Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has lost some momentum after his third-place ‘victory’ in the Iowa caucuses. Here are two capsule versions of Rubio’s story — one is closer to reality.
CAMPAIGN RUBIO: At campaign stops, he recounts his crowd-tested rags-to-riches story.
REAL-WORLD RUBIO: He was the pampered protegé of auto magnate and former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman. In addition to being Rubio’s biggest campaign donor (about $10 million), Braman has in the past given jobs to Rubio and his wife and allowed Rubio to use his private jet — apparently in exchange for favors that benefited Braman’s charitable causes.
CAMPAIGN RUBIO: He often tells the story about his family escaping from Cuba in 1956 to pursue a dream of a better life in the United States.
REAL-WORLD RUBIO: Even as he celebrates his family’s determination to come to America, he advocates for barriers that would make it difficult for similar immigrants to live here.
CAMPAIGN RUBIO: He is portrayed as a hard-working, dynamic, competent manager.
REAL-WORLD RUBIO: The Florida senator is a frequent no-show on Capitol Hill, and had a spotty attendance record as a part-time instructor at Florida International University. Also, some of his financial moves have been questionable — he put personal expenses on a GOP credit card, made messy real estate deals (in one case, his home almost went into foreclosure), leased a luxury car, and drained his retirement accounts.
CAMPAIGN RUBIO MEETS REAL-WORLD RUBIO: The two collided on Feb. 6 in a debate prior to the New Hampshire primary. After Chris Christie accused Rubio of repeatedly delivering a “memorized 25- second speech,” Rubio melted down and went on to do just that. There were boos from the crowd.