Sen. Marco Rubio said that if the Republican Party is going to be successful in the future, it needs to build “a multiethnic, multiracial, working-class coalition.”
Rubio said that following President Trump’s apparent defeat in the presidential election, Republicans need to rebrand their party with a smaller focus on being the party of big business and instead emphasize how they can make free markets work for the working class, according to Axios.
“The free market exists to serve our people,” Rubio said. “Our people don’t exist to serve the free market.”
Rubio, who said he has not discounted a 2024 presidential run, pointed to the fact that the election was not the resounding disavowal of Trump and the Republican Party writ large that pollsters and Democratic operatives had anticipated. Despite a presumptive loss, Trump’s more than 72 million votes, according to ABC News, represented the second-largest share of votes ever received by a presidential candidate.
Republicans are also poised to retain control of the Senate, pending two January runoff elections in Georgia. And Republicans even made gains in the House, flipping at least 12 previously Democratic-held seats, according to the Guardian.
Rubio said that people are “very suspicious, quite frankly dismissive, of elites at every level,” which had shifted their sentiments against the interests of big business and unfettered markets. “Obviously, that’s a powerful sentiment.”
Rubio is not the only Republican to emphasize a reprioritization of Republican messaging.
Ahead of Election Day, Sen. Ted Cruz said, “I think the Republican Party is and should be the party of jobs.” He also said that shifting demographics across the country will lead to new coalition-building by both parties.
“We’re seeing nationally two crosscutting demographic trends,” Cruz told MSNBC. “One, we’re seeing blue-collar voters, union households moving right. That’s moving Midwestern states more Republican. The same time, we’re seeing suburban voters and, in many cases, suburban women, moving left. And that’s moving big suburban states like Arizona, like Texas, like Georgia — are all getting more purple. And so, both of those are coming together in this election, and how those intersect I think will really decide the election.”
David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote as much in August.
“The working class is the heart of the Republican Party,” Brooks wrote. “The party needs to stop catering to the corporate class and start focusing on the shop owners, the plumbers, the salaried workers.”