The Slatest

Former Florida Allies Assert on the Record That Rubio Is a Lazy, Devious Little Twerp

Marco Rubio campaigns at the Maple Street Biscuit Co. in Jacksonville, Florida on Monday.

Win McNamee/Getty Images


It is widely anticipated that Marco Rubio is going to get shellacked on his home turf in Tuesday’s Florida presidential primary. A very unsympathetic Friday profile in the Tampa Bay Times suggests that part of the reason this is so is that Rubio’s entire career has consisted of sweet-talking influential individuals into giving him big opportunities only to drop those individuals like hot rocks when another better thing comes along. The idea is that now, when he needs home-state support more than ever, Rubio has no one on the ground to rely on; a number of past allies in fact went on the record to tell the Times exactly how little they like lil’ Marco and how bad he is at actually doing the jobs he’s chosen for. In other words, all the people he stepped on on the way up are ready to kick him in the groin on his way down, or however that aphorism goes.


Among the highlights:

  • Rubio left his first-ever elected position, on the West Miami City Commission, after one year to run for the Florida House.
  • He “landed one of 12 highly desired spots” on a post-9/11 Florida Legislature security committee only to miss six out of its 15 meetings.
  • Mike Fasano, a former Florida House majority leader, chose Rubio as one of his whips but says he showed up so rarely to strategy meetings that asking “Where’s Rep. Rubio?” became a running joke.
  • Hialeah mayor and GOP “kingmaker” Raúl Martinez, one of the first people Rubio spoke to about becoming speaker of the Florida House, now says he “wouldn’t support [Rubio] for dog catcher” because of a broken promise related to school funding.
  • Tony DiMatteo, a Florida Republican who conducted straw polls that gave Rubio’s U.S. Senate campaign a crucial early PR boost, says Rubio failed to follow through on his promise to help DiMatteo become party chairman. DiMatteo has already cast a ballot for Trump.
  • A South Florida activist named Joyce Kaufman says Rubio’s “lying” and “betrayal”—namely, having run for Senate as a Tea Party hard-liner and then co-sponsored the Gang of Eight immigration bill in Congress—has “cost him greatly.”
  • Rubio actually bailed so early on the Gang of Eight bill that he didn’t show up for the news conference when it passed the Senate. John McCain, a fellow Gang of Eight member, was reportedly disgusted by his public hedging on the bill.
  • A fundraising committee that Rubio set up in Florida to ostensibly help other candidates raised $386,000 but only gave out $4,000. The Times says a similar pattern pertained with a PAC Rubio set up when once he got to the U.S. Senate: “As he had years earlier while angling for House speaker, Rubio used much of the money for himself—giving less than $1 to candidates out of every $20 spent, according to an analysis by National Journal.”


Pretty much every politician screws some people over; Rubio’s problem at this point seems to be that he’s got so few current allies that none of the people from his past are afraid of saying publicly that they think he’s the worst.

Also, this has been reported before, but Marco Rubio had a 2.1 grade point average in high school. 2.1! That’s terrible.

Read more Slate coverage of the GOP primary.