Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio Swears He's Not a Bigot

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com March 15 2013 11:29 AM ET

At Republicans gathered for the influential annual Conservative Political Action Conference (generally known as CPAC), Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the recently annointed Cuban-American golden boy of the G.O.P., told the audience of activists around him, “We don’t need any new ideas. The idea is called America, and it still works.” According to the New York Times, that wasn't the only thing said at the meeting that will raise a few LGBT eyebrows.

Jim Rutenberg reported that Rubio defended his party's hardline response on nearly all things gay, saying that “just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot.”

The group gathered to talk presidential elections in 2016 and evaluate policy direction within the Republican party. According to Rutenberg, two Republican governors were not invited this year, including New Jersey's Chris Christie, who he says, "who drew conservative ire for embracing Mr. Obama after Hurricane Sandy…"

 

The more Libertarian senator, Kentucky's Rand Paul  (who entered the auditorium while Metallica's song, "Enter Sandman," played) was the second heavyweight to speak at CPAC. He told the audience, “The G.O.P. of old has grown stale and moss-covered" and that the party “will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere.” He even suggested a change in drug laws.

“Ask the Facebook generation whether we should put a kid in jail for the nonviolent crime of drug use and you’ll hear a resounding ‘No,’ ” Paul said, according to Rutenberg.