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Transcript of Sen. Marco Rubio's Republican National Convention speech

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30 2012 8:32 p.m. MDT

"It's a choice about what kind of country we want America to be.

"As we prepare to make this choice, we should remember what made us special. For most of history almost everyone was poor. Power and wealth belonged to only a few.

"Your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past.

"If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children.

"But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights. That power belongs to the people. That government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests.That we shouldn't be trapped in the circumstances of our birth. That we should be free to go as far as our talents and work can take us.

"We are special because we've been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We're bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.

"Special, because we've never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government.

"Our national motto is 'In God we Trust,' reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.

"And special because we've always understood the scriptural admonition that 'for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.'

"We are a blessed people. And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America.

"I know that for so many of you, these last few years have tested your faith in the promise of America.

"Maybe you are at an age when you thought you would be entering retirement. But now, because your savings and investments are wiped out, your future is uncertain.

"Maybe, after years of hard work, this was the time you expected to be your prime earning years. But instead, you've been laid off, and your house is worth less than your mortgage.

"Maybe you did everything you were told you needed to do to get ahead. You studied hard and finished school. But now, you owe thousands of dollars in student loans. You can't find a job in your field. And you've moved back in with your parents.

"You want to believe we're still that place where anything is possible. But things just don't seem to be getting better. And you are starting to wonder if things will ever be the same again.

"Yes, we live in a troubled time. But the story of those who came before us reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings.

"And Mitt Romney is running for president because he knows that if we are willing to do for our children what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been.

"My mother was one of seven girls whose parents went to bed hungry so their children wouldn't. My father lost his mother when he was nine. He left school and went to work for the next 70 years.

"They emigrated to America with little more than the hope of a better life.

"My dad was a bartender. My mom was a cashier, a maid and a stock clerk at K-Mart. They never made it big. They were never rich. And yet they were successful. Because just a few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that had been impossible for them.

"Many nights I heard my father's keys jingling at the door as he came home after another 16-hour day. Many mornings, I woke up just as my mother got home from the overnight shift at K-Mart.

"When you're young, the meaning of moments like these escapes you. But now, as my own children get older, I understand it better.

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