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Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks during a campaign stop in Raymond on Sunday. (DAN TUOHY/UNION LEADER)

Rubio plans more face time in NH


Marco Rubio is ushering in the new year with something of a campaign blitz in New Hampshire, countering a few of his rivals’ claims he hasn’t spent enough time in the first primary state.

The Republican presidential hopeful held four events Sunday, including a Patriots-Dolphins watch party. Rubio has a town hall meeting at the American Legion in Hooksett today.
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Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, reminded Granite Staters of the importance of the presidential primary Feb. 9.

“Here in this state you will be the first state to vote in a primary that gets to pronounce itself, not just on what kind of nominee we’re going to have, but what kind of country we’re going to have, beginning in 2016 and moving forward,” he said at Atkinson Country Club.
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Rubio did not mention his Republican opponents to start his two-day campaign swing. He took aim at Democrat Hillary Clinton, suggesting she is out of touch with average Americans.

“I want to know how Hillary Clinton is going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck, since I happen to have lived paycheck to paycheck before,” Rubio said.
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Before a standing-room-only audience at the Ray-Fre Senior Center in Raymond, Rubio was asked how he would beat Clinton in a prospective general election match-up. He replied that Clinton is an advocate of big government having a greater say in people’s lives. He also called it a generational difference.
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“She represents the tired ideas of yesterday,” he said.

Rubio said if elected President he would repeal executive orders, including President Barack Obama’s measures on gun control and immigration reform.
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Citing his life story as the son of illegal immigrants, Rubio said no one understands the issue better than he does.

“First and foremost, it is a national security issue,” he said. He said he’d lead by a basic principle: “If we don’t know 100 percent for sure who you are and why you’re coming, you can’t come in. That’s common sense. Today we’re not doing that, and that’s the reason why we have a system that is being potentially exploited by terrorists.”
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Rubio proposed hiring more border patrol agents, preventing people from overstaying visas and having mandatory checks in the e-verify system to ensure businesses do not employ undocumented workers.

Former state Sen. Jim Rausch, R-Derry, endorsed Rubio at the Atkinson Country Club. Hudson selectman Ted Luszey endorsed Rubio earlier Sunday at an event at the Milford VFW.
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“There’s going to be two choices in New Hampshire for the (GOP) primary: Donald Trump and Marco Rubio,” Maginn said. He said Rubio is emerging as the strongest alternative to Trump.

Rubio is scheduled to return to New Hampshire on Thursday for a town hall meeting at the Nashua Community College, and a town hall meeting Friday at the Red Blazer Restaurant in Concord.
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dtuohy@unionleader.com
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