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Marco Rubio gave the Republican Party’s response to US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union – instantly raising the profile of the Florida senator. He is considered to be a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

Rubio ripped into Obama’s plans, saying: “More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back”.

“The idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried,” Rubio said.

“More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.
And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty,” Rubio added.

Rising Republican star Rubio started the year by opposing a bill to avert a sharp decline in the US budget deficit – the so-called “fiscal cliff” – which raised taxes on high income households. He was one of only eight senators to do so.

The Florida senator, who is of Cuban descent, is seen as someone who could help the Republicans cut into the Democrats’ popularity among Latino voters.

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