The biggest surprise I had when I listened to Florida senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio at Town Hall Los Angeles Tuesday was that there was no mention of the immigration issue. In California, an epicenter of the immigration debate for decades, I expected someone to ask if Rubio’s view is changing or has changed again since he originally worked on the senate immigration reform then backed away.

There were no questions on the issue from the audience and Rubio did not bring it up in his prepared remarks.

Rubio spoke of America as a special place and proposed a new American Century saying there is no replacement for America on the world stage. You cannot have global prosperity without global security and only America can provide it, he said.

Questions from the audience were wide ranging from international issues (Rubio is against ending the Cuba embargo; with the Japanese ambassador in D.C., he said Japan did not go far enough to apologize for forcing “comfort women” into sexual slavery in World War II) to domestic questions (he wouldn’t oppose a state convention on limiting government and specified reforms to keep jobs in America.)

When asked about a convention of states to limit federal government power, he chose to focus on K-12 education, which he said should be a state and local responsibility. He was troubled by interference from the Federal government in education.

On the question of growing the economy, Rubio presented a three-part answer. He urged more education for those who want to pursue skilled labor positions. He supported the use of natural gas and the reduction of energy cost to benefit manufacturing. And, he argued for a change in the tax and regulatory systems.

Rubio focused on small business. He said entrepreneurs have a tough time getting started because many banks won’t loan to small business so capital is not available. He also said the tax and regulatory system hurts small business, multiple required permits and paperwork are obstacles to start a business, and small businesses should be able to expense investments immediately.

He also added the high cost of student loans as a detriment to small business. If a young worker is buried under debt he or she has to get a job to pay that debt instead of venturing out to start a business. Rubio has proposed a bill that colleges would have to tell prospective students how many graduates got a job in their field and what salary they received. Then the prospective students could calculate if the cost of the education is worth it.

Yes, Rubio touched on presidential politics saying this election is a generational choice. Not only an echo of John F. Kennedy’s “the torch is passed to a new generation” but to Bill Clinton’s campaigns running against former World War II veterans George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole.

Speaking of JFK, I was not the only one who commented on Sen. Rubio’s youthful appearance. He will turn 44 in a few weeks. He is actually older than JFK was when he was elected president. Did JFK look so young? Not to me at the time when I was a kid –he was old. Now that I’m old, Marco Rubio looks young.