West Palm Beach —
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio kicked off his 24-city book tour at the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach Saturday morning, greeting an estimated 200 supporters.
Rubio, R-Fla., avoided questions about his status as a vice presidential candidate for Mitt Romney in the November presidential election.
He did, however, comment on other topics, including patriotism, tort reform, the Dream Act and Thursday’ Supreme Court decision upholding health care reform.
Rubio called the decision “bad for America.”
“I disagree with the decision they reached,” he said of the Court, which voted 5-4 to affirm the Affordable Care Act. “You need to look no further than the fact that the average American family who’s uninsured will end up paying a $2,000 tax beginning by 2016. This is a tax, and it’s a terrible one.”
Rubio also had harsh words for President Obama, criticizing him for his inability to grow the economy while in office.
“Things are not better today than they were four years ago,” he said.
Rubio, whose recently released autobiography, An American Son, details his parents’ life in Cuba as well as his childhood in Miami and burgeoning political career, posed for photos and signed an estimated 400 copies of his book at the Palm Beach Bookstore.
The book already has made its way onto the New York Times best-seller list.
“It’s fantastic,” Rubio said of Saturday’s turnout. “I’m honored by it. I can’t believe one person wants to buy the book, much less the people that stood up here today. I put a lot of work into the book, and I hope the lessons in it will inspire people.”
Julie Scutti of Palm Beach Gardens was one of the first to arrive at Saturday’s tour stop, pulling up to the Palm Beach Bookstore around 7:30 a.m. She waited 90 minutes for the bookstore to open, purchased six books and then waited in line another hour for Rubio to appear.
“I was hoping to see him one more time before maybe he becomes the vice presidential nominee,” she said. “I’m a supporter. I worked on his campaign for a long time.”
Judith Cooley of Palm Beach, who purchased three copies of the senator’s 352-page book, also expressed her hopes for a potential Rubio vice presidency.
“I think he’s got a great future,” she said.
Rubio continued his book tour later Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Coral Springs. He will visit a total of 13 Florida cities before making stops in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. He’ll wind up the book tour July 7 in Virginia.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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