Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a reshaped stump speech Tuesday night to the Seminole County GOP, touching on many of the same points he made as a presidential candidate but adapting it to the tumultuous politics of the moment.
"America is going to be OK," Rubio said. "America is going to be fine. In fact, America -- your America, my America, the America we're going to leave our children -- has a chance to be better than it's ever been. I believe our children have the opportunity to be the freest and most prosperous people that have ever walked the face of this earth."
"It's hard to believe that if you open up newspapers, watch the news, get on the internet, whatever," Rubio said, without immediately naming President Donald Trump. "But I really believe that with all of my heart, because that's been our history. It's at the core of who we are."
Rubio later praised the president's Monday night speech on Afghanistan and denounced the white supremacists and neo-Nazis instigators in Charlottesville.
"There is nothing conservative about those people. Nothing," he said to applause.
The senator noted that "there are people on the other side of the spectrum" who attack conservatives they disagree with.
"It's not acceptable, either," he said, noting he was speaking at the Seminole GOP's Lincoln Day fundraiser. "But first we have to take care of our own house. And our house is the party of Lincoln."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rubio was interrupted by protesters -- like he was often as a presidential candidate.
"I'm grateful that I live in a nation where people can disagree," he said, indirectly pointing to his work on Cuba and Venezuela policy.
Rubio lamented the loss of civil discourse and said "the new Congress has failed" in enacting promises made to voters.
"That needs to change," he said. "Otherwise, people will conclude that there's no reason to vote for cons because it doesn't matter anyways."