Marco 101

Highly regarded for his principled, energetic and idea-driven leadership, Marco Rubio is a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010.

In 1971, Marco was born in Miami to Cuban-born parents who came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover. When he was eight years old, Rubio and his family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where his father worked as a bartender at the Sams Town Hotel and his mother as a housekeeper at the Imperial Palace Hotel.  In 1985, the family returned to Miami where his father continued working  as a bartender at the Mayfair House Hotel until 1997. Thereafter he worked as a school crossing guard until his retirement in 2005. His mother worked as a Kmart stock clerk until she retired in 1995.

Rubio attended South Miami Senior High School, graduating in 1989. He attended Tarkio College in Missouri for one year on a football scholarship before transferring to Santa Fe Community College and then graduating in 1993 with a bachelor of science from the University of Florida. He continued his studies at the University of Miami where he earned his juris doctor, cum laude, in 1996.

From 2000-2008, Rubio served in the Florida House of Representatives. During this period, he served as Majority Whip, Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, effectively promoting an agenda of lower taxes, better schools, a leaner and more efficient government and free market empowerment. Rubio also helped spearhead Florida’s congressional and legislative redistricting effort. He chaired the House Select Committee on Property Rights, which crafted national model legislation to protect private property rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London decision that opened the door for eminent domain abuse.

During the two years prior to assuming the speakership, Rubio traveled around the state hosting “Idearaisers” to solicit Floridians’ input on ways to strengthen Florida. The 100 best ideas were compiled into a book entitled “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future” which served as the basis for his term. All 100 ideas were passed by the Florida House. Fifty-seven of these ideas ultimately became law, including measures to crack down on gangs and sexual predators, promote energy efficient buildings, appliances and vehicles, and help small businesses obtain affordable health coverage. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich hailed the effort as “a work of genius.”

In addition to these ideas, Rubio championed a major overhaul of the Florida tax system that would have eliminated all property taxes on primary residences in favor of a flat consumption tax. The effort garnered national attention, with

Grover Norquist, president of the fiscally conservative Americans for Tax Reform, praising Rubio as “the most pro-taxpayer legislative leader in the country.”

During his legislative career, Rubio also promoted efforts to develop a world-class public school curriculum, increase performance-based accountability, enhance school choice and target the socio-economic factors affecting chronic academic underperformance. He is also widely credited for blocking the expansion of gambling in Florida and shepherding the passage of historic energy legislation based on market incentives rather than government-imposed mandates.

Since the end of his tenure as Speaker, Rubio has resumed his law practice as a sole practitioner.  He has also served as a visiting professor at Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center, worked as Florida Chairman of GOPAC and as a political analyst for Univision during the 2008 election cycle.

He has also continued his community and civic involvement, serving on the boards of the Latin Builders Association and Alafit International, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting global literacy. He also remains engaged in the West Miami community where he served as a city commissioner prior to being elected to the state house.

Rubio and his wife, Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio, have been married since 1998. They are the parents of four children: Amanda, Daniella, Anthony, and Dominic. They currently live in the working class city of West Miami, just four blocks from the home his parents moved the family to in 1985.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

What People Are Saying

  • The Club for Growth

    “He is a dynamic spokesman for the principles of limited government and economic freedom, and he will make a fantastic Senator.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Associated Builders & Contractors Of Florida

    “ABC stands for free enterprise, Merit Shop, and balanced, reasonable regulation. Marco Rubio shares our philosophy.  We look forward to doing all we can to elect Marco Rubio the next U.S. Senator from Florida.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • George P. Bush

    “He is a rock-solid conservative and the leader Floridians deserve in the U.S. Senate to advocate for limited government and greater personal freedoms. Marco’s deeply rooted principles and can-do spirit will make him a powerful voice on behalf of those who want to hold Washington accountable for its excesses while offering bold solutions to our nation’s challenges.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Jeb Bush Jr.

    “Marco Rubio is a candidate who can help to bring our Party back on track by reaching out to our youth, entrepreneurs, Hispanics and those who believe that if you work hard enough, anything you dream can be achieved. With Marco, we have a great opportunity to elect a true conservative and a greater obligation to elect a man of principle.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum

    “Marco Rubio brings a refreshing dose of leadership and energy to a Republican Party and nation that needs more people in Washington willing to stand up for limited government, restrained spending and traditional values.  Marco knows what he stands for and has proven that he has unshakeable core beliefs that won’t wither in the wind.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Vice President Dick Cheney

    “Washington is broken and Congress is already overflowing with politicians who need pollsters to tell them what to think. It certainly doesn’t need another one. Now more than ever America needs leaders with the strength of conviction.  That is why I am proud to endorse Marco Rubio.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • State Senator Carey Baker

    “Marco Rubio is the real deal. He represents principled conservatism that doesn’t waiver in the face of political pressure or political opportunism. Now more than ever, we need that kind of strength of character in our political process.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Former Florida Senate President Tom Lee

    “Those of us who worked alongside Marco have witnessed his dedication to limited government principles firsthand, and we know the words he speaks today come from his heart and are deeply rooted in long-held beliefs.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul

    “The economic downturn of the last three-and-a-half years has been tough for Floridians, and it was a time that called for real leadership, not poll driven press conferences.  Marco stood up to lead with new ideas and real reforms.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Governor Mitt Romney

    “Marco Rubio’s proven record of conservative, principled, and idea-driven leadership is what Florida needs now.  Marco Rubio will be a reliable spokesman against the Washington culture of higher spending, higher taxes and higher debt. I am delighted to endorse his campaign and look forward to the contributions he will make in the U.S. Senate.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Steve Forbes, Chairman and CEO of Forbes

    “Throughout his career, Marco Rubio has demonstrated an unshakable faith in free markets and limited government that have earned him the trust and admiration of supply-side conservatives everywhere.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Cesar Conda, Former advisor to Dick Cheney

    “He struck me as someone who was genuinely interested in the nitty-gritty of public policy; a true policy wonk who had championed 100 reform ideas when he was the Speaker of the Florida house.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Congressman Jeff Miller

    “Rubio has been consistent in his opposition to the stimulus, ObamaCare, tax hikes and bailouts. Floridians can count on him to be an independent voice for limited government and against the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Congressman Tom Price

    “He’s proven he will stand up to liberal, big government agendas and offer a refreshing, idea-driven brand of leadership that embodies the best things our Republican Party has to offer.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Congressman Mike Pence

    “At a time when the American people long for leaders of principle, Marco Rubio will be a courageous check and balance on the current Washington establishment.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Congressman Paul Ryan

    “Marco Rubio has proven he is exactly the type of consistent, principled conservative the Republican Party needs to ensure the relationship between the federal government and the individual is one that maximizes freedom and prosperity.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite

    “Washington needs leaders with solid conservative beliefs and the courage to do the right thing…Marco Rubio is the consistent, principled conservative we need to provide a check and balance on the Obama-Reid agenda.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Senator Jame Inhofe

    “Like me, Marco believes that the federal government works best when it returns dollars, decisions and freedom to our local communities and families.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • Mayor Rudy Giuliani

    “Marco is exactly what Florida needs. He’s someone who understands the need for fiscal conservatism. He’s someone that understands our position with regard to terrorism.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
  • U.S. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor

    “Washington spends way too much, and Marco understands the need for a limited but effective government. He knows that it’s not enough just to talk about ending government waste, but that actions are needed to begin to erase our deficits and free our children from our debt.”

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend