Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland March 14, 2013. Two senators seen as possible candidates for the 2016 presidential election will address a conservative conference where Republicans will try to regroup on Thursday after their bruising election loss last year. (Photo : REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
On Thursday, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, declaring that his views against marriage equality do not make him a "bigot" nor does his stance against women's reproductive rights mean he's a "chauvinist."
"Now in order to work together with people that you disagree with, there has to be mutual respect," said Rubio, a leading 2016 Republican presidential contender. "That means I respect people that disagree with me on certain things, but they have to respect me too."
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He continued, "Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me a bigot," said the GOP leader. "Just because we believe life, all life - all human life is worthy of protection at every stage in its development does not make you a chauvinist."
He then took shots at Liberals who believe in Climate Change stating, "In fact, the people that are really closed minded in American politics are the people that love to preach about the certainty of science in regard to our climate, but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception."
Also expected to speak at CPAC, an annual three day conference featuring the GOP's top political figures, is potential 2016 presidential candidates Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney along with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are also making appearances.