Buying of the President

Published — April 13, 2015 Updated — June 22, 2016 at 10:47 am ET

12 things to know about Marco Rubio

Florida senator becomes third major GOP candidate to enter presidential field

Introduction

Update, June 22, 2016: While Marco Rubio on March 15 decided to suspend his presidential campaign after losing Florida’s primary contest, he chose to seek re-election to his U.S. Senate seat.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., today is expected to become the third big-name Republican to enter the 2016 race for the White House.

Florida’s junior senator faces plenty of challenges during the Republican presidential primary, particularly explaining his past immigration reform advocacy to skeptical conservatives and thriving in a hyper-competitive candidate field that will almost assuredly feature an even better-known Floridian in former Gov. Jeb Bush.

But Rubio is young, aggressive — he’s written a best-selling book and taught a college course while serving in the U.S. Senate — and enjoys the support of some decidedly wealthy political patrons.

Here’s more about the financial history of a man who could become the nation’s first Latino president:

  • Where’s Sen. Marco Rubio getting his campaign money? The biggest category, far and away, is retired folks, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
  • Who’s been the top contributor to Sen. Marco Rubio? The Club for Growth. But it’s not clear whether the group will support him for president. 
  • Is Blackstone executive Wayne Berman a potential Marco Rubio finance chairman? Berman is a big name in GOP money circles.
  • Marco Rubio’s financial support is decidedly Floridian: 19 of his 20 top donor ZIP codes are in the Sunshine State.
  • Meet the billionaire car dealer who could pour millions of dollars into a Marco Rubio presidential bid.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio’s close friend David Rivera, a disgraced former congressman, could be an Achilles heel during a Rubio presidential run. No one has more ethicsand campaign finance scandals than Rivera.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio wants to sell a house he owns with disgraced former Rep. David Rivera — but he can’t ditch it. Metaphor?
  • Sen. Marco Rubio’s best-selling memoir paid more than his Senate salary: He disclosed earning $800,000 in royalties in 2012 and $345,000 in 2013.
  • Is Professor Marco Rubio going to keep teaching that political science class? He made $22,115 from it in 2013.
  • Marco Rubio’s $443,000 estimated net worth ranks him among the poorest senators, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, as well as the Center for Responsive Politics, Miami Herald, Politico and U.S. Senate.

Image sources: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, Gage Skidmore/AP

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