Hours after Hillary Clinton declared her bid for the presidency, Senator Marco Rubio announced he would be throwing his name in the hat for the Republican ticket.
And he did so via a grainy Twitter video. Because hey, he REALLY wants you to know he’s hip, out in those mean Biscayne Bay streets.
The young senator even teased the video with the caption “Just recorded this quick video on my phone.” In the background, cars and wind muffle his statements.
The post was just one of many on his Twitter feed, most of which were announcement countdowns to the BIG announcement, set for Monday at 6 p.m. EST.
But according to the New York Times, on Monday he made – you guessed it – another announcement, telling his top donors that his campaign was officially a go. The senator, 43, also took a thinly veiled dig at Clinton, 67, by saying the race for the White House should be about the future rather than the past.
Rubio told his top donors that he feels “uniquely qualified” to defend the American Dream as president.
According to reports, one Rubio adviser said the candidate will not be “competing for who can be the Whitest, oldest, rich guy” in the race. On the contrary; his team hopes to brand him as a symbol of a new America – a bilingual son of working-class immigrants who uses social media tools like Twitter (albeit not that well) to get his message across.
On his website, a highlight reel of his speeches played up his Cuban-American roots, likely looking to pull on the heartstrings of the everyday struggling family hoping to achieve “The American Inheritance.”
Rubio will no doubt be the candidate that Republicans look to, not only to attract younger members, but also to attract the coveted Black and Latino vote. Rubio’s record tends to skew more moderate than many of his Republican colleagues, but his sometimeish stance on immigration may still hurt him.
Once a favorite among the Tea Party, Rubio all but severed ties with the group in 2013 when he backed a comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate that would enable undocumented immigrants to follow a path to citizenship. But earlier this year, he restored order to the young Conservative universe, backtracking on support of the bill and telling conservative Fox News personality Sean Hannity that the primary focus of immigration should be securing the border, above all else.
With Rubio and Clinton on track to be early frontrunners in their respective parties, whose campaigns will you be watching?