The growing fight between Florida’s favorite sons has become all the more imminent this month as Sen. Marco Rubio has, by all indications, made it clear that he will run for president in 2016.
Aside from the obvious questions concerning the competition for donors and staffers from their home state, many have privately and publicly questioned why Rubio would dare challenge the man whom they see as his political mentor.
On the night Rubio was declared winner of his current Senate seat, Jeb Bush effused, “Marco Rubio makes me cry for joy.” But in a recent interview, Rubio sought to dispel the myth that his relationship with Bush sets up a sort of coup d’etat.
Explaining that Bush never directly mentored him but rather he learned by “watching” and “working near” Bush, Rubio detailed:
“It wasn’t that he sat me down and gave me a lecture about it; you learn from being exposed to people.”
The answer to why Rubio, at the young age of 43, is choosing not to wait for a later presidential cycle came from Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), former colleague in the Florida legislature, who quipped, “One thing I know about Marco: Marco is a little bit impatient.”
The uphill battle is daunting for Rubio who not only is competing for the same donor pool as Bush in Florida but also must find a way to emerge as a distinctive candidate early enough in the primary process to make a play for their home state whose primary is fourth in the lineup.