Marco Rubio holds rally in Nocatee
Rubio rallies supporters in Northeast Florida for his presidential campaign
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has his eyes set on the Sunshine State, one week out from the Florida primary.
Rubio still trails Donald Trump in the polls, even as Rubio works to pick up support in his home state.
Florida is seen as "make-or-break" for Rubio. He needs to pick up another win to make it realistic to stay in the race.
For the second time in less than a week, Rubio was in Northeast Florida. He spent some time Tuesday in St. Johns County, rallying supporters. He made it clear he's hoping his home state can help him get the win he needs.
"It's not enough to stand up here and say, 'We're going to make America great again.' You deserve to know how. You deserve to know how you're going to do that."
The field at Nocatee Town Center, at 100 Marketside Ave., was packed with Rubio supporters Tuesday. He was very positive about his chances moving forward, even as members of his own party push for him to drop out of the race.
Rubio spent a lot of time drawing contrasts between himself and Trump without ever actually saying his name or any Republican's name.
Rubio did, however, mention Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and President Barack Obama by name, saying the current Democratic candidates want to continue Obama’s policies, something he said has put the country on the wrong path.
Supporters -- some still undecided -- filed in to hear his message.
"I like what he has to say about foreign policy," Margo Richards said. "I think he's the best candidate because of the committee that he's on in Washington, that he's the most knowledegable."
Others voiced their disapproval for the Republican front-runner.
Mike Losey didn't mince words, saying he is embarrassed of the current campaign climate.
"Trump -- he is not the caliber. I'm a republican, I have always been a republican," Losey said. "His conduct is unacceptable. How he expects to deal in this world with that attitude is unbelievable."
Alex Lassen came from Jacksonville to hear Rubio's message, working to make up his mind.
"I've seen him in the debates," Lassen said. "I think he's a great public speaker, and I don't really care to go to a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton rally just for obvious reasons, but I just wanted to come out and hear what he had to say, as far as the primary coming up.
Rubio's overall message Thursday night was one of "hope," with an emphasis on the American dream. He pointed to his own parents' story of immigrating to the United States from Cuba and making a life for themselves.
There was also a sense of urgency when the senator spoke about getting his supporters to the polls next week and in November.
"When I am president of the United States, for the first time in eight years you are going to have a president that actually follows the Constitution of the United States of America," Rubio said. "This is the future we can craft for ourselves and for our children, but we have to do it now. We still have time to get this right, but we do not have forever. We must do it now and we must do it in 2016."
Rubio is more than aware of his positioning right now, trailing Trump and Cruz nationally. From here he heads to South Florida for more rallies Wednesday.
Rubio appeared Saturday afternoon at the Morocco Shrine Auditorium in Jacksonville. He won the Puerto Rico primary Sunday.
After campaigning Sunday in Idaho, Rubio returned to Florida on Monday with rallies at the Tampa Convention Center and the Sanford Airport in Seminole County.
Prior to coming to St. Johns County Tuesday, Rubio held a 5 p.m. rally at the Sarasota Airport.
He will head to South Florida on Wednesday for more rallies.
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