Here are excerpts of Marco Rubio's presidential kickoff speech, as prepared. They were provided by his campaign to reporters ahead of the event.
"For almost all of human history, power and wealth belonged only to a select few. Most people who have ever lived were trapped by the circumstances of their birth, destined to live the life their parents had. But America is different. Here, we are the children and grandchildren of people who refused to accept this."
"My parents achieved what came to be known as the American Dream. But now, too many Americans are starting to doubt whether achieving that dream is still possible: Hard working families living paycheck to paycheck, one unexpected expense away from disaster. Young Americans, unable to start a career, a business or a family, because they owe thousands in student loans for degrees that did not lead to jobs. And small business owners, left to struggle under the weight of more taxes, more regulations and more government. Why is this happening in a country that for over two centuries has been defined by equality of opportunity? Because while our people and economy are pushing the boundaries of the 21st century, too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the twentieth century."
"At the turn of the 19th century, a generation of Americans harnessed the power of the Industrial Age and transformed this country into the leading economy in the world. And the 20th century became the American Century. Now, the time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American Century."
"This election is not just about what laws we will pass. It is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be."
"Yesterday is over, and we are never going back. We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future. Before us now is the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing story of America. We can’t do that by going back to the leaders and ideas of the past. We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them."
"In many countries, the highest office in the land is reserved for the rich and powerful. But I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege."