MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Marco Rubio believes that if he were elected president he would be an instrument of God’s will.
“I think in anything we do in life that’s the case,” Rubio said during a recent interview on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. “I mean if you are a person of faith as I am, I believe that God controls everything that happens in our lives. And our job is to obviously be in peace…to know that all things that come from God are good, whether you understand or agree with them or not. And that’s hard. That’s one of the great challenges of faith is to believe that God loves us more than we can possibly imagine and he would never desire anything bad for us.
“But sometimes bad things happen to us for reasons we don’t understand because God’s plans are beyond man’s capabilities to comprehend. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a role to play. We have free will. We are called to cooperate in God’s plan in our lives as an individual.”
Rubio spoke to CBS4 News on the same day he released a new ad in Iowa called “Faith.”
The ad is designed to attract Evangelical voters and is unique because it is nothing more than the candidate talking about God.
“Our goal is eternity, the ability to live alongside our creator for all time,” Rubio says in the ad, set against a simple black backdrop. “To accept the free gift of salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ. The struggle on a daily basis as a Christian is to remind ourselves of this. The purpose of our life is to cooperate with God’s plan.”
With a little more than two weeks to go before the Iowa caucus, Rubio is currently third in most Iowa polls behind Donald Trump and fellow Senator Ted Cruz. Rubio is hoping to siphon off some of Cruz’s Evangelical support in Iowa and blunt any momentum Cruz is trying to build heading into New Hampshire and South Carolina next month.
“That ad is running in Iowa because a lot of people in Iowa want to know about my faith, they ask a lot about it,” Rubio said in the CBS4 News interview. “So we most certainly try to share that with them when possible.”
The ad, however, leaves out certain details of Rubio’s religious past, including a brief stint as a child in the Mormon Church or the fact that he is currently Roman Catholic.
“Well it’s a 30 second ad,” Rubio said. “It wasn’t a biographical ad it was an ad about my faith. At the end of the day I was actually born and raised Roman Catholic. We spent a few years in the Mormon Church as a young child and returned to the Roman Catholic faith, but I think that has been well documented.”
Asked how he would resolve conflicts between his faith and the Constitution, Rubio replied, “We live in a Republic so if there is a law we don’t agree with than we have a right and an ability to change that law because we live in a free society.
“If you are ever put into a position where you are forced to violate God’s law in your own life, in your own personal life, you are to resist that effort. But I believe we live in a Republic where if you don’t like what the law is we have an ability to change it and as long as we have that ability we should work through that process to change the law.”
One area where this has been an issue for Rubio is abortion. Rubio has been criticized for not making his views clear.
“I don’t think there is anybody who has been running who has been clearer on their position on life,” Rubio countered. “I’m pro-life. I believe all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws. I believe there should be an exception to save the life of the mother and while I don’t require there to be an exception for the other things people talk about, I’ll support a bill that has them. I have supported bills that have exceptions for rape and incest because I’m interested in protecting human life and as many of them I can save I’m going to support anything that does that.”
And if Congress were to pass a bill that made it to his desk outlawing abortion in all cases, even in the instances of rape and incest, would he sign it?
“I don’t require there to be exceptions,” he said.
Rubio went out of his way to stress that not only does he believe that life begins at conception, he said he believes life actually begins earlier in the process.
“I believe life begins at fertilization, when a human being is created and it is at that point that I believe it should have the protection of our laws,” he said.
The distinction is one used by supporters of the so-called Personhood Amendments, which convey all of the legal rights of being a person onto an unborn fetus. That view is also significant because there are forms of contraception, most notably the Plan B pill, that can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting on the wall of a uterus.
Rubio, however, said he would not seek to ban the pill.
“I’m not going to outlaw that and it’s available in many cases over the counter now,” he said.
If his faith, however, tells him it is wrong, why wouldn’t he seek to change the law?
“Yeah but that’s different from what you are personally asking me to personally violate,” he said. “That’s different from law that applies to everybody else. What I’m talking about is if the law compels me as an individual to violate my conscience, I should not be compelled by law to individually, me myself have to violate the law. But it doesn’t mean we have a calling to prevent everybody else from violating God’s laws. We personally should never be compelled to violate God’s laws in our own life.”
While he wouldn’t seek to force his religious views on others seeking the Plan B pill, he does believe it is imperative under his faith to change the laws as they relate to abortion.
“When it comes to the issue of life the broader scope that you’ve asked about, on the issue of life I believe our laws should be we protect all human life irrespective of what stage of development that life is in,” he said. “And I do believe I have a calling, and we all have a calling who believe that, to try and influence our laws in that direction.”
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