Meet Marco Rubio: Everything You Need to Know (And Probably Didn’t Know) About the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

Learn about the Republican Florida senator running for president.

— -- Name: Marco Antonio Rubio

Party: Republican

What he used to do: Before his election to the Senate in 2010, Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. His very first job was building cages for exotic birds.

Declared as a candidate: April 13, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

In his own words: "We've reached a moment now, not just in my career, but the history of our country, where I believe that it needs a Republican Party that is new and vibrant, that understands the future, has an agenda for that future and I feel uniquely qualified to offer that. And that's why I'm running for president."

What he believes in: Rubio, who has emphasized his Catholic faith on the campaign trail, was actually baptized as a Mormon at age 8, and attended the Church of Latter Day Saints throughout early adolescence. He then converted to Catholicism, making his first communion at 13, and now attends a Baptist church. When Time Magazine dubbed him the "Republican Savior" in 2013, he denounced the label: "There is only one savior, and it is not me. #Jesus," he tweeted.

Biggest childhood challenge: As a child, Rubio had to wear leg braces because his knees turned inward. Knowing his son hated the braces and was an avid football fan, his father, Mario, would impersonate Dolphins coach Don Shula over the phone, telling Marco he needed to wear the splints if he wanted to play for the Miami team. "I always wondered why Shula had a Cuban accent on the phone but not on TV," Rubio joked. He played football for a year at Tarkio College in Missouri before transferring to the University of Florida.

What he was like in school: In high school, Rubio was so disruptive that his teacher offered to give him a C- minus if he skipped class - and threatened an F if he returned to the classroom! "I finished my senior year with a 2.1 grade point average," Rubio admitted. He says he and his high school buddies used to sneak out to booze at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables - the same hotel where he would later spend his wedding night and celebrate his Senate victory.

Might have wished for a do-over: Call it Rubio’s watershed moment. Tapped to give the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address in 2013, Rubio got a tad thirsty on-air. In the midst of his speech - and without breaking eye contact - he furtively reached for an off-screen water bottle and took a swig. Instead of panicking over the awkward moment, his PAC made hay out of the gaffe, releasing a branded water bottle - to the tune of more than $100,000.

His record in the Senate: A bilingual Cuban-American son of immigrant parents, many Republicans hoped Rubio would appeal to Hispanics, but there’s long been an unspoken rift between Cuban Americans and other Hispanic Americans -- a divide that Rubio dismissed as "offensive." In 2012, he helped craft an alternative to the Democrats’ DREAM Act. The plan, which was later scrapped, would have allowed immigrants brought to the United States by their parents to reside in the U.S. legally. Rubio’s mother, who calls undocumented immigrants "pobrecitos" ("poor things"), urged compassion, asking her son not to "mess with them" too much.

Guilty Pleasures: Besides "Spinal Tap," Rubio’s favorite movies include "Pulp Fiction" and "Wedding Crashers." He’s an avid football fan, and once said the coolest moment in his career was catching a pass from then-Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. He jams to R&B, hip-hop, "non-offensive" rap - but is definitely not a fan of disco.

ABC's Ali Dukakis contributed to this report.