The already crowded Republican field for the 2016 presidential election continues to grow as Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced that he was running for president at a breakfast meeting with major donors in Miami in Monday.
A donor at the breakfast meeting said that afterwards Rubio made a conference call to his network of donors who were unable to be in Miami.
Rubio’s presidential announcement comes a day after Clinton announced her bid for the Democratic nomination and as she is traveling to Iowa on her first trip as a candidate.
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Details on Marco Rubio’s announcement of his presidential bid
As of early Monday, 3,512 people requested tickets before registration closed for the Friday breakfast event at the downtown Miami Marriott. The Marriott tower only holds around 1,000 people, so the other attendees watched at a site across the street in front of the American Airlines Arena. The huge jumbotron screen located here allowed the boisterous crowd from all across the country watch Rubio speak.
Rubio’s announcement adds to an already crowded field, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The Cuban-American senator is the third major GOP contender to declare himself a candidate, after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul, in a field that is expected to balloon to 20 candidates.
Rubio is a first-generation American immigrant (his parents fled Cuba). Of note, either Rubio or Cruz would make history if either were elected as the nation’s first Hispanic president.
Made announcement of presidential bid to family and friends on Sunday
Multiple media sources also confirm that Rubio hosted a “friends and family” barbecue at the Miami home of his friend, Bernie Navarro, on Sunday evening. According to sources close to the campaign, Rubio’s wife and children, as well as some of his siblings, and most of his top staffers and other friends who live in Miami attended BBQ dinner..
Trying to come across as a “more caring” Republican
In his announcement speech on Monday morning, Rubio noted the American Dream is slipping from too many families, and that many young Americans face unequal opportunities to succeed. Political analysts highlighted that his message was clearly designed to make the GOP seem like a party that cares about all voters, not just the rich voters.
“I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it,” Rubio said.
The senator is making pitch to voters a modern embodiment of American opportunity, as he is son of a maid and bartender who worked through law school and is now a power broker in the U.S. Senate.
Rubio slams Clinton in his announcement speech
“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said in his speech donors. And in an obvious slap at recently announced Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, he noted: “Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”