Marco Rubio’s Senate campaign is surging. In the past ten days, Rubio, the former Florida House speaker challenging Gov. Charlie Crist in the GOP primary, has raised $860,000. He is also building a lead in the polls — Rasmussen’s latest survey gives Rubio a twelve-point edge over Crist. And he’s doing it all without the support of the national party.
“We’re living in an unprecedented time where a large number of people that have never participated in politics are paying attention,” Rubio tells National Review Online. “They realize that we’re going to make some decisions over the next few years that will determine the very identity of our country. Given the environment, I think it has become a lot easier to get people to pay attention and to take action. That’s the great challenge of 2010: Can we take this motivation that exists out there to stand up to the agenda that’s coming out of Washington and turn it into action? Right now that action is contributing to campaigns like mine. We’ve tried to harness that and feel good about what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.”
Rubio says the stakes this year are high and about more than one party beating another. “This election is about more than Republicans versus Democrats or liberals versus conservatives. It is a choice about the very essence of what this country is going to be like. Are we going to continue to be a place of limited government, free enterprise, and personal liberty? Or, are we going to become a country like so many around the world where the government dominates every sector of society? The problem is that the people in charge right now in Washington don’t believe in limited government or in the free-enterprise system. They don’t support it. They see it as something that creates pockets of prosperity, but, by and large, think it is unfair and want to change it. They want the U.S. to move away from that. They won’t campaign on that, of course, because they know they won’t get elected if they say it, but that’s exactly what they want to do, and they’re using this downturn in the economy as an excuse.”