Marco Rubio

Republican heavyweights Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush are already out shaking the money trees for possible 2016 presidential runs, and now Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is putting out the word that he is, too.

The United States took a big step toward normalizing relations with Cuba by easing some travel and financial restrictions that have been in place for decades.

The Treasury and Commerce departments announced that the new rules take effect on Friday. According to The Hill, the new rules mean:

-- Travelers who meet certain criteria will no longer need to apply for a license from the Treasury department to travel to Cuba.

Fact-Checking Marco Rubio's New Book

Jan 14, 2015

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio hasn't said if he's running for president in 2016.

But if you want a peek at what some planks of his presidential platform might look like, just crack open Rubio's new book, "American Dream: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone."

PolitiFact Florida did just that and has fact-checked a couple of claims in Rubio's book.

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

Public polling shows that Rubio does 13 percentage points better with women than Scott when voters are asked if they disapprove of the job the two are doing. While 39 percent of women disapproved of the job Rubio is doing (actually 7 points better than President Barack Obama), Scott has 52 percent of women disapproving of the job he is doing.

With the federal Environmental Protection Agency's  new targets for reducing carbon emissions just being released, the debate over how to reduce atmosphere-heating carbon is on -- again.

“I think all science deserves skepticism,” Rubio said in an interview about what he does and doesn’t believe about global warming and what to do about it. And right now, Rubio doesn’t want to take too much action. In the wake of a new White House report on climate change that paints a bleak picture for his home county, his state, the nation and the planet, Rubio harbors doubts about some of the findings. He’s especially opposed to suggested fixes designed to lessen the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the United States.

Rubio: 'Ready to be President'

May 11, 2014
Jim Cole / Associated Press

Senator Marco Rubio, a potential Republican White House candidate in 2016, said "I do" on Sunday when asked if he thinks he is ready to be U.S. president, noting that even though he is just 42 he has held public office for about 14 years.

Rubio, a first-term senator from Florida who has fallen out of favor with many in his party's right wing over his support for a bipartisan immigration measure in the Senate last year, has been an active potential contender for his party's nomination.

Rubio: Bush Won’t Deter Me from 2016 Run

Apr 9, 2014

With chatter growing over the possibility of a Jeb Bush-2016 run, Sen. Rubio insisted that the former governor’s potential candidacy for the presidential nomination would not deter him from seeking his party’s nod himself — even though it’s long been presumed the two would avoid running in the same high-stakes race. “In terms of my decision-making for next year, it will be based on me – not on anybody else,” Rubio said in an interview when asked about the prospects of a Bush candidacy. “And I think that’s true for anyone thinking about it – including himself.”

Fact-Checking Rubio and Scott on ACA Claims

Apr 2, 2014

Right around the 4th anniversary of its passage, the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- has come and gone.

While the White House has been celebrating the number of sign-ups -- a number that's in dispute -- critics, including many Republicans, claim the law is fatally flawed.

Looking ahead to 2016, Marco Rubio is not the only Floridian who may consider a presidential run. Jeb Bush - a former Florida governor and the son and brother of former presidents - has been consulting his inner circle about the possibility of running. Strategists say that if Jeb Bush were to enter the 2016 race, it would make it harder for Rubio to raise money since the two have ties to many of the same Republican donors.

Darrin P. Gayles, a Florida state circuit judge, appears to be on track to become the nation's first openly gay black man to serve on the federal bench.

President Obama on Wednesday nominated Gayles, a former assistant U.S. attorney, to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

What Santa Gave Your Senator This Year

Dec 19, 2013

In a year that featured divisive fights over the budget, health care and presidential nominations, the United States Senate took a break from partisan bickering Tuesday night to get in the Christmas spirit.

Rubio To Anti-Gay Group: Nation's Morality at Risk

Nov 18, 2013

"The moral well-being of our nation is our business. It's everybody's business," Sen. Rubio said to applause at the Florida Family Policy Council fundraising dinner. "The debate we should be having isn't whether or not we have a right to talk about values and morals in the public square, the debate we should be having instead is which values and morals our nation should focus on." Rubio, who fell out of favor with some conservatives while pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, clearly still had the support of the social conservatives at the dinner.

After the Vote, Two Different Roads for Rubio, Nelson

Oct 21, 2013

Instead of aligning with liberal wing of his party and blasting away at shutdown catalyst Sen. Ted Cruz, Bill Nelson “broke bread” with Cruz, having dinner with the younger lawmaker. He also signed up to work on a compromise budget plan with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Nelson said he and his wife Grace took Cruz to dinner to get to know him better on a personal level and find areas of common ground. “It was a social dinner and it was something senators ought to do,” Nelson told MSNBC during an interview last week.

Just after the House of Representatives voted to pass a temporary government spending bill  that would also defund Obamacare, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio -- who wants the Senate to do the same -- issued a press release saying:

"The American People support defunding Obamacare and oppose shutting down the government."

Can The President Really Make 11 Million Legal?

Aug 28, 2013

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has a new way to energize conservatives about immigration reform.

Essentially, Rubio says, if conservatives don't join a move to improve the immigration situation, President Barack Obama will do it on his own.


This month, Democrats say, they won't sit out the summer Congressional recess. They're planning to show up at Town Hall-style meetings sponsored by conservatives to present an alternative view. 

In the past, Florida's August meetings have been dominated by Republicans and the Tea Party, denouncing Obamacare. It had an effect in polls, turning the public against the law even as most of its main features  -- when polled separately -- drew approval.

The Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio held a press conference at Gatorland, an Orlando tourist attraction, on Friday to denounce the Affordable Care Act for putting the employer in the position of offering more comprehensive coverage or laying people off. But the Rubio press release didn’t really explain why the premiums will go up.

The answer: The law requires insurance policies to meet the “minimum essential benefits” set by the government.

In a further sign that the health-care law is a political football, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio says he won’t vote for a federal budget unless it removes all funds for the Affordable Care Act, as the Miami Herald reports. A Democrat who chairs the Senate budget committee retorted that failure to pass the budget would strip health care from 25 million Americans, presumably a reference to Medicare. 

The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.

Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.

"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. "And it is hard to get a party moving when you don't have somebody at the top who is a core leader who can be directive."

Senator Marco Rubio continues to try to balance keeping Florida voters happy while trying to win over GOP backers on a national level, and a new poll is showing mixed results because of that. While a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows voters disapprove of how he's handling the immigration issue by a 41 to 33 percent margin, his job approval rating is up slightly to 51 percent.

Forget, for a moment, about the bipartisan Gang of Eight, whose members crafted the original version of the immigration bill being taken up by the Senate this week.

PolitiFact Calls Out Some Florida Flip-Flops

May 14, 2013

Politicians take positions on issues all of the time. It's part of their job.

And while reasonable people might say that times change, so positions can change, too -- well, politics is not always reasonable.

When a politician changes a position, their opponents are more than likely going to claim they "flip-flopped."

So, holding politicians to the same standards they hold each other, PolitiFact Florida is citing some notable flip-flops this week.

There was a time when Jim DeMint was committed to helping Sen. Marco Rubio achieve his goals.

Not anymore.

At least not when it comes to remaking the nation's immigration laws.

DeMint is president of the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, which on Monday released a report contending that an immigration overhaul would cost U.S. taxpayers $6.3 trillion over 13 years in direct and indirect spending like welfare and public schools.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Florida’s junior U.S. Senator has become the face of bipartisan efforts to reform immigration. In fact, Sen. Marco Rubio’s stand has turned him from the “darling” of conservatives to a target of sorts.

Rubio visited the Florida College Academy in Temple Terrace to talk about his Educational Opportunities Act – which is a federal  version of Florida’s school voucher program that gives poor children school choice.

But Rubio was still carrying the banner for immigration reform.

In the current debate over revamping the nation's immigration laws, there may be no elected official with more on the line than Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

White House Correspondents' Association

After a few weeks of heavy news, President Barack Obama and the reporters who cover him enjoyed a light-hearted evening over the weekend. Saturday was the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

Before headliner Conan O'Brien took to the stage, Obama dished out some zingers at the expense of the press, Republicans and even himself.

"One Senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio," Obama said. "But I don't know about 2016. I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate, and he thinks he's ready to be president. Kids these days."

Screen grab / Courtesy of the Washington Post

My husband is a political show junkie, but not even he had time to catch all seven of Marco Rubio's Sunday morning TV news appearances. 

Yes, seven. That's a record, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The Republican Senator went on a media blitz to tout the bipartisan immigration reform bill he's been crafting as part of a Congressional posse known as the Gang of Eight. The bill is expected to be revealed any day now.

Immigration Group Visits Senator Rubio's Office

Mar 6, 2013
Yoselis Ramos

Various immigration activists have come together into what they're calling The Florida Caravan for Immigration Reform. They visited Senator Marco Rubio's office in Tampa today.