- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on Saturday told the conservative grassroots that the country’s young people won’t have a chance if Democrats keep control of the White House — or if the conservative movement is “hijacked” by someone who’s not a conservative.

“Being a conservative can never be about simply an attitude. Being a conservative cannot simply be about how long you’re willing to scream, how angry you’re willing to be, or how many names you’re willing to call people,” Mr. Rubio said at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), to sustained applause.

“I think there’s a growing amount of confusion about what conservatism is,” he said. “And it is time for us to understand that conservatism is not built on personalities. Conservatism is not simply built on how angry you might seem from time to time.”

Mr. Rubio also addressed the young people in the crowd, saying they’ll be left behind if Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders end up in the White House.

“They won’t have a chance if a Hillary Clinton or a Bernie Sanders is elected,” he said.

“And they won’t have a chance if [the] conservative movement is hijacked by someone who is not a conservative,” Mr. Rubio said to sustained cheers and applause.

SEE ALSO: CPAC: Marco Rubio dings Donald Trump’s conservative credentials

During a question-and-answer session after his address, Mr. Rubio said he waited so long to go after GOP front-runner Donald Trump because he was fighting off other attacks and that he didn’t get into the race to beat up on other candidates.

“If you had told me a year ago that the front-runner at this stage in the Republican campaign would be a supporter of Planned Parenthood, who says he doesn’t stand with Israel, who has a long record of supporting government-sponsored health care, I would say, on what planet would that be the Republican front-runner?” he said. “But it’s happened. And I think we have to ask ourselves why we allowed that to happen.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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