Meet the Press   |  April 14, 2013

Republican reform: Rubio talks party image overhaul

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio offers insight and analysis regarding the GOP’s efforts to reform its personality in American political culture.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the political problem the party faces, republicans face among minority communities, is so large if you look at the results from the 2012 election. you've spoken to it as have others and i wonder whether this is enough, the party's repositioning, your leading the way is enough to overcome those difficulties. colin powell was on the program earlier this year. he had some comments about the plight for the republican party and i want to get your response to them.

>> i think what the republican party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed. the country is changing demographically. and if the republican party does not change along with that demographic, they're going to be in trouble. there's also a dark -- a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. what do i mean by that? what i mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.

>> do you agree with that, and do you think that these efforts on immigration are enough to overcome it?

>> well, first of all, i don't agree the republican party characterized by intolerance or looking down on anybody and i respectfully disagree with someone i think has served our country admirably. obviously there's political ramifications to everything we do in washington, but it's not the rein to do it and it certainly isn't the reason i'm involved in doing this. i'm involved because i think what we have now is terrible for the united states of america . we have a legal immigration system that does not work. it does not reflect the economic needs of this country in the 21st century . it needs to be modernized and our agreement will do that. it will modernize the legal immigration system that is more merit based and jobs based and less based on whether you know someone who already lives here and that's an important development along with the ability for people to access is the workforce in the high-tech field, et cetera . the second thing this does, it puts in place effective enforcement mechanisms unlike anything we've ever had in the history of this country before. my last point on this, i think republicans need to do a better job reaching out to everyone in the united states . politics is always about getting the support of the majority of our people. and i think the best way to do that is is for the republican party to prove, as i think we can, that we are the party of upward mobility . we are not the party of the people who have made it. certainly we don't begrudge people who have made it. we secelebrate what they have done. in america we've always celebrated success. but we are the party for the people trying to make it, who are trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of their home who are trying to give their kids a better life . and the only way that's possible is through the american free enterprise system the democrats on the left are undermining.