Republican presidential candidate Florida Sen. Marco Rubio declared Sunday that he has been called a "bigot" for supporting the biblical definition of marriage and explained such language is often used by the left to make millions of conservatives feel "out of place in their own country."
In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation," Rubio was questioned by moderator John Dickerson about a recent 30-second televised campaign ad that features Rubio stating that the 2016 election is about "all of us who feel out of place in our own country" and the "millions with traditional values branded 'bigots' and 'haters.'"
"I think people feel out of place in their own country for a number of reasons," Rubio stated in the interview.
"Economically, we are in a country where you are told your whole life that if you go to school and get a degree, you are guaranteed the American dream, or at least a shot at the American dream, and that is not happening," Rubio added. "You have a country where people are told that this is a country where you are going to be judged on your merits and your hard work and that is not happening. Increasingly, Americans feel out of place because it seems like the people who have access to power and influence win and everybody else is left on the outside looking in."
"And then, the people that hold traditional values are often described as 'bigots' and 'haters,'" Rubio continued.
Dickerson then asked Rubio who calls those who hold traditional values bigots.
"Oh my gosh, everybody on the left does," Rubio responded. "For example, if you do not support their definition of marriage."
Dickerson then asked Rubio if President Barack Obama has used such language.
"Well certainly, the president has on occasion said that people who don't support same-sex marriage are wrong," Rubio responded.
Dickerson then stated that "wrong" is different than "bigot," to which Rubio replied by explaining that he has even had to put up with being called names from liberals.
"In the broader left, I have been called a bigot for not supporting the definition of marriage," Rubio said.
Then, Rubio was asked if he was included in the "us" when his advertisement stated "all of us who feel out of place in our own country."
"When it comes to the traditional values, absolutely. I have been called that before. In fact, this very week, I was called anti-Hispanic, anti-Latino by a group that was obviously funded from the left, who argue that unless we agree with them on everything then somehow we have betrayed our community," Rubio said. "I mean, this is standard operating practice from the left."
As Rubio currently ranks third in the RealClearPolitics average of national Republican nomination polls, he hopes to gain more support from Evangelicals and social conservatives in order to help him rise in the polls.
As Evangelicals and social conservatives are the social groups most likely to feel as though their stances on marriage are "out of place" in the current social environment, his ad and remarks during the Sunday interview could be an attempt to appeal to the Evangelical vote.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has had the most success when it comes to courting Evangelicals so far in the 2016 election, as a handful of prominent social conservative and Evangelical leaders have already endorsed Cruz in the last few weeks and it is believed over 40 more leaders are planning to do the same.
Cruz currently ranks second, behind Donald Trump, in the GOP polls with an average of 17.1 percent of the support, while Rubio has earned an average of 12.3 percent of the support.