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***Listen to the audio from the call here:***

Rep. Darren Soto and Former Rep. Bob Henriquez Respond to Senator Marco Rubio’s “Dream Act without the Dream” and Romney Endorsement
Rubio Endorsement Comes as No Surprise: Both Rubio and Romney are Extreme Tea Party Candidates that Will Say Anything to Get Elected

Tallahassee, FL — Rep. Darren Soto and Former Rep. Bob Henriquez responded to Senator Marco Rubio’s “DREAM Act without the dream” proposal and Marco Rubio’s endorsement of Mitt Romney.

Rubio’s endorsement comes as no surprise: Both Rubio and Romney are extreme Tea Party candidates that will say anything to get elected and their positions are directly at odds with Florida voters’ priorities.  Rubio and Romney support slashing funding for education, Medicare, and Social Security as well as a dangerous Republican agenda that would prohibit women from making their own healthcare decisions.  And on immigration, Romney has promised to veto the DREAM Act and would be the most extreme candidate on immigration in modern history and Rubio is now pushing a bill that would deny citizenship to patriotic kids, brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, and who wish to pursue higher education or join the armed forces.

Below are the remarks from the call as prepared for delivery:

State Rep. Darren Soto

I had the opportunity to work with now Senator Marco Rubio in the State Legislature here in Florida. He told us he wanted “to be the best United State senator that Florida’s ever had.” But then he actually started running for Senate, he lurched to the extreme right and became the tea party darling we know him to be now.

He’s spent his time in the Senate siding time and again with the far-right extremist Tea Party groups, taking our state and country in a dramatically different direction then anyone could have imagined. And now, he’s endorsed Mitt Romney, a candidate who has shown voters across the country how extreme he is by supporting drastic changes to social security, Medicare and education, and declaring in our state of Florida that all undocumented immigrants should self-deport,  calling the DREAM Act a handout.  Mitt Romney is running on policies that cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires on the backs of the middle class, someone who believes we should let foreclosures “hit the bottom” and is committed to slashing our health care and education.

Rubio and Romney are two peas in a pod. Their loyalty to the Tea Party comes before anything else, and their positions are increasingly out of touch with Florida and the rest of the country.
Much like Romney, as Rubio’s star has risen so has his extremism.

But I, for one, am not surprised to see Rubio turn his back on those who need it most because he has repeatedly turned his back on just about everyone much like Mitt Romney.

In the last few weeks, Sen. Rubio has worked to restrict women’s access to birth control by cosponsoring the Blunt-Rubio Amendment, legislation that would take women’s health decisions out of women’s hands and give it to their bosses. Mitt Romney full heartedly endorsed this legislation and also said he would “get rid of” planned parenthood.

And both men have embraced the Paul Ryan Budget plan that would make draconian cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare which are the bedrock of economic security for millions of seniors not only here in Florida but across the country. These cuts would devastate Social Security and end Medicare as we know it.

But is letting seniors fend for themselves surprising when both men opposed the Auto Rescue?  Mitt Romney declared he would have “let Detroit go bankrupt,” and though Rubio never penned an op-ed he was adamant in his opposition saying, “The jobs will be gone and we’ll still owe the money…” But they were both dead wrong, the Auto industry is back and the President’s rescue efforts saved 1.4 million jobs.

These are two politicians that are willing to say anything, pandering to the Tea Party at every step. Both have opposed the DREAM Act. Romney has even said he would veto the bipartisan legislation that over 90% of Hispanics support if he was President.

And to prove his loyalty to the Tea Party Rubio has gone one step further being the only Gulf Coast Senator to oppose the RESTORE Act that would have dedicated 80% of BP Oil spill fees to the region all to appease the Tea Party. His radical decisions have left us all wondering who Rubio is in Washington protecting.

He’s aligned himself with legislation that is detrimental to our country and has endorsed Mitt Romney a Presidential candidate that called the DREAM Act a “handout” and whose only solution is “self-deportation” for families who have lived here for generations.  These men no longer answer to the American people, the Hispanic communities or to Floridians, but to the Tea Party.

They’re two peas in a pod, their devotion to the Tea Party has showed voters their true colors, and these are extreme politicians who are willing to say anything to get elected.

Former State Rep. Bob Henriquez

It’s clear, Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney are cut from the same cloth. Their rhetoric and in Rubio’s case his votes have been in lock step with the Tea Party every time.

They’ve put the agenda of the far right above everyday hard working Americans who deserve their fair shot.  How can voters trust two men that have repeatedly shown this country’s interests are not the number one priority?

Marco Rubio has aligned himself with a Republican nominee, whose positions on immigration, women, the middle class and seniors are all wrong for this country, showing that he too is wrong not only for Florida but Americans.

They are determined to take our country in a direction decided not by the typical middle class American family but decided by the extreme.

Nothing will stop these two from banking to the far right, saying and standing for anything they think that will get them elected.

With that we will take questions.


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