Election 2016: 25 Things You Should Know About Marco Rubio

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Charlie Neibergall/AP Images

Sen. Marco Rubio has been in politics since 2000, when he was first voted into the Florida House of Representatives during a special election. That means political reporters have been tracking Rubio since he was 28, from his years in the state House to his first term in the U.S. Senate.

Scrutiny has increased this year, as Rubio launched his first White House bid. With all those political reporters buzzing around, is there anything left to learn about the Florida Republican?

InsideGov certainly thinks so. As your home of the data-driven smart take on politics, InsideGov hunted around for the key facts and figures that have defined Rubio’s career in the public eye, ranking them from smallest (1 golden sword) to largest ($47.7 million).

#25. 1 Golden Sword

Phil Coale/AP Images

In 2005, Rubio delivered his first speech as his state’s Speaker of the House. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sat in the front row, and when the speech concluded, he gave Rubio a golden sword. “I can’t think back on a time when I’ve ever been prouder to be a Republican, Marco,” Bush said as he gave Rubio the sword. But the lovefest hasn’t continued between the two, who are both running for president in 2016. In the third GOP debate, Bush went after Rubio for missing votes in the Senate while campaigning for the White House.

#24. 1 Out of 3

Charlie Neibergall/AP Images

Rubio is one of three Latin Americans currently serving in the U.S. Senate. The others are Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

#23. 1:04 Minutes

When celebrity news site TMZ caught up with Rubio in a D.C. airport, the Florida senator talked for a little more than a minute about Tupac, Lil Wayne and the Wu-Tang Clan as he walked to his waiting car. Rubio often talks about his love of ’90s hip-hop.

#22. 2 Years

Rubio was Florida’s Speaker of the House in the state’s House of Representatives, from 2006 to 2008.

#21. 3 Books

Charlie Neibergall/AP Images

Rubio has penned three books: “American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone” in 2015, “An American Son: A Memoir” in 2013 and “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future” in 2006.

#20. 5 Seconds for 1 Sip of Water

File Photo/AP Images

Rubio memorably stopped his State of the Union response in 2013 to take a drink from a tiny bottle of Poland Spring water. The Internet couldn’t stop laughing about it.

#19. 5 Months

Mike Groll/AP Images

Rubio missed five months of mortgage payments on a house he co-owned in Tallahassee with former Rep. David Rivera. Rivera and Rubio served together in Florida’s House of Representatives. The house was sold in June 2015 for $117,000.

#18. Gang of 8

Rubio joined the bipartisan Gang of 8 in 2013, the group of senators who advocated for immigration reform with the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. The bill, which would have beefed up border security and eventually granted citizenship to many undocumented immigrants in the U.S., passed the Senate but was never taken up by the House.

#17. 9 Committees

Martin Falbisoner

Rubio sits on nine committees in the U.S. Senate.

#16. 10:28 Minutes

During the fourth Republican debate on Nov. 10, Rubio spoke for 10 minutes and 28 seconds. As InsideGov reported one of the more pointed exchanges of that debate was between Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul about military spending and America’s role abroad.

#15. 12.3 Percent

As of Nov. 18, 2015, Rubio polls at 12.3 percent. In this year’s crowded Republican field, that puts him in third place, behind businessman Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

#14. 17th Most Conservative Senator

The National Journal’s annual ranking of the most conservative and most liberal members of Congress put Rubio at No. 17 on its 2013 list.

#13. 18 Staffers


When Gov. Jeb Bush left office in 2007, Rubio hired 18 former Bush aides to the Speaker’s office. Plugged-in Florida politicos started calling the setup “the governor’s office in exile.”

#12. 31 Weeks

Rubio announced he was running for president on April 13, 2015, making his White House campaign 31 weeks old.

#11. $45

John Raoux/AP Images

The going rate for a Marco Rubio for President polo shirt. True story, the campaign calls them “Marco Polo” shirts.

#10. 49 Percent

In November 2010, Rubio won the U.S. Senate race with 49 percent of the vote.

#9. 105 Bills and Resolutions

Andrew Harnik/AP Images

Since January 2011, when he first got to Capitol Hill, Rubio has sponsored 105 bills and resolutions in the Senate.

#8. 107 Months

Mark Foley/Wikimedia Commons

Rubio served in the Florida’s House of Representatives for 107 months, from January 2000 to November 2008.

#7. 143 Endorsements

John Raoux/AP Images

Rubio has collected 143 endorsements for his 2016 presidential campaign, including 130 from federal, state and local politicians.

#6. $7,243.74


Rubio charged $7,243.74 in personal expenses to a corporate American Express card while he was Florida’s Speaker of the House. The charges took place from January 2005 to October 2006. In November 2015, Rubio’s campaign said he “paid his personal charges directly to American Express.”

#5. $100,000

During his State of the Union response in 2013, Rubio said he owed more than $100,000 in student loans after graduating. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida and his law degree from University of Miami School of Law in 1996.

#4. $371,005

Rubio’s net worth, which is lower than average among his fellow members of Congress.

#3. 974,868 Twitter Followers

Almost a million people want to hear from Rubio on Twitter. And he averages about 43.5 tweets per month.

#2. $2.6 Million

Rubio’s official campaign committee, Marco Rubio for President, has collected more than $2.6 million from Florida-based donors. That total has come from contributions of $200 or more.

#1. $47.7 Million

According to the most recent filings, Rubio and the political action committees backing his presidential run have raised a total of $47.7 million.

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