Things are looking up for Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio. Coming in third to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in the Iowa Caucus, Rubio is in a position to shine in the New Hampshire primary on February 9. In fact, early polls in the first primary of the season are showing that Rubio is moving into second place, according to a poll released on Thursday. The excitement and future of the candidates in the Republican presidential race could be decided in the Granite State’s primary. Rubio, who often stresses religious liberties, immigration reform, and his own faith, has aligned himself as not only the most energetic candidate, but one who’s acceptable to both moderates and conservatives.
Let’s take a break from the presidential race and get to know Rubio a little bit better. Here are five surprisings things you didn’t know about the Florida Senator.
1. He came from humble beginnings
Rubio embodies the idea of the American Dream. The Florida Senator was born to poor Cuban parents who fled Cuba in 1956 as Fidel Castro rose to power, according to Newsmax. While growing up in Miami, his mother, Oriales, served as a maid, retail clerk, and cashier, while his father, Mario, was a hotel bartender. He came from very humble beginnings, but worked his way to the top using hard work and perseverance. And his hard work paid off. Quadrangle Online notes that the Rubio, who was born in 1971, is one of the youngest candidates for presidency.
2. His rival was his political mentor
Interestingly, Rubio’s relationship with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dates back to 1998, according to CBS News. At the time, Rubio was running for city commissioner for West Miami and Bush was running for governor. Over the years, as Rubio continued to work his way up, Rubio both worked with consulted with Bush. In addition, in 2005 when Rubio became the first Cuban-American House Speaker in Florida’s history, Bush even gave Rubio a sword, which CBS News says represented conservative values.
3. He has some interesting musical tastes
One of the best ways to gauge a candidate’s qualifications and likability is by judging the music that she or he listens to. We’re kidding, but Rubio’s music tastes do align with his age and his appeal to younger voters. Politico reported that Rubio not only hates disco music but stuck it to the 1970s by calling it a “very frightening time.” Apparently, he’s not a big fan of the Bee Gees, bell bottoms, and disco balls.
The type of music he does love? Rap music, specifically Nicki Minaj. But it goes beyond that: In a 2012 interview with GQ, the magazine found out just how far his knowledge of the genre’s history is when he praised the “depth” in Eminem’s music. He also told the magazine that his three all-time favorite songs were “Killuminati” by Tupac, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A. He also shared his Spotify playlist with the mag. We can’t help but wonder if he knows the rap lyrics to “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G.
4. He’s into reasonably priced fashion
Since he’s the youngest candidate in the race, it makes sense that his style stands out in the sea of oversized and boring suits, and casual clothing that doesn’t fit well. Rubio’s statement footwear made headlines when New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro’s eye was drawn to a pair of heeled boots that Rubio wore while on the campaign trail, according to Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair points out that his shoes stood out for several reasons: 1. They have something about them that hasn’t been seen before during this campaign season, notably that Rubio has some fashion sense; 2. Rubio stands at 5-foot-10 and people under this height rarely become president; 3. When Rubio’s campaign was contacted about where these awesome boots were from, Politco reported that the boots came from Florsheims, which cost “not much more than $100.” For a pair of boots that spurred #bootiegate, they’re pretty reasonably priced.
5. His first career choice was the NFL
Before he wanted to be president, Rubio dreamt of being in the NFL, per the Los Angeles Times. Interestingly, Rubio’s two top career choices are what almost every little boy aspires to be when he grows up. The Los Angeles Times explains that the longtime fan of the Miami Dolphins played football in college, but after an injury sidelined him, he was drawn to politics. At least he was able to hold onto one of the best parts of being in the NFL: having a former Dolphins cheerleader for a wife. Go Rubio!