In a new television ad scheduled to launch this weekend in Iowa, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida speaks about his Christian faith and how religion influences his life, aiming straight at evangelical voters. "The struggle on a daily basis as a Christian is to remind ourselves of (salvation). The purpose of our life is to cooperate with God's plan," he proclaims.
Rubio, a practicing Catholic, is trying to tell Iowa's evangelical voters there is more than one candidate for them in the race, reports The New York Times.
"Our goal is eternity, the ability to live alongside our creator for all time," Rubio says in the 30-second spot.
"To accept the free gift of salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ."
Rubio currently is running third in Iowa behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and businessman Donald Trump in the latest RealClearPolitics average on recent polling of the 2016 GOP presidential race, reports The Washington Times.
"To those who much has been given, much is expected. And we will be asked to account for that. Were your treasures stored up on earth or in heaven? And to me, I try to allow that to influence me in everything that I do," he says in the spot.
Trump often emphasizes his own support among evangelical Christians, a crucially important voting bloc in the Hawkeye State. He also said recently that not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba. Rubio and Cruz are both Cuban-American.
Initial reactions to the sneak previews of the spot are mixed. A person who identified himself in social media Bpilgrim1 stated, "Well, that eliminates another interesting candidate."
Conversely, voters such as Linda Campbell Stricklin said Rubio is the "smart, common sense candidate this country needs as our next president. He will strengthen our military and give the ordinary citizen hope for the future."
Rubio has support of some key religious leaders, most notably the pastor Rick Warren, and recently added a religious advisory board to his campaign. However, the support of Paul Singer, a billionaire who has poured millions of dollars into gay rights causes, also has given evangelicals pause when it comes to Rubio, reports The New York Times.
Team Marco Iowa is holding a Day of Action volunteer event Saturday.