- The Washington Times - Friday, February 25, 2022

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican with potential 2024 presidential ambitions, opened the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference warning about the advance of Marxism in America.

Mr. Rubio, who is serving his second term in the Senate and is the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, attacked “cancel culture,” COVID-19 mandates and left-wing school curricula, arguing it would result in a significant loss of freedom in the U.S. unless the public rebels against it.

“I believe there are a lot of people in this country influenced by Marxism that don’t even realize they’re being influenced by Marxism,” Mr. Rubio, 50, told the crowd. “And it’s infused every aspect of our lives and of our society.”

Mr. Rubio is running for his third term and is leading in the polls against a field of potential Democratic rivals. He’s also considered by some to be among the Republican candidates who might run for president in 2024, particularly if former President Donald Trump does not jump in the race. Mr. Rubio ran in the 2016 Republican primary, but he dropped out after Mr. Trump beat him in the critical Florida primary.

Mr. Rubio has remained focused on his top Senate role on the intelligence panel and his quest for a third term.

On Friday, he drew a comparison between left-wing speech codes and rewriting of school curricula with the communist Cuban regime that forced his parents to flee the country for the U.S. decades ago.

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“Now imagine you’re living in a country and some of the same things seem to be happening again,” Mr. Rubio said. “Now your kids are being told in schools things about history, about society and about our country that simply are untrue.”

Mr. Rubio in recent days has been a fixture on cable news, commenting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In Friday’s CPAC speech, he likened the Ukraine resistance loosely to the burgeoning backlash against left-wing policies that he said have encroached on personal freedom.

Rather than bearing arms, however, he said Americans are electing new political leaders, pushing out government officials who are imposing left-wing school curricula and resisting mandates and speech code.

Polling suggests Republicans are in position to win back the House and possibly the Senate in the November midterm elections.

“The pendulum is swinging,” Mr. Rubio said. “And I believe we are on the precipice, on the verge of a reinvigoration of the American spirit that will not just strengthen America, it will leave us freer and more prosperous than we have ever been. “

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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