Freshman Republican U.S. Sen. and presidential hopeful Marco Rubio was in Idaho Friday night to get some face time with Idaho's GOP elite at the party's annual summer meeting in Idaho Falls.
"I think you'll see more potential candidates visiting here soon," said Rubio. "I look forward to being back."
In particular Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, spoke about the need for reform of the immigration system, saying, "Change it from a family-based one to a merit-based one so that people are admitted to this country on the basis that they can contribute economically, not simply whether or not they have a relative living here."
Rubio is expected to face a significant challenge within his party when fellow Floridian and Republican Jeb Bush launches his own presidential campaign on Saturday, June 13.
"I think [Rubio] would have tremendous advantages to be a candidate. For example, he's in Florida and we're going to need Florida, OK?" Idaho Falls Rep. Linden Bateman told KIDK-TV. "He's young. ... He's Hispanic. ... And all this would kind of offset some of the advantages that Hillary Clinton has as being a woman and there's going to be a novelty to vote for the first woman [president].
The Idaho GOP summer meeting has a packed schedule Saturday, with regional meetings slated throughout the day, training for precinct committeemen and the annual meeting of the Idaho Republican Party State Central Committee.