Marco Rubio

MOLLY RILEY (Rubio), CHARLES KRUPA (Bush) / Miami Herald

Tuesday is the New Hampshire primary. Among Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders holds a significant lead over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On the other side, Donald Trump holds a double-digit lead, followed by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. What do New Hampshire voters want and consider their top issues? How different are they from Florida voters or Iowa voters? Patricia Mazzei, political reporter for the Miami Herald, has been following the Rubio and Jeb Bush campaigns. 

The issue of Iranian hostages was back in the news recently - the hostages from way back in 1980. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, brought up Ronald Reagan's role in their release. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that and Jeb Bush's claim that he reduced the number of teens using heroin with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

Relations with Iran have been in the headlines recently, with the relaxation of sanctions in light of the deal to curb the development of nuclear weapons in the rogue nation.

The Florida Roundup: Politics In 2015

Dec 30, 2015
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Before ringing in the New Year, we take a look back at 2015 national politics and politics in the Sunshine State.


It was a critical year for Democrats and Republicans running in the presidential race. From spring through summer, more than 20 major party candidates started campaigning as presidential hopefuls. Four of them have personal connections to Florida: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson.


As Marco Rubio campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, he's pledging to bring generational change to Washington. Yet Rubio's policy toward Cuba hinges on reinstating a half-century-old diplomatic freeze that failed to unseat the communist government on the island where his parents were born.

The Florida senator sees no contradiction between his pledge to usher in new ideas and his call to restore an old, punitive relationship with Cuba.

In his race for the White House, Former Governor Bush has hit many bumps in the road, so he’s tossing some new tires on the campaign bus. Under the new anthem of “Jeb Can Fix It,” Bush is trying to shake off some of the criticisms that have left him down in the polls. South Florida Republican Carlos Curbelo says he has no regrets about supporting Bush so early.

“No not at all look I supported the candidate that I think is best prepared to be president of the United States and he’s now retooling his campaign. He’s going to relaunch it and looking forward to that,” Curbelo says.

Sen. Marco Rubio clarified his view on the 11 million immigrants, who are in the United States illegally. The day after a presidential debate, which exposed a continuing divide in the Republican Party on immigration, Rubio told NPR on Wednesday that he favors a path to citizenship for some, though the prospect would be very distant.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be feeling the heat again in Tuesday evening's debate as he tries to rebound from a disappointing performance last month that renewed questions about his viability.

"I think there's going to be a lot of pressure on Jeb," predicted Katie Packer Gage, who was Mitt Romney's deputy campaign manager in 2012. "He put some pressure on himself by telling people he's going to get better and work on his debate performance. I think this is kind of a make-or-break moment for him to really step up what he's been able to do in previous debates."

Anyone who has watched any of the presidential debates knows the claims have been flying around fast and furious. So we're going to take on some of those claims from the recent debate in Boulder, Colorado, from the Florida-based candidates in a bit of a lightning round with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

Mark J. Terrill / AP

When Marco Rubio was asked at Wednesday's Republican presidential debate about the South Florida Sun Sentinel's editorial that called for his resignation as Senator, Rubio was prepared.

"I read that editorial with great amusement," Rubio said. The editorial board slammed Rubio for a poor voting record at Capitol Hill, which is among the lowest this year.

A Washington watchdog group filed a complaint Tuesday with the IRS about a secret-donor nonprofit organization that is spending millions of dollars on commercials to boost Marco Rubio's 2016 prospects.

Conservative Solutions Project has aired pro-Rubio TV ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, in addition to sending mail to voters in those early presidential primary states.

Hundreds of donors to Jeb Bush's presidential campaign will gather later this month in Houston. They'll shake hands with a pair of former presidents, and high-profile lieutenants of the former Florida governor will push them to write generous checks.

This weekend in Las Vegas, dozens of donors met up with Marco Rubio. They ate fast-food hamburgers, shook hands with a celebrity pawn-shop owner and played flag football with the Florida senator.

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio vowed Tuesday to cap the number of regulations government can impose on businesses, particularly "on-demand" startups like Uber and Airbnb that he considers models for a changing national economy.

Speaking in New York City to tech enthusiasts, Rubio praised the "disruptive" companies but said such businesses and the people who work for them are unfairly burdened by a meddlesome and "out of touch" government.

Since 1960, the Democrats were the party that nominated new generation candidates. Three of them — Kennedy, Clinton and Obama — won the White House. Republicans nominated old guys, whether they lost — think Dole, McCain and Romney — or won, like Ronald Reagan. But this year, the geezers are on the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton is 67, Bernie Sanders is 74 and, if he gets in, Joe Biden is 72. On the Republican side, for a change, it's a completely different story.

After a summer largely spent raising money for his Republican campaign for president, Marco Rubio says he's about to start spending a whole lot more time in Iowa and the other early voting states.

"There were obviously other things we needed to do," the Florida senator said this past week in an interview with The Associated Press. "We need the resources to be able to have staff here and be on the air and do the things a campaign requires. But, we were just here a few days ago. We're going to be back a lot more."

Rubio Overshadows Bush In New Florida Poll

Sep 23, 2015
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The Donald continues to lead his Republican presidential opponents while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has leapfrogged a onetime mentor, former Gov. Jeb Bush, in a poll of Florida voters released Wednesday by Florida Atlantic University.

In critical swing-state Florida, Hillary Clinton holds a significant edge over her Democratic rivals but struggles in match-ups against most Republican contenders, including Rubio and Florida pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the survey found.