Photos by ACM Images and Matthew Vermillion
JENKS, OK – The scoreboard on the clock was set at 20 minutes and 16 seconds and the score was locked at 45 for the teams Marco and Rubio. Two thousand area Republicans filled the Frank Herald Fieldhouse to listen to Presidential candidate Marco Rubio make his case before polls open Tuesday morning. The energy was high and the room was warm while thousands of voters entered to a mixture of Christian, country and modern music.
After a prayer, pledge and national anthem, attendees waited for thirty minutes after a delay with Senator Rubio’s (R-FL) arrival after making a campaign stop in Putnam City. Once the Senator had arrived, surprise guest former Louisiana Governor and former Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal took the stage to express his support for Rubio . Jindal focused on the fundamental ideas of the Constitution and conservatism, proclaiming that, “The United States didn’t create religious liberty, religious liberty created the United States.” He also mentioned the importance of ensuring a conservative is nominated to fill the seat of Justice Scalia. Governor Jindal suggested that Trump would be more likely to nominate Judge Judy or one of his divorce lawyers than a conservative.
Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) took to the stage after Governor Jindal to introduce Rubio . Once on the stage, Rubio interacted with younger members of the crowd with ease and confidence. He began his remarks with a focus on the young conservatives within the Republican party, even mentioning some of his rivals and former rivals by name in showing the diversity in ages of the GOP. At 44, Rubio would be one of the youngest presidents elected and joked that the other party had Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both over 65 years old.
Rubio spent the majority of his time focusing on his chief rival, Donald Trump. He criticized his history with Trump University and painted his past as fraudulent. Additionally, he addressed the elephant in the room with Trump’s recent claims that he would have to do more research before condemning the KKK. Rubio was strong to declare there was no room in the Republican Party or the Conservative movement for Trump’s racist and divisive comments. While the room erupted in applause, the rest of the Republicans in the state may not agree. The latest NewsOn6 poll shows Trump still in a commanding lead with Rubio taking second and Senator Ted Cruz in third.
Super Tuesday voting for the Oklahoma Presidential primary begins in Oklahoma on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:00 am. You can find more information about the candidates on FortySix News 2016 Elections page.