(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
Marco Rubio, the Republican junior U.S. Senator from Florida, recently spoke on what he believes to be the breakdown of the American family and its direct consequence on the country's economy.
"I think morality ultimately is the function of the church and our faith, not government, but certainly government cannot be immune from morality, nor can our society because the breakdown in morality is having a direct economic consequence on our country," Rubio said in a Wednesday interview with Christian Broadcasting Network's "The Brody File."
"The breakdown of the American family is one of the leading causes of poverty. The breakdown in the American family is one of the leading causes of these instances of violence that we're seeing. The breakdown of the American family is one of the leading causes of educational underperformance," Rubio continued.
"That doesn't mean I can go out and pass a law to create stronger families but it does mean that as leaders, if we do not recognize the impact that the social and moral well-being of our people are having on our economy and ultimately on our country, we're blinded into a big problem," Rubio added.
Rubio, who has been described by many political pundits as a rising star for the GOP Party, also delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
In his counter-address, Rubio focused on what he believes to be the importance of free economy, small government, and lowering taxes. Rubio also touched on morality in his Tuesday address, saying: "[…] the truth is every problem can't be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answers to those challenges lie primarily in our families and our faiths, not our politicians."
Rubio has been categorized by Time magazine as "The Republican Savior," and NBC described his ascendancy in politics just two years after his election to Senate as occurring at "head-spinning speed" for the "Republican rock star."
Additionally, Karl Rove, Republican political consultant and senior advisor to former President George W. Bush, described Rubio as "the best communicator since Ronald Reagan," and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said "[Rubio] carries our party's banner of freedom, opportunity and prosperity in a way few others can."
Still, others remain critical of Rubio, arguing that his GOP State of the Union response served as "a stark example of the [Republican] party's internal contradictions," in that he failed to expound on key criticisms of Obama's speech, including Medicare and spending cuts.
Yet Rubio has been described by CBS as an "architect of the Republican future," along with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Rep. Paul Ryan, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.