Rubio Touts American Exceptionalism at Gathering of Conservatives

By Penny Starr | March 14, 2013 | 4:59 PM EDT

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 2013. ( Starr)

( – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told conservatives gathered for the 40th Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that American exceptionalism perseveres and should be preserved.

After outlining his ideas for ending the national debt and deficit and creating opportunities for future generations, Rubio preempted criticism he said would come from liberals, who recently questioned the senator’s political future when he took a drink of water while giving the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

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“I’ll tell you what the criticism on the left is going to be,” Rubio said after joking with the crowd that he had two glasses of water at the podium. “No. 1, he drank too much water.

“No. 2, that he didn’t offer any new ideas,” Rubio said. “And there’s the fallacy of it.

“We don’t need a new idea,” Rubio said. “There is an idea. The idea is called America, and it still works,” Rubio said.

Rubio concluded his remarks by saying that if the country changes course and follows conservative principles its greatness will continue.

“If we do what we are supposed to do, we will always be what we were destined to be – the single greatest nation in the history of the world,” Rubio said.