Marco Rubio spoke yesterday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Here's what he said about American Exceptionalism:
My grandfather loved being Cuban. He loved being from Cuba. He never would have left Cuba if he didn’t have to. But he knew America was special. He knew that without America Cuba would still be a Spanish colony. He knew that without America the Nazis and Imperial Japan would have won World War II. When he was born in 1899 there weren’t even airplanes. By the time I was born, an American had walked on the surface of the moon.
And he knew something else. He knew that he had lost his country. And that the only thing from preventing other people in the world from losing theirs to communism was this country – this nation.
It is easy for us who are born here – like me – and so many of you, to take for granted how special and unique this place is. But when you come from somewhere else, when what you always knew and loved, you lost, you don’t have that luxury.
My Grandfather didn’t know America was exceptional because he read about it in a book. He knew about it because he lived it and saw it with his eyes. That powerful lesson is the story of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency. It’s our legacy as a people. And it’s who we have a chance to be again. And I think that’s important for all of us because being an American is not just a blessing, it’s a responsibility.