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Rubio Focuses On Economic Agenda, Foreign Relations At Speech In Palm Beach

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PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) — Senator Marco Rubio wants young people to be prepared for 21st century jobs and innovation–that was the focus of his speech to the Palm Beach Republican Club on Wednesday afternoon.

Specifically, Rubio wants to rein in the costs of college, increase the opportunity for those with two year and vocational degrees as well as making sure college students know what they’re facing before borrowing tens of thousands of dollars.

“It’s gotten so expensive and to some people it’s become completely inaccessible because they have kids to raise and they have to work full-time,” Rubio told CBS 4’s Carey Codd in a one-on-one interview. “They don’t have the time or the money to go back to school. We’ve got to make sure that we can overcome that.”

Rubio, who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been playing a prominent role in the Senate regarding political and civil unrest in Venezuela. Rubio wants sanctions against some of those in the regime of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

“There are people in Venezuela that are stealing money from the people of Venezuela and investing it here in Florida,” Rubio said.  “We should be sanctioning those individuals.”

Likewise, Rubio is keeping close watch on the developing crisis in Crimea and believes Russia — and the rest of the world — must know that in 2014 you cannot simply take sovereign land by force.

“There has to be real consequences for what Russia has done,” Rubio said. “If there aren’t consequences then what we’ve created in the 21st century is a precedent that with raw, military power you are able to redraw borders and take over some other country’s land. And that creates a very dangerous precedent not just in Europe but potentially in Asia as well.”

All these events are unfolding as speculation swirls over whether Rubio will make a run for President in 2016. He was non-committal.

“There’s a host of factors involved in that — family considerations and whether there’s things I want to continue to do in the Senate or if there’s another office that’s better fitted for that but that’s a decision that’s about 12 months away,” Rubio said. “We’ll make it then.”

Rubio will spend time tonight on Palm Beach at two fundraisers. He is expected to be in his Miami office for meetings tomorrow.

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