Sen. Marco Rubio insisted on Sunday he wasn't referring to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's age when he called her a "20th century candidate" last month.
"You can be 40 years old and be a 20th century candidate," Rubio said on "Fox News Sunday." His reference, he said, dealt more with the fact that America's challenges have rapidly changed in the last decade.
Most of the Democratic Party, and some of members of Rubio's Republican Party, are still applying 20th century solutions, the Florida senator said.
Rubio is touted as a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, and Clinton is by far the favorite on the Democratic side. His words may well be intended to provide himself as an alternative to Clinton and the rest of the Republican field.
Rubio said the United States now has more global competition for investment, innovation and talent, but our laws and regulations are making us less competitive. There is also more need for higher education, but it is more difficult to achieve.
The world is not just in a cyclical downturn in the economy, he said. "We are going through the equivalent of an industrial revolution every five years."
Rubio also addressed concerns that he has changed his approach to immigration reform because his poll numbers have dropped since supporting a pathway to citizenship last year. Rubio said he now favors moving in stages simply because it is impossible to get enough Republican votes for everything at once.
"I didn't get elected to maintain good poll numbers," he said.
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