Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign MORE emphasized his Christian faith in an extended riff on the campaign trail in Iowa just days before the heavily evangelical Republican electorate heads to the nation’s first caucus.

“Whether you like it or not, our Judeo-Christian values are an integral part of our history,” the Florida senator said Tuesday during an event in Marshalltown.


“We are a nation whose prevalent faith teaches us that have a moral obligation to care for the less fortunate.”

Iowa’s GOP caucus electorate is typically majority evangelical, giving that demographic an outsized importance ahead of the Monday vote. Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE and  Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE (R-Texas) hold commanding leads with evangelicals over the rest of the field in most polls, but Rubio and others are looking to make inroads.

“Let me tell you what my faith teaches, when I’m done telling you what my faith teaches, you are going to hope that my faith influences me,” he told the crowd.

“My faith teaches me that if I want to serve Jesus I have to help others.”

He went on to frame national security, his signature issue, as a quest for peace on Earth, promising to only engage the military in the “pursuit of peace.” And he said Americans should hope their next president is guided by religion.

“Our nation should hope that our next president is someone who every day, every night, at every moment drops to their knees and asks the Lord for guidance, asks the Holy Spirit for inspiration, and asks for wisdom,” he added.

Rubio currently sits in third place in Iowa polling, according to RealClearPolitics’ average of recent surveys. He trails Cruz and Trump, who have both harnessed momentum from evangelicals into a clearly delineated first tier in the state.