Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., doled out attacks on President Obama tonight in a high-profile speech before South Carolina Republicans, laying out aggressive criticisms of the president as he called him the most “divisive figure” in American politics.

“The president and his party’s view of America’s government and our lives is a failed one. It hasn’t worked. His ideas that sounded so good in the classrooms of Harvard and Yale haven’t really worked out well in the real world,” Rubio said to applause at the South Carolina GOP’s Silver Elephant Dinner at the state fairgrounds here. “They get frustrated. They can’t win on their record, and so they’ve chosen to go down a different road, one that I think is destructive, counterproductive, and very unfortunate.

“For all the policy disagreements that we may have with the president, it is hard to understate how much he inspired people across this country four years ago, with his promises to unite America and lift it up,” Rubio said. “The man who today occupies the White House and is running for president is a very different person. We have not seen such a divisive figure in modern American history as we have over the last three and a half years.”