Republican heavyweight visits Richmond

Posted at 11:39 AM, Mar 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-02 12:40:02-05

Richmond, Va (WTVR) - The Richmond Convention Center on Broad St. was buzzing this morning with Republican supporters of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  With him was Republican heavyweight and rumored GOP vice president candidate Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

A Cantor spokesperson says this morning's breakfast fundraiser brought out nearly 1,800 people, 300 more than last year. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was the guest speaker then.

McDonnell is also being talked about as a top contender for a Vice President spot for whoever wins the GOP nomination for president.

This year, Cantor brought in Rubio as the fundraiser’s keynote speaker.  Rubio is a rising Republican star and favorite of many Tea Party members.  He and Congressman Cantor have a history since Cantor endorsed Rubio during last year's election in Florida where he beat Gov. Charlie Crist in the primary.

Virginia is considered a swing state in the upcoming presidential election, and it's been a state in the national spotlight recently with conservative legislation being strongly debated and pushed through at the General Assembly.

Sen. Rubio believes Virginia Republicans are doing the right thing in pressing stricter abortion laws.

"One of our fundamental rights that are protected under the Declaration of Independence are the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Rubio.  “But you can't pursue liberty or happiness without life.  So I think that's what they're trying to protect.  We have a similar law in Florida to the one you had a debate about recently.  At the end of the day I think life is a fundamental issue."

Congressman Cantor says while people across the nation may be talking about social issues being debated in Virginia, they shouldn't look past how well the state is doing financially when compared to struggling states.

"We have a great example in our Governor Bob McDonnell in allowing Virginia to lead,” said Cantor.  “And I think that's why so many people are excited about the upcoming election season, that we can put out there the ideas we have about job creation and growth."

We asked Sen. Rubio if he felt there was any competition between himself and Gov. McDonnell as possible vice presidential candidates.  “I'm not going to do it so there is no competition,” said Rubio.  "The Governor is doing a great job."