Marco Rubio dishes on China policy, laments lack of jobs for young men

Speaking on the 13th and Park Show with Adam Goodman, Rubio ponders solutions to tough problems.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio kicks off the second season of Ballard Partners’ “13th & Park” show.

In the new episode, Florida’s senior Senator touches on everything from China and North Korea to artificial intelligence and even the Miami Dolphins and rapper Eminem. 

The first nearly 10 minutes of the 30-minute episode — available as a podcast and on YouTube — centers on China. 

“America now faces for the first time since the end of the Cold War a near-peer adversary, meaning another great power (which) is competing with us economically, technologically, militarily, across the board,” Rubio says in the interview. 

He touches on an all-too-familiar conundrum — that most Americans revel in the idea of free-market capitalism. Still, that same ideology holds that making things like medicine in China is cheaper, even if that’s not in Americans’ best interest. 

Instead, Rubio said American politicians, as well as the greater American populous, need to be more willing to make changes that may be uncomfortable. 

That’s why he said he targeted TikTok, noting that while it is an important China-related topic, it’s not even in the Top 10.

“If we as a society cannot bring ourselves to do something to control a social media app because people like it, how are we going to do any of these more difficult things?” Rubio pondered.

The episode also dives into North Korea’s recent mock nuclear test against the U.S., with Rubio lamenting the nation as “expansionist” rather than just looking to “keep Kim Jong Un in power for the rest of his life.” Rubio called North Korea a “bizarre” nation with no economy and starving people. He referred to Un as an “evil leader.”

Domestically, Rubio weighed in on a familiar topic for him — expanding job opportunities in trade industries, particularly for young men. 

He said too many people go to college only to find their job prospects when graduating are not much better and groused that technology has left too many people behind as more jobs require some tech or computer background. 

But perhaps the most entertaining part of the interview came around the second half when Rubio started in on sports. That includes the time he caught a bullet — what he described as an ultimately bad pass — from former Miami Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino. 

13th & Park is hosted by Ballard Partner’s Adam Goodman, who also created and directed what initially began as a podcast. Fabian Pacheco produces the show, now a multimedia program reflecting Goodman’s decades in filmmaking. 

Previous guests on the show have included U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, media personalities Juan Williams and Jon Ralston, political prognosticator Larry Sabato, and sports announcer Johnny Holliday, among others. 

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • JD

    September 12, 2023 at 7:11 am

    He could sponsor some bills that create more vocational schools and trade apprenticeship programs.

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 13, 2023 at 4:49 am

    Who is Marco Rubio? A damn loser! A high schooler could do a better job! Rubio, the silent, adult rep is too afraid to lead or to act as a leader in needed changes. ! Get out Marco Rubio!

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