Who is Marco Rubio, the Florida senator and potential Trump VP pick?

Rubio's relationship with Trump has evolved -- from competitor to ally.

July 11, 2024, 5:05 AM

When Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was first elected to Congress nearly 14 years ago, he was seen as a rising star in the Republican Party. He's now being looked at as a possible running mate for former President Donald Trump.

Rubio is a Cuban American from Miami, Florida, who grew up in a working-class family. He graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in political science and went on to study law at the University of Miami Law School.

Rubio got an early start in politics, interning for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen while studying law and working on Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.

In 2000, Rubio became a member of the Florida House of Representatives and in 2009, Rubio launched his campaign to run for Florida's U.S. Senate seat, winning the general election in November of 2010.

As a rising star in the GOP, Rubio was viewed as someone who could help the party expand its voter base to attract more Hispanic voters.

Sen. Marco Rubio speaks before Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at Trump National Doral Miami, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla.
Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Rubio launched his presidential bid in April 2015, becoming the youngest person to enter the crowded field at only 43 years old.

In a 2015 interview with George Stephanopoulos following his campaign launch, he told the anchor that it's time for a generational change in politics.

"I think this country's at a generational moment where it needs to decide not what party it wants in charge but what kind of country are we going to want to be moving forward," Rubio told Stephanopoulos.

However, during the 2016 GOP primary, Rubio became a target in a race that would grow increasingly ugly due to the entrance of Trump.

Rubio and Trump would go on to throw jabs at one another during the primary race, with Trump calling Rubio "little Marco" and Rubio calling Trump a "con artist" and that he has "small hands."

It became difficult for any of the other Republican candidates to overcome Trump in the primary that cycle. Rubio suspended his campaign after losing to Trump in his home state of Florida.

Rubio remained in politics, reversing his earlier decision not to run for reelection for his Senate seat in Florida during the 2016 cycle. He won his reelection and also won again in the 2022 midterms.

Former President Donald Trump stands behind Sen. Marco Rubio at a political rally in South Florida on Nov. 6, 2022.
Carl Juste/Miami Herald/TNS via Newscom, FILE

But the relationship between Rubio and Trump would eventually improve. Trump relied on the Florida senator during his presidency, turning to him on policies relating to Latin America.

Rubio is viewed as an individual who could help the Trump campaign attract Hispanic voters and has substantial experience on foreign policy as the vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence and senior member of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Rubio told ABC News' Jon Karl in March that it would be an "honor" to serve as Trump's vice president.

Trump is expected to announce his running mate soon. His senior adviser, Jason Miller, said Monday that Trump could announce his choice "any time this week" as the Republican National Convention approaches on July 15.

Rubio currently lives in Florida with his wife, Jeanette and their four children.

Read ABC News' profiles of other top vice presidential hopefuls, Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance. and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.