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Candidate of the Week

Val Demings
Florida

"Never Tire"

Challenging Marco Rubio

You shouldn’t lose your job if you get sick or pregnant. America, we deserve better.

Val Demings
Policy Positions
Endorsements
Organizations :
Opponent

The old Republican ideology goes that every American can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. To a large extent, Marco Rubio is an emblematic example. Born to immigrant parents, a housekeeper and a bartender, he grew up in Las Vegas and Miami. Rubio attended a year of college on a football scholarship in Missouri before transferring to a community college in Florida, then graduated in two years from the University of Florida. He attended the University of Miami School of Law and graduated cum laude, and in 1998, less than two years after finishing law school, he was elected as a city commissioner, before quickly becoming a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 2000. In 2010, Rubio was elected to the Senate, the second Latino in the chamber’s history. In 2016 he joined the circus that was the 2016 Republican Primary. He dropped out of the primary race when he came in second place to Donald Trump, who took to calling the Florida lawmaker “Little Marco,” in Rubio’s home state of Florida.

Even though Rubio rose from humble beginnings, he doesn’t support a single program or policy that would help others who grew up economically disenfranchised. He wants to slash government spending on welfare. “Our anti-poverty programs have become, in some instances, a lifestyle,” he declared in the South Carolina presidential primary debate. His view that social programs negatively impact the people they serve is in line with the GOP’s long-held beliefs on welfare, despite the high number of Floridians that rely on government support to make ends meet.

Rubio’s Twitter bio reads: “Banned in & sanctioned by China,Follower of Christ,Husband,Father, Proud AMERICAN” [sic]. To Rubio, being a proud American means dismantling gun control legislation, banning same-sex marriage, supporting the death penalty and calling for “more streamlined” executions, and criminalizing marijuana. He believes in eliminating property taxes and increasing the sales tax, shifting the burden of taxation to poorer Americans who do not own their own homes. Rubio also denies the need for immigration reform, despite both his parents having been undocumented when they emigrated from Cuba in 1956. (In addition to being selfish, Rubio is also a liar: his parents left Cuba two and a half years before the Cuban Revolution, despite Rubio’s previous claims they were fleeing the rule of Fidel Castro). Rubio also is a fervent supporter of the Patriot Act, and voted yes on expanding roving wiretaps of American citizens and collecting metadata of the U.S. population.

State

Paleo-Indians arrived almost 14,000 years ago, making Florida one of the longest inhabited places in the current-day continental United States. By the 16th century, major Native American civilizations had formed, from the Apalachee on the Panhandle to the Calusa of the Southwest. It was also the earliest part of America to be reached by European colonization, with Juan Ponce de León landing on the peninsula in 1513. Though Florida has historically been known for agriculture, today it is perhaps best known for its tourism industry, with spots like Disney World, South Beach, and the Florida Keys attracting millions of visitors each year. The past two elections have seen Florida going to Donald Trump, and the state is home to his golf resort-cum-coronavirus hub Mar-a-Lago, which he referred to as the “winter White House” during his tenure. (Unlike the White House, however, Trump was able to bill U.S. taxpayers $650 per room per night to house his Secret Service detail). Floridians come from all over the world, but Cuban Americans are a particularly prominent group, making up 26 percent of the Latino population and playing a huge role in the state’s politics and its reputation as a swing state. 58 percent of Cubans in Florida reported leaning Republican in 2020, compared to 32 percent of non-Cuban Latinos.