Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and 2016 presidential candidate, speaks during a town hall meeting at the Pella Golf and Country Club in Pella, Iowa, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and 2016 presidential candidate, speaks during a town hall meeting at the Pella Golf and Country Club in Pella, Iowa, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.  Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Marco Rubio Promises to Reverse Obama's Planned Gun Limits

Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is promising that he would reverse President Obama’s executive action on gun rights on his first day in the White House, his latest play at New Hampshire’s deeply pro-gun Republicans.

Speaking Sunday evening in the Granite State, Rubio cast the man he hopes to replace in the White House as someone trampling the Constitution. Rubio’s remarks came hours before Obama was set on Monday to announce new moves to strengthen background checks that would-be gun buyers face.

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“He has waged war on the Constitution,” Rubio told a packed crowd late Sunday in Raymond, N.H. “He is obsessed with gun control.” Obama’s moves were “meant to further erode the Second Amendment” and deny Americans the rights given by God, he argued. “I believe that every single American has a Constitution—and therefore God-given right—to defend themselves and their families,” Rubio said.

Rubio’s comments reflect not just national Republicans’ broad distrust of Obama but also New Hampshire Republicans’ deep commitment to gun rights. It’s a smart move for Rubio, whose campaign is increasingly visible in New Hampshire and in Iowa after months of keeping a low profile while building a political machine to challenge better-polling rivals such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Read More: President Obama to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Gun Violence

Making his way through a snowy Sunday schedule, Rubio repeatedly criticized Obama’s plans to curb access to firearms designed to reduce gun violence. Like his rivals for the GOP nomination, Rubio said the moves were too aggressive and unlikely to make any difference. He cast it as the latest in a string of Obama’s “illegal and unconstitutional” orders, which are highly unpopular among conservative voters who pick the GOP nominee.

“Law-abiding gun owners are not the problem in this country. The problem are criminals, and criminals don’t care what laws you pass,” Rubio said. “You can pass all the gun laws in the world that you want. It will not stop the criminals.”

He noted the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., would have passed the tougher background checks Obama is expected to push. “They had never before done anything before,” Rubio said.

Gun sellers already must do criminal background checks, but vendors who participate in gun shows can skirt those requirements. Obama is scheduled to meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to get an update on her three-month review of gun laws and is expected to tighten Americans’ access to guns through executive action.

While criticizing Obama’s moves, Rubio said they would be temporary. “Don’t worry,” Rubio said. “On my first day in office, behind that desk, don’t worry, those orders are gone.”

Read Next: Chris Christie Shifts Focus to Iowa, Betting Big on Governor’s Team

Marco Rubio's Life in Pictures

Marco Rubio and his father outside his parents first home in Miami, Fla., 1972.
Marco Rubio and his father outside his parents first home in Miami, Fla., 1972.Courtesy Senator Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio and his father outside his parents first home in Miami, Fla., 1972.
Marco Rubio in 6th grade.
Marco Rubio during the Southern Nevada youth football conference, Yesco Cavaliers in Las Vegas, Nev., 1982
High school photograph of Marco Rubio from his 1989 yearbook.
South Miami Senior High yearbook photo of Marco Rubio in 1989.
From right Marco Rubio with his mother and sister Veronica during his graduation from the University of Miami law school in 1996. Veronica graduated from Florida international university bachelor’s degree.
Marco Rubio with his wife, Jeanette and his parents on his wedding day on Oct. 17, 1998.
Jeanette Rubio and Marco Rubio holding their youngest child Amanda Rubio in 2000.
Then representative Marco Rubio talks with a colleague during House session on April 1, 2004, in Tallahassee, Fla. At age 32, Rubio was one of the youngest legislators.
Marco Rubio greets Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, on his way to being sworn in as the new speaker of the Florida House on Nov. 21, 2006, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Vice President Joe Biden swears in Senator Marco Rubio to the U.S. Senate, on Jan. 5, 2010, in Washington, D.C. as his wife, Jeanette Rubio looks on.
Marco Rubio with his son, Anthony Rubio, father, Mario Rubio and daughter Amanda Rubio as he signs election documents officially qualifying him as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate on April 27, 2010 in Miami, Fla.
From left, Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek greet each other before the start of their debate at the studios of WESH-TV in Winter Park, Fla., on Oct. 26, 2010.
Then Florida Republican U.S. Senate nominee Marco Rubio celebrates with his family after winning the election on Nov. 2, 2010, in Coral Gables, Fla.
Marco Rubio and his sons Anthony, 5, right, and Dominic, 3, make their way to a swearing in ceremony for the 112th Congress in the Old Senate Chamber on Jan. 5, 2011.
Courtesy Senator Marco Rubio Senator Marco Rubio during a visit to the El Paso sector of the United States/Mexico border on Nov. 4, 2011.
Senator Marco Rubio Book Signing at Books And Books
Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with Senator Marco Rubio while flying from Pensacola to Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 27, 2012.
Senator Marco Rubio listens to a question alongside Senator John McCain, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Dick Durbin during a press conference on an agreement for principles on comprehensive immigration reform framework at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 28, 2013.
Marco Rubio and his father outside his parents first home in Miami, Fla., 1972.
Courtesy Senator Marco Rubio
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