Marco Rubio

Marco Antonio Rubio (born May 28, 1971) is an American attorney and politician currently serving as the senior United States Senator from Florida. A Republican, Rubio previously served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Rubio unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016, winning presidential primaries in the State of Minnesota, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Rubio is a Cuban American from Miami, Florida. After serving as a city commissioner for West Miami in the 1990s, he was elected to represent the 111th district in the Florida House of Representatives in 2000. Subsequently, he was elected Speaker of the Florida House, and was Speaker for two years beginning in November 2006. Upon leaving the Florida legislature in 2008 due to term limits, Rubio taught at Florida International University.

Rubio successfully ran for the United States Senate in 2010. In April 2015, Rubio announced that he would forego seeking re-election to the Senate to run for president. He suspended his campaign for president on March 15, 2016, after losing the Florida Republican primary to the eventual winner of the presidential election, Donald Trump. On June 22, 2016, Rubio reversed his decision not to seek re-election to the Senate; he went on to win a second term later that year.

Marco Rubio
Senator Rubio official portrait
United States Senator
from Florida
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Rick Scott
Preceded byGeorge LeMieux
Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byJim Risch
94th Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
In office
November 21, 2006 – November 18, 2008
Preceded byAllan Bense
Succeeded byRay Sansom
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 111th district
In office
January 25, 2000 – November 7, 2008
Preceded byCarlos Valdes
Succeeded byErik Fresen
Personal details
Born
Marco Antonio Rubio

May 28, 1971 (age 47)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Children4
EducationTarkio College
Santa Fe College
University of Florida (BA)
University of Miami (JD)
Signature
Marco Rubio's signature
WebsiteSenate website

Early life, education, and entry into politics

Marco Antonio Rubio was born in Miami, Florida,[1] the second son and third child of Mario Rubio Reina[2] and Oriales (née Garcia) Rubio. His parents were Cubans who immigrated to the United States in 1956, prior to the rise of Fidel Castro in January 1959.[3] His mother made at least four return trips to Cuba after Castro's takeover, including a month-long trip in 1961.[3] Neither of Rubio's parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of Rubio's birth,[4][5] but his parents applied for U.S. citizenship and were naturalized in 1975.[3] Some relatives of Rubio's were admitted to the U.S. as refugees.[6]

Rubio's maternal grandfather, Pedro Victor Garcia, immigrated to the U.S. legally in 1956, but returned to Cuba to find work in 1959.[7] When he fled communist Cuba and returned to the U.S. in 1962 without a visa,[8] he was detained as an undocumented immigrant and an immigration judge ordered him to be deported.[7][9] Immigration officials had a change of heart later that day, the deportation order was not enforced, and Garcia was given a legal status of "parolee" that allowed him to stay in the U.S.[10][11][12] Garcia re-applied for permanent resident status in 1966 following passage of the Cuban Adjustment Act, at which point his residency was approved.[10] Rubio enjoyed a close relationship with his grandfather during his childhood.[10]

Rubio has three siblings: older brother Mario, older sister Barbara (married to Orlando Cicilia), and younger sister Veronica (formerly married to entertainer Carlos Ponce).[13] Growing up, his family was Roman Catholic, though from age 8 to age 11 he and his family attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while living in Las Vegas.[14] During those years in Nevada, his father worked as a bartender at Sam's Town Hotel and his mother as a housekeeper at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino.[15] He received his first communion as a Catholic in 1984 before moving back to Miami with his family a year later. He was confirmed and later married in the Catholic Church.[16][17]

Rubio attended South Miami Senior High School, graduating in 1989. He attended Tarkio College in Missouri for one year on a football scholarship before enrolling at Santa Fe Community College (now Santa Fe College) in Gainesville, Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Florida in 1993 and his J.D. degree cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1996.[18][19] Rubio has said that he incurred $100,000 in student loans. He paid off those loans in 2012.[20]

While studying law, Rubio interned for U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.[21] He also worked on Republican Senator Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.[22][23] In April 1998, two years after finishing law school, Rubio was elected to a seat as City Commissioner for West Miami. He became a member of the Florida House of Representatives in early 2000.[24][25]

Florida House of Representatives

Marco Rubio and Mario Diaz-Balart in the House chamber
Rubio and Mario Díaz-Balart in 2001

Elections and concurrent employment

In late 1999, a special election was called to fill the seat for the 111th House District in the Florida House of Representatives, representing Miami. The seat had been held by Representative Carlos Valdes, who had run for and won an open Florida State Senate seat.[26] It was considered a safe Republican seat, so Rubio's main challenge was to win the GOP nomination. He campaigned as a moderate, advocating tax cuts and early childhood education.[25]

Rubio placed second in the Republican primary on December 14, 1999,[27] but won the run-off election for the Republican nomination, defeating Angel Zayon (a television and radio reporter who was popular with Cuban exiles) by just 64 votes.[25][28] He then defeated Democrat Anastasia Garcia with 72% of the vote in a January 25, 2000 special election.[29]

In November 2000, Rubio won re-election unopposed.[30] In 2002, he won re-election to a second full term unopposed.[31] In 2004, he won re-election to a third full term with 66% of the vote.[32] In 2006, he won re-election to a fourth full term unopposed.[33]

Rubio spent almost nine years in the Florida House of Representatives. Since the Florida legislative session officially lasted only 60 days, he was able to spend about half of each year in Miami, where he worked first at a law firm that specialized in land use and zoning, and later starting in 2004, took a position with Broad and Cassel, a Miami law and lobbying firm, though state law precluded him from engaging in lobbying or introducing legislation on behalf of the firm's clients.[25][34]

Tenure

Marco Rubio
Rubio's official portrait as a State Representative

At the time Rubio took his seat in the legislature in Tallahassee in January 2000, voters in Florida had recently approved a constitutional amendment on term limits. This created openings for new legislative leaders due to many senior incumbents having to retire. According to an article in National Journal, Rubio also gained an extra advantage in that regard, because he was sworn in early due to the special election, and he would take advantage of these opportunities to join the GOP leadership.[25]

Majority whip and majority leader

Later in 2000, the majority leader of the House, Mike Fasano, promoted Rubio to be one of two majority whips.[25] National Journal described that position as typically requiring a lot of arm-twisting, but said Rubio took a different approach that relied more on persuading legislators and less on coercing them.[25]

Fasano resigned in September 2001 as majority leader of the House due to disagreements with the House speaker, and the speaker passed over Rubio to appoint a more experienced replacement for Fasano. Rubio volunteered to work on redistricting, which he accomplished by dividing the state into five regions, then working individually with the lawmakers involved, and this work helped to cement his relationships with GOP leaders.[25]

In December 2002, Rubio was appointed House Majority Leader by Speaker Johnnie Byrd.[35][36] He persuaded Speaker Byrd to restructure the job of Majority Leader, so that legislative wrangling would be left to the whip's office, and Rubio would become the main spokesperson for the House GOP.[25]

According to National Journal, during this period Rubio did not entirely adhere to doctrinaire conservative principles, and some colleagues described him as a centrist "who sought out Democrats and groups that don’t typically align with the GOP".[25] He co-sponsored legislation that would have let farm workers sue growers in state court if they were shortchanged on pay, and co-sponsored a bill for giving in-state tuition rates to the children of undocumented immigrants.[25] In the wake of the September 11 attacks, he voiced suspicion about expanding police detention powers, and helped defeat a GOP bill that would have required colleges to increase reporting to the state about foreign students.[25]

As a state representative, Rubio requested legislative earmarks (called "Community Budget Issue Requests" in Florida), totaling about $145 million for 2001 and 2002, but none thereafter.[37][38] Additionally, an office in the executive branch compiled a longer list of spending requests by legislators, including Rubio,[39] as did the non-profit group Florida TaxWatch.[40] Many of those listed items were for health and social programs that Rubio has described as "the kind of thing that legislators would get attacked on if we didn't fund them."[40] A 2010 report by the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald said that some of Rubio's spending requests dovetailed with his personal interests.[39] For example, Rubio requested a $20 million appropriation for Jackson Memorial Hospital to subsidize care for the poor and uninsured,[40] and Rubio later did work for that hospital as a consultant.[39] A spokesman for Rubio has said that the items in question helped the whole county, that Rubio did not lobby to get them approved, that the hospital money was necessary and non-controversial, and that Rubio is "a limited-government conservative ... not a no-government conservative".[39]

House speaker

On September 13, 2005, at age 34,[41] Rubio became speaker after State Representatives Dennis Baxley, Jeff Kottkamp, and Dennis A. Ross dropped out. He was sworn in a year later, in November 2006. He became the first Cuban American to be speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and would remain speaker until November 2008.[42]

Speaker-designate Marco Rubio with a blank book titled 100 Innovative Ideas For Florida's Future
Then Speaker-Designate Rubio, challenging House colleagues to help write "100 Innovative Ideas For Florida's Future", September 2005

When he was chosen as future speaker in 2005, Rubio delivered a speech to the House in which he asked members to look in their desks, where they each found a hardcover book titled 100 Innovative Ideas For Florida’s Future; but the book was blank because it had not yet been written, and Rubio told his colleagues that they would fill in the pages together with the help of ordinary Floridians.[25] In 2006, after traveling around the state and talking with citizens, and compiling their ideas, Rubio published the book.[43][44] The National Journal called this book "the centerpiece of Rubio’s early speakership".[25] About 24 of the "ideas" became law, while another 10 were partially enacted.[44] Among the items from his 2006 book that became law were multiple-year car registrations, a requirement that high schools provide more vocational courses, and an expanded voucher-like school-choice program. Rubio's defenders, and some critics, point out that nationwide economic difficulties overlapped with much of Rubio's speakership, and so funding new legislative proposals became difficult.[25]

As Rubio took office as speaker, Jeb Bush was completing his term as governor, and Bush left office in January 2007. Rubio hired 18 Bush aides, leading capitol insiders to say the speaker's suite was "the governor’s office in exile." An article in National Journal described Rubio's style as being very different from Bush's; where Bush was a very assertive manager of affairs in Tallahassee, Rubio's style was to delegate certain powers, relinquish others, and invite political rivals into his inner circle.[25] As incoming speaker, he decided to open a private dining room for legislators, which he said would give members more privacy, free from being pursued by lobbyists, though the expense led to a public relations problem.[25]

House Select Committee on Private Property Rights Chairman Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, left, guides discussion 2005-10-18
Rubio as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Private Property Rights, October 2005

In 2006, Florida enacted into law limitations upon the authority of the state government to take private property, in response to the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London which took a broad view of governmental power to take private property under eminent domain. This state legislation had been proposed by a special committee chaired by Rubio prior to his speakership.[45]

Jeb Bush was succeeded by Charlie Crist, a moderate Republican who took office in January 2007. Rubio and Crist clashed frequently. Their sharpest clash involved the governor's initiative to expand casino gambling in Florida. Rubio sued Crist for bypassing the Florida Legislature in order to make a deal with the Seminole Tribe. The Florida Supreme Court sided with Rubio and blocked the deal.[46][47]

Rubio also was a critic of Crist's strategy to fight climate change through an executive order creating new automobile and utility emissions standards. Rubio accused Crist of imposing "European-style big government mandates," and the legislature under Rubio's leadership weakened the impact of Crist's climate change initiative.[25][47] Rubio said that Crist's approach would harm consumers by driving up utility bills without having much effect upon the environment, and that a better approach would be to promote biofuel (e.g. ethanol), solar panels, and energy efficiency.[48][49][50]

Rubio introduced a plan to reduce state property taxes to 2001 levels (and potentially eliminate them altogether), while increasing sales taxes by 1% to 2.5% to fund schools. The proposal would have reduced property taxes in the state by $40–50 billion. His proposal passed the House, but was opposed by Governor Crist and Florida Senate Republicans, who said that the increase in sales tax would disproportionately affect the poor. So, Rubio agreed to smaller changes, and Crist's proposal to double the state's property tax exemption from $25,000 to $50,000 (for a tax reduction estimated by Crist to be $33 billion) ultimately passed.[25][45][51] Legislators called it the largest tax cut in Florida's history up until then.[45][52] At the time, Republican anti-tax activist Grover Norquist described Rubio as "the most pro-taxpayer legislative leader in the country."[51]

Speaker Rubio standing with Dem leader
Rubio conferring with Democratic leader Dan Gelber in 2007

As speaker, Rubio "aggressively tried to push Florida to the political right," according to NBC News, and frequently clashed with the Florida Senate, which was run by more moderate Republicans, and with then-Governor Charlie Crist, a centrist Republican at the time.[47] Although a conservative, "behind the scenes many Democrats considered Rubio someone with whom they could work," according to biographer Manuel Roig-Franzia.[53] Dan Gelber of Miami, the House Democratic leader at the time of Rubio's speakership, considered him "a true conservative" but not "a reflexive partisan," saying: "He didn't have an objection to working with the other side simply because they were the other side. To put it bluntly, he wasn't a jerk."[54] Gelber considered Rubio "a severe conservative, really far to the right, but probably the most talented spokesman the severe right could ever hope for."[47]

While Speaker of the Florida House, Rubio shared a residence in Tallahassee with another Florida State Representative, David Rivera, which the two co-owned. The house later went into foreclosure in 2010 after several missed mortgage payments.[55] At that point, Rubio assumed responsibility for the payments, and the house was eventually sold.[56][57]

Speaker Rubio Following Vote About Slavery
House Speaker Rubio and Senate President Ken Pruitt embrace after the House's unanimous approval of the Senate's resolution to formally express deep regret for slavery. March 2008

In 2007, Florida State Senator Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville), chairman of the state legislature's Black Caucus, requested that the legislature apologize for slavery, and Rubio said the idea merited discussion.[58] The following year, a supportive Rubio said such apologies can be important albeit symbolic; he pointed out that even in 2008 young African-American males "believe that the American dream is not available to them".[59][60] He helped set up a council on issues facing black men and boys, persuaded colleagues to replicate the Harlem Children's Zone in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City, and supported efforts to promote literacy and mentoring for black children and others.[61][62][63][64]

In 2010 during Rubio's Senate campaign, and again in 2015 during his presidential campaign, issues were raised by the media and his political opponents about some items charged by Rubio to his Republican Party of Florida American Express card during his time as House speaker.[65][66][67] Rubio charged about $110,000 during those two years, of which $16,000 was personal expenses unrelated to party business, such as groceries and plane tickets.[68] Rubio said that he personally paid American Express more than $16,000 for these personal expenses.[69][70] In 2012, the Florida Commission on Ethics cleared Rubio of wrongdoing in his use of the party-issued credit card, although the commission inspector said that Rubio exhibited a "level of negligence" in not using his personal MasterCard.[71][72] In November 2015, Rubio released his party credit card statements for January 2005 through October 2006, which showed eight personal charges totaling $7,243.74, all of which he had personally reimbursed, in most instances by the next billing period.[67][68][73] When releasing the charge records, Rubio spokesman Todd Harris said, "These statements are more than 10 years old. And the only people who ask about them today are the liberal media and our political opponents. We are releasing them now because Marco has nothing to hide."[67]

Professorship

After leaving the Florida Legislature in 2008, Rubio began teaching under a fellowship appointment at Florida International University (FIU) as an adjunct professor.[74] In 2011, after entering the U.S. Senate, he rejoined the FIU faculty.[74][75] Rubio teaches in the Department of Politics and International Relations, which is part of FIU's Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.[76] He has taught undergraduate courses on Florida politics, political parties, and legislative politics.[77][78]

Rubio's appointment as an FIU professor was initially criticized.[79][74][80] The university obtained considerable state funding when Rubio was speaker of the Florida House, and many other university jobs were being eliminated due to funding issues at the time FIU appointed him to the faculty.[74][77][80] When Rubio accepted the fellowship appointment as an adjunct professor at FIU, he agreed to raise most of the funding for his position from private sources.[80][81]

U.S. Senate

The start of Rubio's official welcome message at his U.S. Senate website.

Elections

2010

On May 5, 2009, Rubio announced on his website that he planned to run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martínez, who had announced that he would not seek reelection. Martinez subsequently announced (in August 2009) that he would resign before completing his term, and upon his resignation was replaced by George LeMieux. Prior to making his May 5, 2009 announcement, Rubio had been meeting with fundraisers and supporters throughout the state.[82] Initially trailing by double digits in the primary against the incumbent governor of his own party, Charlie Crist, Rubio eventually surpassed Crist in polling for the Republican nomination.[83][84] In his campaign, Rubio received the support of members of the Tea Party, many of whom were dissatisfied with Crist's policies as governor.[85]

On April 28, 2010, Crist announced he would be running without a party affiliation, effectively ceding the Republican nomination to Rubio.[86][87][88]

Several of Crist's top fundraisers, as well as Republican leadership, refused to support Crist after Rubio won the Republican nomination for the Senate.[89][90][91]

On November 2, 2010, Rubio won the general election with 49 percent of the vote to Crist's 30% and Democrat Kendrick Meek's 20%.[92] Following his victory in the elections, Rubio soon became the subject of speculation as a potential Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election.[93][94] When Rubio was sworn in to the U.S. Senate, he and Bob Menendez of New Jersey were the only two Latino Americans in the Senate.

2016

On June 13, 2016, despite his previous statements that he would not run for reelection to his Senate seat, Rubio "seemed to open the door to running for re-election," citing the previous day's 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting and how "it really gives you pause, to think a little bit about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country,"[95] officially announcing his candidacy nine days later, on June 22.[96] Rubio won the Republican primary on August 30, 2016, defeating Carlos Beruff.[97] He faced Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy in the general election, defeating him with 52% of the vote.[98]

Tenure as Senator

During Rubio's first four years in the U.S. Senate, Republicans were in the minority, but since January 2015 Republicans have been the Senate majority party.[99]

In the minority

Meeting in January 2011 with Florida constituents at Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
At Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan with Floridians, January 2011
At Guantanamo Naval Base in May 2012
Visiting Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in May 2012

Shortly after taking office in 2011, Rubio said he had no interest in running for president or vice president in the 2012 presidential election.[100] In March 2012, when he endorsed Mitt Romney for president, Rubio said that he did not expect to be or want to be selected as a vice presidential running mate,[101] but was vetted for vice president by the Romney campaign.[101] Former Romney aide Beth Myers has said that the vetting process turned up nothing disqualifying about Rubio.[102]

Upon taking office, Rubio hired Cesar Conda as his chief of staff.[103][104][105] Conda, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, and former top aide to Sens. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) and Robert Kasten (R-Wis.), was succeeded in 2014 as Rubio's chief of staff by his deputy, Alberto Martinez, but Conda remained as a part-time adviser.[106]

During his first year in office, Rubio became an influential defender of the United States embargo against Cuba, and induced the State Department to withdraw an ambassadorial nomination of Jonathan D. Farrar, who was the Chief of Mission of the United States Interests Section in Havana from 2008 to 2011. Rubio believed that Farrar was not assertive enough toward the Castro regime.[107] Also in 2011, he was invited to visit the Reagan Library, during which he gave a well-publicized speech praising its namesake, and also rescued Nancy Reagan from falling.[108][109]

Meeting in February 2013 with Israeli President Shimon Peres during trip to Jordan and Israel
Meeting in February 2013 with Israeli President Shimon Peres during trip to Jordan and Israel.

In March 2011, Rubio supported U.S. participation in the military campaign in Libya to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.[110] He urged that Senate leaders bring "a bi-partisan resolution to the Senate floor authorizing the President's decision to participate in allied military action in Libya".[111] The administration decided that no congressional authorization was needed under the War Powers Resolution; Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) joined Rubio in writing an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal in June 2011 again urging passage of such authorization.[112] In October 2011, Rubio joined several other Senators in pushing for continued engagement to "help Libya lay the foundation for sustainable security."[113] Soon after Gadhafi was ousted, Rubio warned there was a serious threat posed by the spread of militias and weapons, and called for more U.S. involvement to counter that threat.[110]

In October 2011, The Washington Post reported that Rubio's previous statements that his parents were forced to leave Cuba in 1959 (after Fidel Castro came to power) were embellishments.[3] His parents actually left Cuba in 1956, during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.[3] According to the Post, "[in] Florida, being connected to the post-revolution exile community gives a politician cachet that could never be achieved by someone identified with the pre-Castro exodus, a group sometimes viewed with suspicion".[3] Rubio denied that he had embellished his family history, stating that his public statements about his family were based on "family lore".[3] Rubio asserted that his parents intended to return to Cuba in the 1960s.[3] He added that his mother took his two elder siblings back to Cuba in 1961 with the intention of living there permanently (his father remained behind in Miami "wrapping up the family's matters"); however, the nation's move toward Communism caused the family to change its plans.[3] Rubio stated that "[the] essence of my family story is why they came to America in the first place; and why they had to stay."[114]

Rubio voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011, which included mandatory automatic budget cuts from sequestration.[115][116] He later said that defense spending should never have been linked to taxes and the deficit, calling the policy a "terrible idea" based on a "false choice."[115]

The following month, Rubio and Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, co-sponsored the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act (AGREE Act), which would have extended many tax credits and exemptions for businesses investing in research and development, equipment, and other capital; provided a tax credit for veterans who start a business franchise; allowed an increase in immigration for certain types of work visas; and strengthened copyright protections.[117][118][119][120]

Rubio voted against the 2012 "fiscal cliff" resolutions. Although he received some criticism for this position, he responded: "Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they'll pay this new tax, and, chances are, they'll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hires they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control."[121]

At US-Mexican border in November 2011 with Customs and Border Patrol
Touring the US-Mexican border in November 2011 with Border Patrol officials

In 2013, Rubio was part of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" Senators that crafted comprehensive immigration reform legislation.[122] Rubio proposed a plan providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States involving payment of fines and back taxes, background checks, and a probationary period; that pathway was to be implemented only after strengthening border security.[123][124] The bill passed the Senate 68 to 32 with his support, but Rubio then signaled that the bill should not be taken up by the House because other priorities, like repealing Obamacare, were a higher priority for him; the House never did take up the bill. Rubio has since explained that he still supports reform, but a different approach instead of a single comprehensive bill.[125]

Preparing in February 2013 to deliver Republican address to the nation
About to give response to the State of the Union address in February 2013

Rubio was chosen to deliver the Republican response to President Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address.[126] It marked the first time the response was delivered in English and Spanish.[127] Rubio's attempt to draw a strong line against the looming defense sequestration was undercut by fellow Republican senator Rand Paul's additional response to Obama's speech that called for the sequester to be carried out.[128]

In April 2013, Rubio voted against an expansion of background checks for gun purchases, contending that such increased regulatory measures would do little to help capture criminals.[129][130]

In the majority

Marco Rubio by Matt Johnson
Rubio in November 2015

Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate as a result of the elections in November 2014.[131] As this new period of Republican control began, Rubio pushed for elimination of the "risk corridors" used by the federal government to compensate insurers for their losses as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The risk corridors were intended to be funded by profitable insurers participating in the PPACA. However, since insurer losses have significantly exceeded their profits in the program, the risk corridors have been depleted. His efforts contributed to the inclusion of a provision in the 2014 federal budget which prevented other funding sources from being tapped to replenish the risk corridors.[132]

In March 2015, Rubio and Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, proposed a tax plan which, according to The Wall Street Journal, combined thinking from "old-fashioned, Reagan-era supply siders" and a "breed of largely younger conservative reform thinkers" who are concerned with the tax burden on the middle-class. The plan would lower the top corporate income tax rate from 38% to 25%, eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and inherited estates, and create a new child tax credit worth up to $2,500 per child. The plan would set the top individual income tax rate at 35%. It also included a proposal to replace the means-tested welfare system, including food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit, with a new "consolidated system of benefits".[133]

According to analysis by Vocativ as reported by Fox News, Rubio has missed 8.3 percent of total votes since taking office, from January 2011 to February 2015.[134] From October 27, 2014, to October 26, 2015, Rubio voted in 74 percent of Senate votes, according to an analysis by GovTrack.us, which tracks Congressional voting records.[135][136] In 2015, Rubio was absent for about 35 percent of Senate votes.[135][137] In historical context Rubio's attendance record for Senate votes is not exceptional among senators seeking a presidential nomination, such as Senator John McCain whose percentage of missed votes in 2007 was much higher. However it is the worst of the three senators who campaigned for the presidency in 2015.[138]

During his Senate tenure, Rubio has co-sponsored bills on issues ranging from humanitarian crises in Haiti to the Russian incursion into Ukraine,[139] and has been a frequent and prominent critic of President Obama's efforts in the field of national security.[139]

On May 17, 2016, Rubio broke from the Republican majority in his support of President Obama's request for a $2 billion funding for emergency spending toward the Zika virus at a time when Florida accounted for roughly 20% of the recorded cases of Zika in the U.S., acknowledging that it was the president's request but furthering that "it’s really the scientists’ requests, the doctors’ request, the public health sector's request for how to address this issue."[140] On August 6, Rubio stated he does not believe in terminating Zika-infected pregnancies.[141]

On December 13, after President-elect Trump announced Rex Tillerson as his pick for Secretary of State in the incoming administration, Rubio expressed concerns with the selection.[142] On January 11, Rubio questioned Tillerson during a senate committee hearing on his confirmation, saying afterward he would "do what's right".[143] On January 23, Rubio confirmed that he would vote for Tillerson, stating that a delay in the appointment would be counter to national interests.[144]

On April 5, 2017, Rubio said Bashar al-Assad felt he could act with "impunity" in knowing the United States was not prioritizing removing him from office.[145] The following day, Rubio praised Trump's ordered strike: "By acting decisively against the very facility from which Assad launched his murderous chemical weapons attack, President Trump has made it clear to Assad and those who empower him that the days of committing war crimes with impunity are over."[146]

POTUS arrives in Florida 170914-G-ZX620-226
President Trump meeting with FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Senator Rubio in September 2017

In September 2017, after President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for six months, Rubio called for an outline on "what kind of legislation the president is willing to sign" to prevent unwanted proposals.[147]

In the first session of the 115th United States Congress, Rubio was ranked the tenth most bipartisan Senator by the Bipartisan Index, published by The Lugar Center and Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy.[148]

While ballots were being counted in a close Florida Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and Republican challenger Rick Scott, Rubio without evidence argued that Democrats were conspiring with election officials to illicitly install Nelson into the U.S. Senate.[149][150][151] Rubio argued without evidence that "democrat lawyers" were descending on Florida and that "they have been very clear they aren’t here to make sure every vote is counted."[149] He claimed that Broward County officials were engaged in "ongoing" legal violations, without specifying what those were.[149] Election monitors found no evidence of voter fraud in Broward County, and the Florida State Department found no evidence of criminal activity.[151]

Committee assignments

In the U.S. Senate, he chairs the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, as well as the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues. His committee memberships are as follows.[152][153]

2016 presidential campaign

Marco Rubio by Gage Skidmore 3
Rubio speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland

Rubio stated in April 2014 that he would not run for both the Senate and President in 2016, as Florida law prohibits a candidate from appearing twice on a ballot, but at that time he did not rule out running for either office.[154] He later indicated that even if he would not win the Republican nomination for president, he would not run for reelection to the Senate.[155] Also in April 2014, the departure of Cesar Conda, Rubio's chief of staff since 2011, was seen as a sign of Rubio's plans to run for President in 2016. Conda departed to lead Rubio's Reclaim America PAC as a senior adviser.[156][157] Groups supporting Rubio raised over $530,000 in the first three months of 2014, most of which was spent on consultants and data analytics, in what was seen as preparations for a presidential campaign.[158]

A poll from the WMUR/University, tracking New Hampshire Republican primary voters' sentiment, showed Rubio at the top alongside Kentucky senator Rand Paul later in 2013, but as of April 18, 2014, he had dropped to 10th place behind other Republican contenders. The poll, however, also suggested that Rubio was not disliked by the primary voters, which was thought to be positive for him if other candidates had chosen not to run.[159] Rubio placed second among potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates in an online poll of likely voters conducted by Zogby Analytics in January 2015.[160]

In January 2015, it was reported that Rubio had begun contacting top donors and appointing advisors for a potential 2016 run, including George Seay, who previously worked on such campaigns as Rick Perry's in 2012 and Mitt Romney's in 2008, and Jim Rubright, who had previously worked for Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and John McCain.[161][162] Rubio also instructed his aides to "prepare for a presidential campaign" prior to a Team Marco 2016 fundraising meeting in South Beach.[163]

On April 13, 2015, Rubio announced that he would run for President in 2016.[164] Rubio was believed to be an acceptable candidate for the 2016 presidential race who could attract many parts of the GOP base, partly because of his youthfulness and oratorical skill.[165][166] Rubio had pitched his candidacy as an effort to restore the American Dream for middle and working-class families, who might have found his background as a working-class Cuban-American appealing.[167]

Republican primaries

In the first Republican primary, the February 1 Iowa caucuses, Rubio finished third, behind candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.[168] During a nationally televised debate among Republican candidates in New Hampshire on February 6, 2016, Rubio was criticized by rival Chris Christie for speaking repetitiously and sounding scripted. On February 9, when he placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary results, Rubio took the blame and acknowledged a poor debate performance.[169] In the third Republican contest, the South Carolina primary on February 20, Rubio finished second, but did not gain any delegates as Trump won all of South Carolina's congressional districts and thus delegates.[170][171] Jeb Bush left the race that day, leading to a surge in campaign donations and endorsements to Rubio. On February 23, Rubio finished second in the Nevada caucuses, again losing to Trump.[172] Trump called Rubio's remarks at the February 25 debate "robotic" due to Rubio's repeated use of the same talking points; Rubio was later followed by hecklers who were dressed "Rubio robots."[173]

At another Republican debate on February 25, Rubio repeatedly criticized frontrunner candidate Donald Trump.[174] It was described by CNN as a "turning point in style" as Rubio had previously largely ignored Trump during his campaign, and this deviated from Rubio's signature "optimistic campaign message". The next day Rubio continued turning Trump's attacks against him,[175] even ridiculing Trump's physical appearance.[176] On March 1, called 'Super Tuesday' with eleven Republican contests on that day, Rubio's sole victory was in Minnesota, the first state he had won since voting began a month prior.[171] Rubio went on to win further contests in Puerto Rico on March 6 and the District of Columbia on March 12, but lost eight other contests from March 5 to 8.[171] Around that time, Rubio revealed he was not "entirely proud" of his personal attacks on Trump.[177]

On March 15, Rubio suspended his campaign after placing second in his own home state of Florida.[176] Hours earlier, Rubio had expressed expectations for a Florida win, and said he would continue to campaign (in Utah) "irrespective of" that night's results.[178] The result was that Rubio won 27.0% of the Florida vote, while Trump won 45.7% and all of Florida's delegates.[179] The conclusion of the six March 15 contests (out of which Rubio won none) left Rubio with 169 delegates on the race to reach 1237, but Ted Cruz already had 411 and Trump 673.[171][180] On March 17, Rubio ruled out runs for the vice-presidency, governorship of Florida and even re-election for his senate seat. He only stated that he would be a "private citizen" by January 2017, leading to some media speculation of the termination of his political career.[181]

After candidacy

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen meet with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in Miami, Florida in June 2016
Rubio with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in June 2016

On April 12, during an interview with Mark Levin, Rubio expressed his wishes that Republicans would nominate a conservative candidate, name-dropping Cruz.[182] This was interpreted as an endorsement of Cruz, though Rubio clarified the following day that he had only been answering a question.[183] Rubio would later explain his decision to not endorse Cruz being due to his belief that the endorsement would not significantly benefit him and a desire to let the election cycle play out.[184] On April 22, Rubio said he was not interested in being the vice presidential candidate to any of the remaining GOP contenders.[185] On May 16, Rubio posted several tweets in which he critiqued sources reporting that he despised the Senate and a Washington Post story that claimed he was unsure of his next move after his unsuccessful presidential bid, typing, "I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January."[186]

Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump visit a fourth grade classroom, March 2017
Rubio and President Trump visit a fourth grade classroom in Orlando, Florida, March 3, 2017

On May 18, after Trump expressed a willingness to meet with Kim Jong-un, Rubio said Kim was "not a stable person" and furthered that Trump was only open to the meeting due to inexperience with the North Korea leader.[187] On May 26, Rubio told reporters that he was backing Trump due to his view that the presumptive nominee was a better choice than Hillary Clinton for the presidency and that as president, Trump would sign a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replace the late Antonin Scalia with another conservative Supreme Court Justice.[188] He also confirmed that he would be attending the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where he intended to release his pledged delegates to support Trump.[189] On May 29, Rubio continued disavowing vice presidential speculation but indicated an interest in playing a role in Trump's campaign.[190] On June 6, Rubio rebuked Trump's comments on Gonzalo P. Curiel, who Trump accused of being biased against him on the basis of his ethnicity, as "offensive" while speaking with reporters, advising that Trump should cease defending the remarks and defending the judge as "an American."[191]

On July 6, Olivia Perez-Cubas, Rubio's Senate campaign spokeswoman, said he would not be attending the Republican National Convention due to planned campaigning on the days the convention was scheduled to take place.[192]

During the Republican primary campaign in which Rubio and Donald Trump were opponents, Rubio criticized Trump,[193] including, in February 2016, calling Trump a "con artist" and saying that Trump is "wholly unprepared to be president of the United States."[194] In June 2016, after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee, Rubio reaffirmed his February 2016 comments that we must not hand "the nuclear codes of the United States to an erratic individual."[195] However, after Trump won the Republican Party's nomination, Rubio endorsed him on July 20, 2016.[196] Following the October 7, 2016, Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy, Rubio wrote that "Donald's comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify. No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private."[197] On October 11, 2016, Rubio reaffirmed his support of Trump.[198] On October 25, 2016, it was reported that Rubio was booed off a stage for endorsing Trump by a crowd of mostly Latino voters, at the annual Calle Orange street festival in downtown Orlando.[199]

Political positions

As of early 2015, Rubio had a rating of 98.67 by the American Conservative Union, based on his lifetime voting record in the Senate. According to the National Journal, in 2013 Rubio had been the 17th most conservative senator.[200] The Club for Growth gave Rubio ratings of 93 percent and 91 percent based on his voting record in 2014 and 2013 respectively, and he has a lifetime rating from the organization above 90 percent.[204]

Marco Rubio by Gage Skidmore 2
Senator Rubio speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland

Rubio initially won his U.S. Senate seat with strong Tea Party backing, but his 2013 support for comprehensive immigration reform legislation led to a decline in that support.[205][206] Rubio's stance on military, foreign policy and national security issues—such as his support for arming the Syrian rebels and for the NSA—alienated some libertarian-oriented Tea Party activists.[206][207]

Rubio supports balancing the federal budget, while prioritizing defense spending. He disputes the scientific understanding of climate change, arguing that human activity does not play a major role in global warming and that proposals to address climate change would be ineffective and economically harmful.[208][209][210] On Obamacare, he wants to repeal it and replace it with tax credits and less regulation. He opposes net neutrality, a principle of requiring Internet service providers to treat data on the Internet the same regardless of its source or content. With regard to immigration, he supports securing the country's borders and then offering a legal status to people who came to the United States unlawfully. He also believes there should be more vetting of refugees and that seeking a single comprehensive immigration reform bill would be delusional. In addition, Rubio believes that the DACA program is unconstitutional.[211]

Rubio is an outspoken opponent of abortion. In an interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN,[212] he stated that, "Every life is worthy of protection". During the 113th Congress, Rubio co-sponsored S.1670 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits an abortion from being performed if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater, with exceptions in the case of rape or incest or if the life of the mother is in danger.[213]

Rubio opposes decriminalization of illegal drugs and does not agree with cannabis legalization, but he does support non-euphoric medical cannabis.[217] Rubio supports setting corporate taxes at 25 percent, reforming the tax code, and capping economic regulations, and proposes to increase the social security retirement age based on longer life expectancy. On education, he supports expanding public charter schools, opposes Common Core State Standards, and advocates closing the federal Department of Education.[218]

Rubio supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq and military intervention in Libya.[219] Rubio voiced support for a Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen against the Iran-backed Shia Houthis.[220] Regarding Iran, he supports tough sanctions, and scrapping the recent nuclear deal; on the Islamic State, he favors aiding local Sunni forces in Iraq and Syria.[221][222] Rubio says that the United States cannot accept more Syrian refugees because background checks cannot be done under present circumstances. He supports working with allies to set up no-fly zones in Syria to protect civilians from Bashar al-Assad. He favors collection of bulk metadata for purposes of national security. He has said that gun control laws consistently fail to achieve their purpose and as of 2017 had received $3,303,355 in donations from the National Rifle Association.[223] He is supportive of the Trans Pacific Partnership, saying that the U.S. risks being excluded from global trade unless it is more open to trade. He is wary of China regarding national security and human rights, and wants to boost the U.S. military presence in that region but hopes for greater economic growth as a result of trading with that country. He also believes the U.S. should support democracy, freedom, and true autonomy of the people of Hong Kong.[224][225][226][227] On capital punishment, Rubio favors streamlining the appeals process.[222]

President Trump Delivers Remarks to the Venezuelan-American Community (46425004104)
Rubio applauds Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during an event with the Venezuelan American community, February 18, 2019

Rubio condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and called for a stronger response to the crisis.[228] Rubio is a staunch supporter of Israel. He is a co-sponsor of a Senate resolution expressing objection to the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories as a violation of international law.[229] Rubio condemned Turkey's wide-ranging crackdown on dissent following a failed July 2016 coup.[230]

In February 2018 he attracted controversy following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting at a town hall event held by CNN when he was questioned by a survivor of the shooting about the supposed $3,303,355 he had received in donations from the NRA. Rubio replied, "I will always accept the help of anyone who agrees with my agenda."[231][223]

In March 2018, Rubio defended the decision of the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.[232] Experts noted that the inclusion of such a question would likely result in severe undercounting of the population and faulty data, as undocumented immigrants would be less likely to respond to the census.[232] Fellow Republican congress members from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, criticized the Trump administration's decision on the basis that it would lead to a faulty census and disadvantage Florida in terms of congressional apportionment and fund apportionment.[232]

In July 2018, Rubio offered an amendment to a major congressional spending bill to potentially force companies that purchase real estate in cash to disclose their owners as “an attempt to root out criminals who use illicit funds and anonymous shell companies to buy homes."[233]

On 28 August 2018, Rubio and 16 other members of Congress urged the United States to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Chinese officials who are responsible for human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.[234]

Personal life

Rubio Sworn In
Rubio, and wife Jeanette, just after being sworn as a U.S. Senator by Vice President Joe Biden. January 2011

Rubio married Jeanette Dousdebes, a former bank teller and Miami Dolphins cheerleader, in 1998 in a Catholic ceremony at the Church of the Little Flower. The Rubios have four children.[235][236] Rubio and his family live in West Miami, Florida.[17]

Rubio attends Catholic Mass at Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, Florida.[237] He also previously attended Christ Fellowship, a Southern Baptist Church[238] in West Kendall, Florida.[239]

Electoral history

Florida House of Representatives 111th District Special Republican Primary election, 1999
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Angel Zayon 1,003 38%
Republican Marco Rubio 958 36%
Republican Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat 453 17%
Republican Jose Luis Rodriguez 264 10%
Florida House of Representatives 111th District Special Republican Primary Runoff election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Marco Rubio 1,415 51%
Republican Angel Zayon 1,351 49%
Florida House of Representatives 111th District Special election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Marco Rubio 3,152 72%
Democratic Anastasia Garcia 1,250 28%
Florida House of Representatives 111th District election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Marco Rubio -- 100%
Florida House of Representatives 111th District election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Marco Rubio -- 100%
Florida House of Representatives 111th District election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Marco Rubio 26,741 66%
Democratic Laura Leyva 13,564 34%
Florida House of Representatives 111th District election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Marco Rubio -- 100%

Vote totals in races where Rubio was unopposed were not reported.

United States Senate election in Florida, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Marco Rubio 2,645,743 49%
Independent Charlie Crist 1,607,549 30%
Democratic Kendrick Meek 1,092,936 20%
Libertarian Alexander Snitker 24,850 <1%
United States Senate election in Florida, 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Marco Rubio (Incumbent) 4,822,182 52% +3%
Democratic Patrick Murphy 4,105,251 44%
Libertarian Paul Stanton 196,198 2%
Independent Bruce Nathan 52,274 <1%

Writings

  • 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future. Regnery Publishing. 2006. ISBN 978-1596985117.
  • An American Son: A Memoir. Sentinel HC. 2012. ISBN 978-1595230942.
  • American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone. Sentinel HC. 2015. ISBN 978-1595231130.

Honors

Rubio has been awarded the following foreign honor:

Star of Romania Ribbon

See also

References

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External links

Florida House of Representatives
Preceded by
Carlos Valdes
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 111th district

2000–2008
Succeeded by
Erik Fresen
Political offices
Preceded by
Allan Bense
Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Ray Sansom
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mel Martínez
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Florida
(Class 3)

2010, 2016
Most recent
Preceded by
Mitch Daniels
Response to the State of the Union address
2013
Succeeded by
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George LeMieux
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Florida
2011–present
Served alongside: Bill Nelson, Rick Scott
Incumbent
Preceded by
Chris Smith
Chair of the Joint China Commission
2017–2019
Succeeded by
Marcy Kaptur
Preceded by
Jim Risch
Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee
2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
John Hoeven
United States Senators by seniority
51st
Succeeded by
Ron Johnson
2010 United States Senate election in Florida

The 2010 United States Senate election in Florida took place on November 2, 2010, concurrently with other elections to the United States Senate in other states, as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.

Incumbent Republican Senator Mel Martínez, who was elected in a very close race against Democrat Betty Castor with 49% of the vote in 2004, announced on December 2, 2008, that he would not run for re-election to a second term, then announcing on August 7, 2009, that he would resign prior to the end of his term. The Governor of Florida, Republican Charlie Crist, was required to appoint a successor and he chose his former Chief of Staff, George LeMieux. LeMieux, a placeholder who did not run in the election, replaced Martínez in the Senate on September 10, 2009.

Crist publicly announced he was running for the seat in mid-2009. When he declared his candidacy, he received many Republican endorsements, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Martínez, and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. However, his support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 hurt his popularity among conservatives, and Tea Party candidate Marco Rubio, the former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, surged in the polls. In April 2010, Crist announced he would drop out of the Republican primary and run as an Independent. The National Republican Senatorial Committee withdrew its endorsement of Crist and demanded a refund of its campaign funds that it provided for the Crist campaign. Rubio went on to win the Republican primary against only token opposition.

U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek was the first Democrat to declare his intention to run and he defeated billionaire businessman Jeff Greene in his party's primary. Also on the ballot were Alexander Snitker, the first member of the Libertarian Party on the ballot for the U.S. Senate in Florida's history, Bernie DeCastro of the Constitution Party, and five other Independent candidates.

Polling initially showed Crist neck and neck with Rubio, but by the end of August Rubio opened up a solid and consistent lead. He was supported by Republican and some Independent voters whereas Democratic and other Independents were split between Crist and Meek. Rubio went on to win the election with 49% of the vote to Crist's 30% and Meek's 20%.

2016 Florida Republican primary

The 2016 Florida Republican Primary was held on March 15, 2016, with 99 delegates being allocated on a winner-take-all basis. Businessman Donald Trump scored a decisive victory in the state, defeating Senator Marco Rubio by nearly 20 points. Rubio had previously vowed to continue his campaign regardless of the results in Florida, but suspended his campaign after the state was called for Trump.

2016 Iowa Republican caucuses

The 2016 Iowa Republican caucuses took place on February 1 in the U.S. state of Iowa, traditionally marking the Republican Party's first nominating contest in their series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The Democratic Party held its own Iowa caucuses on the same day.

Ted Cruz was able to defeat Donald Trump in the Iowa Caucus by winning over evangelical and libertarian caucus-goers; Cruz won 51,666 caucus votes or 27.6%, giving him a net gain of one delegate over Trump. Mike Huckabee, the 2008 Iowa Caucus winner, dropped out following a poor performance in the caucus.

2016 Missouri Republican primary

The Missouri Republican primary took place March 15 in the U.S. state of Missouri, as a part of the Republican Party's series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Missouri primary was held alongside Republican primary elections in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, along with the Democratic contest in Missouri.

The hotly contested primary was won by businessman Donald Trump by a margin of 0.21% over Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

2016 Nevada Republican caucuses

The 2016 Nevada Republican caucuses took place on February 23 in the U.S. state of Nevada, marking the Republican Party's fourth nominating contest in their series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

With the Democratic Party having already held its Nevada caucuses three days earlier on February 20, the Republican caucus in Nevada was the only presidential primary on that day.

During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers attempted to change the caucus into a regular primary and at a much earlier date, however the bill failed to get to a vote.Nine candidates were eligible:

Jeb Bush (dropped out)

Ben Carson

Chris Christie (dropped out)

Ted Cruz

Carly Fiorina (dropped out)

Jim Gilmore (dropped out)

John Kasich

Marco Rubio

Donald Trump

2016 Ohio Republican primary

The Ohio Republican primary took place March 15 in the U.S. state of Ohio, as a part of the Republican Party's series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Ohio primary was held alongside Republican primary elections in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina, along with the Democratic contest in Ohio.

The primary was won by the state's incumbent governor, John Kasich.

2016 United States Senate election in Florida

The 2016 United States Senate election in Florida was held November 8, 2016 to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Florida, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. The primary elections for both the Republicans and Democrats took place on August 30, 2016.Incumbent Republican Senator Marco Rubio ran for another term but faced well-funded Republican primary opposition after initially announcing he would not seek re-election to his Senate seat. He had openly considered whether to seek re-election or run for president in 2016. He stated in April 2014 that he would not run for both the Senate and president in 2016, as Florida law prohibits a candidate from simultaneously appearing twice on a ballot, but did not rule out running for either office.In April 2015, Rubio announced that he was running for President and would not seek re-election. Rubio had initially said he would not run for re-election to the Senate even if he dropped out of the GOP presidential primary (which he did after losing Florida on March 15, 2016) before he would have to qualify for the 2016 Senate primary ballot, for which the filing deadline was June 24, 2016.On June 13, 2016, despite his previous statements that he would not run for re-election to his Senate seat, Rubio "seemed to open the door to running for re-election," citing the previous day's Orlando mass shooting and how "it really gives you pause, to think a little bit about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country." On June 22, 2016, Rubio announced that he would seek re-election to the Senate, reversing his pledge not to run.On August 30, the Republican Party nominated Marco Rubio, and the Democratic Party nominated Representative Patrick Murphy. Rubio won with the largest raw vote total in Florida history, taking a greater percentage of the popular vote than Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who won the state in the election. He is the first Republican Senator from Florida since 1994, and only the second with Connie Mack, to be reelected to a second term. Also, with Mel Martinez's victory in 2004, this marks the first time that Republicans have won one of Florida's Senate seats three times in a row (Mack succeeded Lawton Chiles, a Democrat, and was succeeded by another Democrat, Bill Nelson).

Marco Rubio won 48% of the Hispanic vote during this election, an unprecedented number for a Republican during a Presidential year.

2016 Wisconsin Republican primary

The 2016 Wisconsin Republican primary was held on April 5 in the U.S. state of Wisconsin as one of the Republican Party's primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Texas senator Ted Cruz won the contest with 48%, ahead of nationwide frontrunner Donald Trump by 13 percentage points. Taking advantage of the state's two-level "winner takes all" provision, Cruz took 36 out of the 42 available delegates.

The Wisconsin Democratic primary, held on the same day in conjunction with the Republican primary, yielded a win for Bernie Sanders, who defeated nationwide frontrunner Hillary Clinton by 13 percentage points. With no other primaries being scheduled for that day by either party and just two weeks ahead of the important New York primary, the Wisconsin primary was in the national spotlight.

The two parties' primaries were held in conjunction with this year's Wisconsin judicial elections, where Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Rebecca Bradley was confirmed for a 10-year elected term, winning over Appeals Court judge JoAnne Kloppenburg.Despite Ted Cruz's win, the eventual nominee, Donald Trump, went on to win the state on Election Day, held on November 8.

Endorsements in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries

This is a list of notable political endorsements for declared candidates for the Republican primaries for the 2016 United States presidential election. Endorsements are part of the "invisible primary" process, which occurs not only long before the general election in November 2016, but also largely occurs before even the caucuses and primaries have begun in February 2016.

Early endorsements were correlated with the success candidates achieved in caucuses and primaries, for elections from 1980 through 2004.

(See the UCLA School of Political Parties.)

Historically, there has been a correlation ("76% of the eventual vote percentage") between the percentage of political endorsements from sitting and former elected officials earned by a Republican candidate in the first half of the year prior to a presidential election (for the purposes of this article, January–June, 2015), with the percentage of votes cast for that candidate in Republican primaries during the first half of the election year (i.e., January–June, 2016).

The value of political endorsements varies, depending on whom they are from, when they are given, and other factors. Endorsements from politicians who live in states with early primaries are highly sought after. So are endorsements from governors, federal senators, and federal representatives. Endorsements from people from the candidate's home state are less valuable, unless multiple candidates from that state are running.

The impact of celebrity endorsements of political candidates is less clear, but can increase general election turnout,

or increase fundraising totals and media exposure.

Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio

Jeanette Christina Dousdebes Rubio (born December 5, 1973) is the wife of United States Senator and former 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio.

List of United States Senators from Florida

Florida was admitted to the Union on March 3, 1845 and elects its U.S. Senators to Class 1 and Class 3. Florida's U.S. Senate seats were declared vacant in March 1861, due to its secession from the Union. They were filled again in July 1868. The state is currently represented by Republicans Marco Rubio (serving since 2011) and Rick Scott (serving since 2019).

Marco Rubio 2016 presidential campaign

The 2016 presidential campaign of Marco Rubio, the junior United States Senator from Florida, and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, was formally announced on April 13, 2015, at an event at the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami. Early polling showed Rubio, who was considered a potential candidate for Vice President by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, as a frontrunner candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016 since at least the end of the 2012 election. Rubio was the second Cuban American to run for President of the United States, declaring approximately three weeks after fellow Republican Ted Cruz. He suspended his campaign on March 15, 2016, after finishing second in the primary for Florida, his home state.

Nationwide opinion polling for the 2016 United States presidential election

This page lists nationwide public opinion polls that have been conducted relating to the 2016 United States presidential election. The two major party candidates were chosen at the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention in July 2016.

Donald Trump won the general election of Tuesday, November 8, 2016 despite losing the popular vote while winning the electoral college. Media analysts differ as to why the polling industry was unable to correctly forecast the result. Two daily tracking polls, the UPI/CVoter poll and the University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll were the only polls that often predicted a Trump popular vote victory or showed a nearly tied election.

Newspaper endorsements in the 2016 United States presidential primaries

Newspapers and news media in the United States traditionally endorse candidates for party nomination for President of the United States, prior to endorsing one of the ultimate nominees for President. Below is a list of notable news media endorsements in 2016, by candidate, for each primary race.

Political positions of Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio is a Republican politician in the United States. He is a United States Senator from Florida, and was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in the 2016 election.

Rubio supports balancing the federal budget, while prioritizing defense spending; on climate change, he believes it is real and humans are contributing to it, but questions the extent to which humans are responsible for it and he asserts that other nations like China are primarily responsible; on Obamacare, he wants to repeal it and replace it with tax credits and less regulation; regarding the internet, he opposes net neutrality which is a government policy of prohibiting different prices for different types of content; on immigration, he supports securing the country's borders and then offering a path to citizenship for some people who came to the United States unlawfully, and supports more vetting of refugees; on social issues, Rubio opposes same-sex marriage; he identifies as pro-life and opposes abortion; on taxes, Rubio plans to set corporate taxes at 25 percent, reform the tax code, and cap economic regulations; as to Cuba, Rubio would counteract the Obama administration's normalization of relations; on Iran, he supports tough sanctions, and scrapping the recent nuclear deal; regarding the Islamic State, he favors aiding local Sunni forces in Iraq and Syria.Rubio says that the United States cannot accept more Syrian refugees because background checks cannot be done under present circumstances; he supports working with allies to set up no-fly zones in Syria to protect civilians from Bashar al-Assad; he favors collection of bulk metadata for purposes of national security; he believes that gun control laws generally fail to achieve their purpose; he is supportive of the Trans Pacific Partnership because the U.S. risks being excluded from global trade unless it is more open to trade; he is wary of China regarding national security and human rights, and wants to boost the U.S. military presence in that region but hopes for greater economic growth as a result of trading with that country; and, on capital punishment, Rubio opposes protracted legal battles that delay justice for the victims, so he favors streamlining the appeals process.

Results of the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries

This article contains the results of the 2016 Republican presidential primaries and caucuses, the processes by which the Republican Party selected delegates to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention from July 18–21. The series of primaries, caucuses, and state conventions culminated in the national convention, where the delegates cast their votes to formally select a candidate. A simple majority (1,237) of the total delegate votes (2,472) was required to become the party's nominee and was achieved by the nominee, businessman Donald Trump of New York.

The process began on March 23, 2015, when Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first presidential candidate to announce his intentions to seek the office of United States President. That summer, 17 major candidates were recognized by national and state polls, making it the largest presidential candidate field for any single political party in American history. The large field made possible the fact that the 2016 primaries were the first since 1968 (and the first in which every state held a contest) in which more than three candidates won at least one state.

When voting began in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, twelve major candidates were actively campaigning; these were (ordered by date of withdrawal from the race) former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, businesswoman and former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina, former Governor Jim Gilmore of Virginia, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, former neurosurgeon and Johns Hopkins University Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery Ben Carson, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, and the eventual nominee, businessman and Trump Organization CEO Donald Trump.

Following poor results from the first-in-the-nation caucus, Huckabee was the first candidate to drop out. Santorum also ended his campaign after a poor performance in Iowa. Paul withdrew from the race after placing fifth in Iowa, and subsequently polling poorly leading into the New Hampshire primary. Christie, who put nearly all of his campaign's resources into the critical state of New Hampshire, withdrew on February 10, 2016, after finishing sixth in the state. Following Christie's announcement, Fiorina suspended her campaign, which was unable to gain traction. Gilmore, who severely lacked funding, campaign infrastructure, and support, surprised many political pundits by staying in the race as far as he did; he dropped out shortly after the New Hampshire primary. Bush withdrew from actively campaigning after finishing fourth in the South Carolina primary. After Super Tuesday, Carson announced that there would be "no path forward" for his bid for the Presidency, effectively suspending his campaign. On March 15, 2016, Rubio dropped out after losing his home state, leaving three active candidates (Cruz, Kasich, and Trump). Trump's resounding victory in the Indiana primary on May 3, 2016, prompted Cruz's exit from the race. The following day, Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee after Kasich dropped out. Trump was formally nominated by the delegates of the 2016 Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016, and proceeded to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the general election on November 8, 2016, to become the 45th President of the United States.

Rick Santorum 2016 presidential campaign

The 2016 presidential campaign of Rick Santorum, former United States Senator from Pennsylvania, was formally announced at a rally in Pittsburgh on May 27, 2015. His campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016 was his second bid for the office, after having been a candidate in 2012, where he received the second most delegates after 2012 nominee Mitt Romney.

Santorum suspended his campaign on February 3, 2016, and endorsed Marco Rubio.

Statewide opinion polling for the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries

This article contains opinion polling by U.S. state for the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries. The shading for each poll indicates the candidate(s) which are within one margin of error of the poll's leader.

For the significance of the earliest state votes, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, see United States presidential primary – Iowa and New Hampshire. For when any given state votes, see Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016 – Schedule of primaries and caucuses.

Straw polls for the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries

The following is a list of notable straw polls for the 2016 Republican Party's presidential nomination.

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