This Marco Rubio debate line shined in a Fox News focus group

Colin Campbell (ccampbell@businessinsider.com)
Marco Rubio: I'll Stop Picking on Philosophers Soon
Marco Rubio: I'll Stop Picking on Philosophers Soon

There was a clear winner in Tuesday night's Fox Business Network debate, according to a Fox News focus group conducted by veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz.

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A majority of participants declared that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida emerged the victor, and a several of them said they changed their support from other Republican presidential candidates, including Ben Carson and Jeb Bush, to Rubio.

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"I went from Carson to Rubio during this debate just because I liked his vision for America," one woman said. "I liked that he wants to put more money into the military."

%shareLinks-quote="For the life of me, I don't know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers. And if we do this, we will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans." type="quote" author="Marco Rubio" authordesc="presidential candidate" isquoteoftheday="false"%

"I was originally supporting Bush and I switched to Rubio because I liked his passion," a man added.

Asked to describe Rubio in a word or phrase, the people in the focus group said things like "eloquent," "passionate," "young," "very articulate," "slick," "inspirational," and "fresh."

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There was one moment in particular, according to Luntz, in which the participants' focus-group dials shot upward to indicate their approval: when Rubio delivered a powerful endorsement of vocational schools.

"For the life of me, I don't know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers. And if we do this, we will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans," Rubio said to loud applause.

The participants also reacted very favorably to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who accused the media and Washington elites of being disconnected from the economic impact of illegal immigration.

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