By Greg Clary
(CNN) -- Sen. Marco Rubio used his first visit this election cycle to New Hampshire, a key primary state, to take apparent shots at a potential 2016 presidential opponent -- Hillary Clinton.
The Floridian was speaking Friday night to fellow Republicans at the Granite State's "Freedom Founders" dinner, an annual event held by the Rockingham County Republican Committee.
Although Rubio didn't mention Clinton by name, he said: "They're threatening to nominate someone now who wants to take us to the past, to an era that is gone and is never coming back. The 20th century is gone. We live in the 21st century, a time of extraordinary challenges but also extraordinary opportunities. And that's where our party must step in."
Rubio also took criticized President Barack Obama and Democrats, accusing them of failed economic policies that let the middle class down.
"The extraordinary irony is the man who is now in the White House and his party actively campaigned six years ago on the promise that they would work for these people," Rubio said.
Rubio toyed with the idea of running for president in 2012 but ultimately decided against it. If he decides to run for 2016, he has a tough road to climb. In a CNN/ORC International survey released this week, only 6% of Republicans picked Rubio as their favorite in the next presidential race. The field of possible candidates is crowded, though: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul topped the survey, each with just 13% support.
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