Potential presidential candidate headlines GOP event in Anderson - FOX Carolina 21

Potential presidential candidate headlines GOP event in Anderson

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R, FL, at Anderson GOP fundraiser (Aug. 26, 2014/FOX Carolina) Sen. Marco Rubio, R, FL, at Anderson GOP fundraiser (Aug. 26, 2014/FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL was heckled by immigration protestors while speaking at Rep. Jeff Duncan's annual Faith and Freedom Barbecue fundraiser in Anderson Monday night.

A group of protesters in the crowd at the Anderson Civic Center interrupted the Florida senator's speech multiple times. Rubio, who is a potential presidential candidate, was the keynote speaker.

The fundraising party was organized by U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan of Anderson, who is running for a third term representing the Upstate.

Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who are also running for re-election, were in attendance along with more than 1,000 people.

Rubio addressed a group of protesters holding a large banner in the corner of the room. The group chanted messages supporting illegal immigration.

The protesters were escorted out by security guards. Rubio said he sympathized with hecklers demanding immigration reform.

"Every single year one million human beings immigrate legally to the United States of America," Rubio said. "There is no other country that does that. This is a sovereign country that deserves to have immigration laws."

Rubio, whose parents left Cuba in the 1950s, mentioned his childhood as part of a family of immigrants during his address.

Rubio has been trying to recover from his failed push for an immigration overhaul. He helped write the bipartisan immigration overhaul that passed the Senate but stalled in the House as some Republicans balked.

Rubio said he has not decided whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Monday's event in Anderson has become a go-to stop for Republicans with strong national profiles and potential presidential contenders.

Last year, another potential GOP presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, spoke at Duncan's fundraiser.

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