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Sen. Rubio: Obama ‘assaulting’ American free enterprise system

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) said voters will turn away from President Obama because he is “assaulting” free enterprise.

Speaking Wednesday on Fox News, Rubio was asked what GOP primary voters in the Sunshine State are looking for in a candidate.

“The No. 1 issue in the Hispanic American community is 'How do I leave my children better off than myself?' " Rubio said. " 'How do I have the opportunity to fulfill my own hopes and dreams — the reason why I came here, the reason why my parents came here, and how do we leave our children with better opportunities than what we had?' There’s only one real answer to that, and that’s the American free enterprise system, and that’s exactly what the president is assaulting.”

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At Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, the president renewed his call for the so-called “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, which would ensure that middle-class workers don’t pay a higher tax rate than those who make more than $1 million per year off of long-term investments, which are currently taxed at a lower rate.

“Now, you can call this class warfare all you want,” Obama said. “But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense. We don’t begrudge financial success in this country, we admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. It’s because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit or somebody else has to make up the difference … That’s not right. Americans know it’s not right.”

Rubio said these are the kinds of redistributive policies that immigrants are fleeing when they arrive in the United States.

“[President Obama] goes into the State of the Union and basically says that the only way some Americans can do better is if other Americans are worse off, that we have to take from some people and distribute it to others,” he said. “That’s never been our heritage — that’s what other countries do, and by the way that’s why other people — including Hispanic Americans — have left other countries, to get away from that kind of stuff.”

The president’s speech was also taken as a veiled swipe at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whom many believe will be Obama’s opponent in the fall election.

Romney released his tax returns on Tuesday, which show that he paid less than 15 percent because the bulk of his income came from capital gains. The average tax rate for wage-earning Americans is 35 percent.