- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 8, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Sunday dismissed unflattering comparisons of himself to President Obama as an inexperienced junior senator who is not ready to be the leader of the free world.

“I would remind people that Barack Obama didn’t fail because he was a senator. He now has seven years of presidential experience, and his policies are more disastrous today than when he started,” Mr. Rubio said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“He’s failed because his ideas don’t work,” the U.S. senator from Florida said. “Big government, taking on and undermining free enterprise, expanding the reach of government into our economy — it’s been a disaster.”

Mr. Rubio’s detractors in the Republican Party have compared his rapid political rise in Florida, where he served as speaker of the state’s House of Representatives, to the U.S. Senate and the presidential race to the trajectory that landed Mr. Obama in the White House.

What conservative critics point to as failures of the Obama presidency, Mr. Rubio attributed to the president’s ideology — not his rapid political ascent.

“Record numbers of people on public assistance, record numbers of people have left the labor force, an economy that’s growing at an anemic pace, wages are barely grows and certainly not in comparison with the new cost that Americans have to absorb. Global confidence in America’s long-term economic outlook continues to decline, our industries are less competitive globally than they once were,” he said. “These are disasters, and they’re a direct result of a failed ideology on behalf of Barack Obama, not the fact that he was a U.S. senator.”

Mr. Rubio has surged in the polls, vying with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for third place behind front-runner Donald Trump and second-place Ben Carson.

The rise of Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican, has been met with increased attacks and sharper scrutiny from his rivals and the media. In recent days, he has begun to defend himself more aggressively.

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