Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio made clear today he does not dispute scientific evidence of the earth’s age. “It’s established pretty definitively as at least four and a half billion years old,” said the Senator as he was being interviewed by Politico reporter Mike Allen during a breakfast event sponsored by the site. At the same time, Senator Rubio reiterated his faith; the Senator is a practicing Catholic. “The more science learns, the more I am convinced that God is real,’” continued the Florida Senator at the breakfast interview.
A recent interview Rubio gave to GQ magazine generated ample headlines when he was asked how old the earth was, and he answered, “‘I’m not a scientist, man,” and then said it was a mystery whether the planet was “7 days old” or “seven actual eras.” This was roundly criticized by many as an example of some in the religious right not acknowledging science and equating the scientific record with creationism.
Rubio’s remarks today, in fact, are aligned with what the Vatican has said. At a Vatican-sponsored conference to mark the 15o years of Darwin’s theory of evolution, Vatican cardinal William Levada said there was a ‘wide spectrum of room’ for the belief in evolution and God.
The Florida Republican Senator, who is widely seen as a Republican ‘rising star’ and who is being closely watched regarding the 2016 national political scene, spoke at the breakfast about the Republican party’s need to do a better job of connecting conservative policies to the realities of working families across the country. Senator Rubio said there was not one particular reason why the party did not connect with voters in the recent election.
Senator Rubio reiterated, however, his view that “free enterprise and limited government are the only way to grow the middle class” and it is up to his party to make that argument to voters. “I think we’re one election away from being able to do that,” he remarked, adding, “The fastest-growing group are voters that vote for candidates, not parties.”
The Florida Senator also said the Republican party has to change its tone on immigration, and have to go from being seen as the “anti-illegal party” to the “pro-legal party.”