Marco Antonio Rubio was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents who were naturalized as US citizens. He was given a football scholarship from Tarkio College, which he attended for a year before moving on to Santa Fe Community College, and eventually graduating from the University of Florida (with a Bachelor of Science) and the University of Miami School of Law (J.D. degree). He interned for Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and volunteered for Senator Bob Dole's presidential campaign in 1996, before embarking upon his own political career. He has since amassed an impressive resume, most prominently including his election to the Florida House of Representatives – eventually becoming Speaker of that chamber – and his current occupation, Junior Senator from Florida in the United States Senate. Rubio announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on April 13, 2015 in Miami.
Rubio is an unambiguously conservative candidate, enjoying a 100.00 rating from the American Conservative Union for his Senate votes in 2011 and 2012. He supports a flat federal tax rate, opposes the capital gains tax, and has stated that no taxes should ever be raised during a recession. He believes the age at which a person may begin collecting Social Security benefits should be raised for those more than 10 years away from retirement, due to increased life expectancy. Rubio is also strongly pro-life, opposes same-sex marriage, and has stated that there is no responsible way to use marijuana recreationally.
Marco Rubio's "Big Announcement"
With his conservative politics making him well liked among Republicans – especially the important Tea Party segment – Rubio's Cuban heritage in the largely Hispanic city of Miami has helped establish his popularity among Latino voters. This combination of strong right-wing politics and Latino appeal promises a solid advantage to any Republican candidate, aiding Rubio's status as prominent among those most likely to receive the party's nod for 2016. It should be noted, however, that following the nominations of John McCain and Mitt Romney, candidates with dubious conservative credentials, the GOP would have to commit itself to a considerable change in strategy in backing the no-nonsense conservatism of Rubio.