Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio took his campaign to Michigan on Thursday, to talk jobs with the Detroit Economic Club.
In a speech before a crowd of 300, Mr. Rubio outlined his plan to overhaul the US tax code, making a case for his plan by saying it would help revitalize struggling manufacturing centers like Detroit, allowing companies to raise wages and for workers to keep more of their paychecks.
The Florida senator released his economic plan, which his campaign calls “pro-growth and pro-family,” in early July. He reiterated those plans Thursday, calling for a corporate tax rate of 25 percent, to put America at pace with other developed countries, he said, and to allow firms to invest in new equipment and higher wages.
Rubio also touted his idea to allow corporations to expense all investments, which would lessen the tax burden; and he called for increasing the maximum per-child tax credit to $2,500, from the current $1,000 rate.
Detroit was an intentional choice by the GOP candidate to reiterate his economic proposals. Rubio connected the city’s hardships to his plans, saying “no city understands the pain of losing that dream – and the importance of restoring it – better than Detroit.”
"This city, truly the heart of the old economy, is the perfect place to discuss how we can embrace a new American economy," Rubio added.
Rubio, who at 44 is among the youngest in the field of 17 seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has made the modern economy the centerpiece of his presidential campaign. He frequently emphasizes America’s need to prepare for rapid technological advancement, its response to the rise of the sharing economy, and the changing role of traditional working-class jobs due to foreign competition and automation.
On Thursday, Rubio took government leaders in Washington to task for being slow to embrace innovation, and praised Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder for cutting corporate taxes and creating an entrepreneurial environment.
"As many of the business leaders in this room can attest, one of the biggest obstacles between Detroit and its future continues to be Washington, D.C.," he said.
The only other candidate Rubio mentioned was Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, whom he criticized for relying on more regulations, higher taxes, and bigger government.
Critics have deemed Rubio's outlook for the economy too optimistic, according to Reuters. Rubio has consistently stated the US economy can rebound from any job-loss crisis through innovation.
This report includes material from Reuters.