Marco Rubio's Closing Statement From The GOP Debate Had Some High Stakes

On Thursday night, the four remaining candidates in the Republican presidential primary field took to the stage at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan, with some high stakes in play ― front-runner Donald Trump trying to hold his dominant leads, runners-up Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz gunning for him, and John Kasich continuing his non-combative, long-term plan to net delegates. The Florida senator was the one in the direst straits, however, given that he's only actually won one state. So why not read Marco Rubio's closing statement from the GOP debate, and see how well he closed the night out?

It was every bit as explosive an evening as the last couple weeks of campaigning would lead you to believe, with Rubio and Cruz going negative on Trump as the billionaire's path to the nomination has become more and more clear. As such, you'd expect him to come out with some fire, but that hasn't always been his strong suit ― he's delivered some very predictable and rote statements in the past. So it wasn't entirely predictable what kind of closing statement he decided to give ― would he play it safe, or swing for the fences? Here's how he closed things out on Thursday.

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I know this has been an unusual election cycle as it continues, and there's a lot of problems in America, and plenty of people are truly hurting. But this election is not just about confronting our problems, it's also about embracing our opportunities. I believe the 21st century holds the potential to be the greatest era in the history of the United States, if we get this election right, and if we ask now. If we do, if we do what needs to be done, we can leave our children as the freest and most prosperous Americans that have ever lived, and the 21st century can be the greatest era in the amazing story of America. So I ask everyone to vote for me, and join our effort at MarcoRubio.com.

The answer, as you can plainly see in his statement above, was "play it safe." Rubio spent much of the debate with his sights set squarely on Trump, and he delivered some very withering attacks. But when it came to his final pitch, he decided to rely on his typical stable of "new American century" rhetoric ― language he's used, in one form or another, in some of his previous closings too. It'll be fascinating to see whether he's able to gain any traction in his home state of Florida ― as it stands now, he's trailing in the polls by nearly 20 points.