CHICAGO – With an eye on the future, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is laying out his plans for an "innovative economy" and "revolutionized higher education system" in his first major domestic policy speech as a presidential candidate.
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The Republican White House hopeful will outline his policies at a Tuesday morning speech in Chicago before an extended campaign swing through Iowa.
"We need a new president for a new age — one with original ideas to unlock the two great doors to the future: the doors of innovation and education," Rubio says in prepared remarks. "I come before you today to discuss my ideas to spur American innovation onward, to ensure the rise of the machines will not be the fall of the worker, and to create a new American Century."
The forward-looking theme of Rubio's address mirrors that of his entire campaign, which helps distinguish himself from leading competitors in both parties whose families have been mainstays in American politics for decades. The 44-year-old Rubio does not name Republican former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Democrat Hillary Clinton in excerpts of his remarks released to The Associated Press, yet he cites the years that the Bushes and Clintons governed.
"We have learned, painfully, that the old ways no longer work — that Washington cannot pretend the world is the same as it was in the '80s, it cannot raise taxes like it did in the '90s, and it cannot grow government like it did in the 2000s," Rubio says.
While he has yet to release specifics, an aide said Rubio would detail an "innovation agenda" focused on tax reform that includes a lower corporate tax rate, the establishment of a "territorial tax system" and allowing "immediate 100 percent expensing for businesses," which allows businesses to take deductions for capital investments all at once.
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He will also promote a plan to modernize the national lab system.
The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to publicly pre-empt Rubio's address.
Rubio will also address his opposition to so-called "net neutrality," which would prevent Internet service providers from setting different download speeds for different types of content.
On higher education, the aide said Rubio would call for an overhaul of the accreditation process, among other reforms.
"Today's Technological Revolution carries extraordinary opportunities - even more, I believe, than the Industrial Revolution ever did," Rubio says. "The race for the future will never be won by going backward."