or economic impact. 

Latest poll numbers from Huffington Post Pollster indicate that Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a heated race for second place, behind front-runner Donald Trump. As of 5 p.m. CST today, Trump lead the group with 38 percent, compared to 15 percent by Cruz and 11 percent by Rubio.

Stay tuned to The Chart Online’s Facebook page for a video of Rubio’s address to attendees coming soon.