By John Brescia

Contributing writer

It was crowded inside the old barn, with barely any space to move. The large volume of people took up nearly the entire space, floor and rafters, save for a makeshift stage. Despite the cold evening outside, the barn was pleasantly well-lit and the tightly packed bodies provided a comfortable warmth. All of these attendees were the guests of former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, who had opened his Rye home for one of his annual “no-B.S.” barbecues. In the last year, presidential candidates such as Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush have attended these gatherings. But that Monday night, the crowd was awaiting a younger candidate. And as one, they erupted into cheers and applause as Scott Brown welcomed Senator Marco Rubio to the stage.

“We have real challenges,” said Rubio. “But we also have real opportunities.”

Rubio addressed the issue of young Americans not pursuing careers in trade professions because they lack the prestige of careers that require a four-year college degree. Rubio made it clear that such career paths are actually viable alternatives to a four-year university education.

“Some of the best-paying jobs don’t need a four-year education; we need more welders, plumbers, careers that have been wrongly stigmatized,” said Rubio.

While critics claim that wealthy Republican candidates such as Donald Trump and Jeb Bush cannot relate well to middle-class Americans, the same cannot be said of Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio, who only recently paid off his student loans, is the son of Cuban immigrant parents whom he describes as poor but hardworking people, who labored tirelessly to provided Marco and his siblings with a better future, and instilled upon him the value of hard work for a successful outcome.

“My parents weren’t rich and they weren’t famous,” said Rubio. “But they were successful.”

Upon the conclusion of his speech, Rubio took some questions from the audience.

When asked about the problem of rising prices of medicine in the country, Rubio responded that in order to lower any prices, we must first lower the corporate tax code, which will discourage businesses from merging while encouraging them to lower prices, increasing both medicine availability and investment and competition. He also warned that the cumbersome FDA vetting process must be simplified to increase medicine availability, else it will bankrupt our public health system.

Another attendee questioned Rubio how he would get people to come out to vote if he got the nomination. Rubio responded that in order to encourage voting, there must be a candidate who can unite the party.

“I don’t attack the other candidates in my party because I want the party to be united,” said Rubio.

One person inquired how Rubio would address the problem of illegal immigration and he reminded the audience that the United States is a generous country on immigration, accepting over one million people per year. In order to decrease illegal immigration, Rubio said America must address the danger it poses and the measures that can be done to prevent it.  Rubio also said he wanted modernize legal immigration; the primary criteria for immigrants is familial relations, when it should be economic contribution. 

When asked about common core education, Rubio promised to get the federal government out of K-12 education and to give it back to the states. He believes that citizens will have more luck influencing local school districts than the federal government.

“America doesn’t have it easy right now, but when has our country ever had it easy?” Rubio asked his audience. “New challenges are always arising, and we always rise to meet them.”