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Marco Rubio's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (FL) - Jr, Republican
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Marco Rubio has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2016, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Illinois Citizens for Life (
  • "I am pro-life. As a state legislator, I supported various pieces of pro-life legislation that, among other things, would require doctors to perform ultrasounds before performing abortions and another bill that would ban the use of taxpayer dollars to fund stem cell research." (
  • "I believe that Roe v. Wade was not only morally wrong, but it was a poorly decided legal precedent and should be overturned. I have a record of supporting pro-life policies, and will continue to do so in public and private life." (
No Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "That taxing successful people, overregulating job creators and pouring more money into outdated government programs doesn't actually help struggling people achieve the 21st century American Dream." (
  • "We have a tax code that punishes American companies for competing in the global economy." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Washington Post "I personally believe that legalizing drugs would be a great mistake and that any reductions in sentences for drug crimes should be made with great care." (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "To lift more Americans into the middle class, we need to move forward with a 21st century agenda that ensures an equality of opportunity, not one that doubles down on outdated proposals to tax and spend more." (
  • "We successfully built a national highway system in the last century, but now we need local flexibility to address our diverse nation's many different needs and problems. The federal gas tax feeds Washington's overspending. Transportation dollars are taken from the states and funnelled through a Highway Trust Fund that is pillaged every year by Washington special interests. And decades-old federal red tape adds cost and stands in the way of innovative solutions." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Perhaps no function of the U.S. government is more antiquated and dysfunctional than its tax system, so we are joining together to propose a federal tax-reform plan that will remove obstacles to investment, innovation, growth and opportunity. The current tax code taxes too much, taxes unfairly, and conspires with our outmoded welfare system to trap poor families in poverty, rather than facilitate their climb into the middle class. Our reforms seek to simplify the structure and lower rates. How? By consolidating the many existing income tax brackets into two simple brackets--15% and 35%--and eliminating or reforming deductions, especially those that disproportionately benefit the privileged few at everyone else's expense." (
  • "Instead of trying to manipulate our tax code to punish success, President Obama should work with Congress to fundamentally reform our tax code in ways that will grow our entire economy and provide relief to all families. Instead of rewarding repressive, anti-American regimes like Cuba and Iran with undeserved concessions that legitimize and enrich them, he should condition normalized relations on real, irreversible results that protect U.S. national security interests, safeguard human rights and ensure greater political freedoms." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While the Every Student Succeeds Act takes important steps in restoring some control over education decisions back to the States, it does not go far enough. Unfortunately, the bill does not grant States autonomy in all education decisionmaking, expands the Federal Government's role in pre-K, and fails to include important measures that broaden school choice. Due to these shortcomings, I am unable to lend my support to this bill." (
  • Tampa Bay Times "Common Core started out as a well-intentioned effort to develop more rigorous curriculum standards. […] However, it is increasingly being used by the Obama Administration to turn the Department of Education into what is effectively a national school board. This effort to coerce states into adhering to national curriculum standards is not the best way to help our children attain the best education. Empowering parents, local communities and the individual states is the best approach." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • "I look forward to continuing close cooperation with Canada on mutual interests through projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline and the policies needed to keep our citizens safe." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Mr. President, six years is too long. We urge you to approve the Keystone XL pipeline immediately." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Seeking to develop alternative energy technologies is a necessary goal in the long-term, but it is not sufficient for our nation's current and foreseeable needs." (
  • "Instead of higher energy bills and job losses, the American people deserve a comprehensive, job-creating energy policy that promotes energy efficiency, alternative energy production and the development of our own natural resources." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "At a time when our economy is struggling, a cap-and-trade scheme would further strain family budgets and destroy jobs. Creating jobs in the energy sectors and becoming more energy efficient requires entrepreneurial innovation, not big government mandates." (
  • Voted in favor of S.J.Res.27 "Disapproval of EPA Cross-Border Pollution Rule" (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S.Amdt.719 "Authorizes Reciprocity for the Carrying of Certain Concealed Firearms" (
  • Rated 100% by National Rifle Association (
  • " I oppose Dr. Murthy's nomination because he has never served in the uniformed services, and one of the primary duties of the Surgeon General is to command the entire Commissioned Corps of uniformed public health officers. I am opposed to his advocacy efforts to weaken the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans as enshrined in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution;" (
  • "Like the rest of our Constitution, I believe the 2nd Amendment is a cornerstone of our democracy. I believe the right to bear arms is a constitutionally protected right. The right of citizens to defend themselves by bearing arms is a fundamental human right that should be protected." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Hi, I'm U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. You know, anniversaries are usually a happy occasion. But there's one we commemorate today that is not -- the passage of ObamaCare in Congress. As we warned back then when the bill was being deliberated, if this bill passed it would disrupt our entire health care market place. And that's, in fact, what it's done." (
  • "As President, Marco will repeal Obamacare and strengthen Medicare" (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3762 "Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015" (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Legal immigration has been a great source of strength and prosperity for America, but I believe illegal immigration threatens the foundation of this system. If I had been in the Senate at the time, I would have opposed the McCain-Kennedy bill. I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing the border, fixing the visa and entry process and opposing amnesty in any reform." (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of S.744 "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act" (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 0% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "That is the definition of marriage that I personally support -- not because I seek to discriminate against people who love someone of the same sex, but because I believe that the union of one man and one woman is a special relationship that has proven to be of great benefit to our society, our nation and our people, and therefore deserves to be elevated in our laws." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "First and foremost, we need to move now to degrade ISIS’s capabilities. The President’s decision to send 300 advisers to Iraq is a good first step, but their ability to deter ISIS will be limited unless we eventually engage in airstrikes to target their leaders as well as the supply lines that they use to transfer weapons and fighters between Syria and Iraq." (
  • "On the military front, Marco will: Build a multinational coalition of countries willing to send troops into Iraq and Syria with embedded U.S. forces and U.S. logistical and intelligence support to aid local fighters on the ground in destroying ISIS safe havens; Expand airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, deploying forward air controllers to call in air support; Develop a plan to oust Bashar al-Assad from power, including ramping up training of Syrian rebels to fight both Assad and ISIS and to establish safe zones within Syria; Provide arms directly to Sunni tribal and Kurdish forces if Baghdad fails to support them." (
Yes Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Review "In 2005, Pres. George W. Bush understood that entitlements were a ticking time bomb and called for bipartisan action to make Social Security solvent for future generations. Democrats demagogued Bush’s plan, falsely claiming the system was in no danger of insolvency, and instilled fear in the public by claiming Bush wanted to completely 'privatize' Social Security. Congressional Republicans, more concerned about their own careers than about saving entitlements, waved the white flag and allowed President Bush to fight alone in a public-relations battle he lost decisively. As they should have been, many of those congressional Republicans were swept out of office in the 2006 elections, after showing they lacked the will to address the nation’s critical challenges." (
  • Rated 4% by Alliance for Retired Americans (


Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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