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Rubio: "Minimum wage laws have never worked"

(CBS News) Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. -- the man recently dubbed the "Republican savior" by Time magazine -- delivered the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union.

Top White House advisers called the the president's speech practical and ambitious, but Republicans claimed many of his ideas fell flat and pressed for details on the president's budget plan.

Rubio agreed with the president on certain issues, but drove home Republican opposition to his economic proposals, claiming that Obama considers a free enterprise economy as "the cause of our problems."

Wednesday morning, the Florida senator continued his argument on "CBS This Morning," and addressed President Obama's model for economic growth, namely his call for a minimum wage increase, to $9.

"I support people making more than $9. I want people to make as much as they can. I don't think the minimum wage law works," Rubio said. "We all support -- I certainly do -- having more taxpayers, having more people who are employed. I want people to make a lot more than $9 - $9 is not enough. The problem is you can't do that by mandating minimum wage laws. Minimum wage laws have never worked in terms of having the middle class have more prosperity ... let's have a debate about growth and what generates growth because a minimum wage law ... is not the way to do it."

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Rubio's also took on the president's call for stricter gun laws, saying that while "our heart is broken" for the families of the victims of the Newtown shooting "everything the president is proposing would do nothing to prevent Newtown and would do nothing to prevent further violence in the future."

"The people who commit these gun crimes, they don't care what the law is. They don't follow the laws ... and I also think they undermine the right of law-abiding citizens to possess arms via the Second Amendment."

While a vote on new immigration policies has yet to take place, Rubio said he feels a sense of urgency to do so. "I've been here for two years. This is an issue that hasn't been solved in 25 years ... I'm involved in an effort now to try to come up with a reasonable solution, spent a lot of time on that issue."

Rubio also addressed the "water bottle moment" -- the biggest headline from his speech around the Internet was arguably when he reached for a water bottle, 11 minutes into the speech.

He explained that it was not nerves, but rather, "When you talk a lot it happens ... it had been a long day of work. I had already taped an 18 minute speech in Spanish. I'm just glad the water was nearby, I don't know what I would have done without it."

Rubio turned to other key issues for the GOP, including the the repeal of the military's "Dont' Ask, Don't Tell" policy. "That happened before I was even in the Senate. We're not going to change it," he said. "I don't think it's undermining military readiness ... it's a decision that we should listen to the military commanders on, not the politicians."

The senator recently voted against the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act and he defended his vote, telling CBS News' Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose, "I'm not opposed to the Violence against Women act. I would vote gladly to reauthorize the law we have right now. I voted against it because it has a provision in there against Florida ... it basically mandates that the state must spend certain money in certain ways ... it undermines domestic violence programs in Florida that work very well."

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