Auto DraftMarco Rubio – FL

Current Position: US Senator since 2011
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): US Representative from 2000 – 2008

Other positions:
Ranking Member, Select Committee on Intelligence
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues – Committee on Foreign Relations

Featured Quote: 
On Friday @CDCgov called #COVID19 “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” Four days later,they now want to force fully vaccinated people to wear masks again based on “new science related to the delta variant” Before stirring up fights over masks they should have released that science.

Featured Video: 
Senator Rubio Delivers Floor Speech Addressing the Political Protests in Cuba

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is demanding Congress and the Biden administration designate the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization and its new government as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Florida senator is expected to roll out legislation Wednesday that would prohibit federal departments and agencies from taking any action that states or implies recognition of the Taliban’s claim of sovereignty over Afghanistan.

The legislation is supported by GOP Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.


Current Position: US Senator since 2011
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): US Representative from 2000 – 2008

Other positions:
Ranking Member, Select Committee on Intelligence
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues – Committee on Foreign Relations

Featured Quote: 
On Friday @CDCgov called #COVID19 “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” Four days later,they now want to force fully vaccinated people to wear masks again based on “new science related to the delta variant” Before stirring up fights over masks they should have released that science.

Featured Video: 
Senator Rubio Delivers Floor Speech Addressing the Political Protests in Cuba


Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is demanding Congress and the Biden administration designate the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization and its new government as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Florida senator is expected to roll out legislation Wednesday that would prohibit federal departments and agencies from taking any action that states or implies recognition of the Taliban’s claim of sovereignty over Afghanistan.

The legislation is supported by GOP Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.



Marco Rubio

Source: Government page

I wake up every day driven to make a difference for you in the United States Senate. I know the most important work in America today is happening in people’s homes, where parents are raising their children and making sacrifices so they can have greater opportunities than the generation before them. I also understand our laws and government’s policies can make it easier – or harder – for your family to pursue and achieve the American Dream.

My office and I are here to help. During my first term in the Senate, we resolved more than 30,000 cases for constituents who sought our help with various issues, and we logged over 1,000 mobile office hours to reach Floridians in every corner of the state. We are proud of these accomplishments and hope to continue this success in my second term.

I’m passionate about serving people because I know how individuals can get lost in the federal government’s bureaucracy when they seek assistance with their veterans’ benefits, Social Security or Medicare, or another federal service. I’ve seen how a broken federal housing inspections process endangers the health and safety of people I represent.

Today, many people worry that the American Dream is slipping away from their reach, and that their children and grandchildren won’t be better off than they were. I’m committed to not letting that happen. I believe in the American Dream because I’ve lived it. My parents came to America from Cuba in 1956 and earned their way to the middle class working humble jobs – my father as a bartender in hotels and my mom as a maid, cashier and stock clerk. By their loving and powerful example, I learned the importance of family and hard work, and believed all things are possible in America.

I have spent most of my life in West Miami, and live there today with my wife Jeanette and our four children. One of the many reasons I love living in Florida and representing its people are the diverse backgrounds and stories of those in my community. Some have made it in America, others are just starting out, and many more are trying to make it. There are homes led by heroic single parents or grandparents, homes with two hardworking parents, and homes with multiple generations living together.

For as long as I can remember, my neighbors helped shape my impression of the American Dream, and it wasn’t long after I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 1993 and my juris doctor from the University of Miami Law School in 1996 that I felt drawn to serve them in public office.

I started as a City Commissioner for West Miami before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, and then speaker in November 2006. Before taking this post, I authored the book 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future, which was based on conversations I had with Floridians at “idearaisers” that my colleagues and I hosted around the state. As speaker, I helped enact many of the ideas in this book.

I was proud to be a champion for smarter, limited government at the state level, but after seeing the impact of our successes there, I wanted to take my ideas for conservative reform to where they were needed the most: Washington, D.C.

When I launched my campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2009, I was expected to lose big to my better-funded and better-known Republican primary opponent. But with a come-from-behind victory, the people of Florida elected me on the promise of bringing conservative ideas to the United States Senate.

Since arriving in the Senate in January 2011, I’ve fought against the Washington establishment’s big government vision, supported replacing ObamaCare with a better health care system, and opposed bloated budgets that increased taxpayer debt at the expense of creating jobs and real prosperity.

With my assignments on the Special Committee on Aging, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I’m focused on reforming our government and keeping Americans safe. I will continue to work with members of both parties on commonsense solutions, and whenever necessary, stand alone as a check and balance. That’s how our Founding Fathers envisioned the Senate.

In addition to the unique federal issues affecting Florida, some of my top priorities include fighting poverty by encouraging states to empower their people, bringing affordable higher education within reach of every American, sparking economic growth by capitalizing on innovation and the global economy, improving Social Security and Medicare for seniors and saving these programs for future generations, and defending our families by revitalizing America’s military strength.

I’m proud to serve you in the Senate. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas and views on how government can work more effectively.

Voting Record

Votes on Bills


  • Committee on Appropriations
  • Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Select Committee on Intelligence (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues (Ranking Member)
    • Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy
    • Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development
  • Special Committee on Aging


  • Senate Republican Conference





Washington, DC Office
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041

Fort Myers Office
2120 Main Street
Room 200
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Phone: 239-318-6464

Palm Beach Gardens Office
4580 PGA Blvd.
Suite 201
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
Phone: (561) 775 3360

Tallahassee Office
402 South Monroe Street
Suite 2105E
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 599-9100

Pensacola Office
700 S. Palafox St.
Suite 125
Pensacola, Florida 32502
Phone: (850) 433-2603


Government Page, Facebook, Twitter, Personal Twitter , Wikipedia


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Campaign Finance

Open Secrets – We Follow the Money

Voting Record

VoteSmart – Key Votes & Ratings



Wikipedia Entry

Marco Antonio Rubio (born May 28, 1971) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the senior United States senator from Florida, a seat he has held since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he served as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from 2006 to 2008. Rubio unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2016, winning presidential primaries in Minnesota, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Rubio is a Cuban American from Miami, Florida. After serving as a city commissioner for West Miami in the 1990s, he was elected to represent the 111th district in the Florida House of Representatives in 2000. Subsequently, he was elected speaker of the Florida House, and was Speaker for two years beginning in November 2006. Upon leaving the Florida legislature in 2008 due to term limits, Rubio taught at Florida International University.

Rubio was elected to the United States Senate in 2010. In April 2015, he decided to run for president instead of seeking reelection to the Senate. He suspended his campaign for president on March 15, 2016, after losing the Florida Republican primary to the eventual winner of the presidential election, Donald Trump. He then decided to run for reelection to the Senate, winning a second term later that year. During the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign in which Rubio and Trump were opponents, Rubio was critical of Trump. Rubio ultimately endorsed Trump before the 2016 general election and was largely supportive of Trump during his presidency. Due to his influence on U.S. policy on Latin America during the Trump administration, he was described as a “virtual secretary of state for Latin America.”[1]

Early life and education

Rubio’s high school yearbook photo, 1989

Marco Antonio Rubio was born in Miami, Florida,[2] the second son and third child of Mario Rubio Reina[3] and Oriales (née Garcia) Rubio. His parents were Cubans who immigrated to the United States in 1956 during the regime of Fulgencio Batista, two and a half years before Fidel Castro ascended to power after the Cuban Revolution.[4] His mother made at least four return trips to Cuba after Castro’s takeover, including a month-long trip in 1961.[4] Neither of Rubio’s parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of Rubio’s birth,[5][6] but his parents applied for U.S. citizenship and were naturalized in 1975.[4] Some relatives of Rubio’s were admitted to the U.S. as refugees.[7]

Rubio’s maternal grandfather, Pedro Victor Garcia, immigrated to the U.S. legally in 1956, but returned to Cuba to find work in 1959.[8] When he fled communist Cuba and returned to the U.S. in 1962 without a visa,[9] he was detained as an undocumented immigrant and an immigration judge ordered him to be deported.[8][10] Immigration officials reversed their decision later that day, the deportation order was not enforced, and Garcia was given a legal status of “parolee” that allowed him to stay in the U.S.[11][12][13] Garcia re-applied for permanent resident status in 1966 following passage of the Cuban Adjustment Act, at which point his residency was approved.[11] Rubio enjoyed a close relationship with his grandfather during his childhood.[11]

In October 2011, The Washington Post reported that Rubio’s previous statements that his parents were forced to leave Cuba in 1959 (after Fidel Castro came to power) were embellishments.[4] His parents actually left Cuba in 1956, during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.[4] According to the Post, “[in] Florida, being connected to the post-revolution exile community gives a politician cachet that could never be achieved by someone identified with the pre-Castro exodus, a group sometimes viewed with suspicion.”[4] Rubio denied that he had embellished his family history, stating that his public statements about his family were based on “family lore”.[4] Rubio asserted that his parents intended to return to Cuba in the 1960s.[4] He added that his mother took his two elder siblings back to Cuba in 1961 with the intention of living there permanently (his father remained behind in Miami “wrapping up the family’s matters”), but the nation’s move toward communism caused the family to change its plans.[4] Rubio stated that “[the] essence of my family story is why they came to America in the first place; and why they had to stay.”[14]

Rubio has three siblings: older brother Mario, older sister Barbara (married to Orlando Cicilia), and younger sister Veronica (formerly married to entertainer Carlos Ponce).[15] Growing up, his family was Catholic, though from age 8 to age 11 he and his family attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while living in Las Vegas.[16] During those years in Nevada, his father worked as a bartender at Sam’s Town Hotel and his mother as a housekeeper at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino.[17] He received his first communion as a Catholic in 1984 before moving back to Miami with his family a year later. He was confirmed and later married in the Catholic Church.[18][19]

Rubio attended South Miami Senior High School, graduating in 1989. He attended Tarkio College in Missouri for one year on a football scholarship before enrolling at Santa Fe Community College (now Santa Fe College) in Gainesville, Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Florida in 1993 and his Juris Doctor cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1996.[20][21] Rubio has said that he incurred $100,000 in student loans. He paid off those loans in 2012.[22]

Early career

While studying law, Rubio interned for U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.[23] He also worked on Republican senator Bob Dole‘s 1996 presidential campaign.[24][25] In April 1998, two years after finishing law school, Rubio was elected to a seat as city commissioner for West Miami.[26] He became a member of the Florida House of Representatives in early 2000.[27][28][29]

Florida House of Representatives

Rubio and Mario Díaz-Balart in 2001

Elections and concurrent employment

In late 1999, a special election was called to fill the seat for the 111th House District in the Florida House of Representatives, representing Miami.[30] It was considered a safe Republican seat, so Rubio’s main challenge was to win the GOP nomination. He campaigned as a moderate, advocating tax cuts and early childhood education.[29]

Rubio placed second in the Republican primary on December 14, 1999,[31] but won the run-off election for the Republican nomination, defeating Angel Zayon (a television and radio reporter who was popular with Cuban exiles) by just 64 votes.[29][32] He then defeated Democrat Anastasia Garcia with 72% of the vote in a January 25, 2000, special election.[33]

In November 2000, Rubio won re-election unopposed.[34] In 2002, he won re-election to a second full term unopposed.[35] In 2004, he won re-election to a third full term with 66% of the vote.[36] In 2006, he won re-election to a fourth full term unopposed.[37]

Rubio spent almost nine years in the Florida House of Representatives. Since the Florida legislative session officially lasted only sixty days, he spent about half of each year in Miami, where he practiced law, first at a law firm that specialized in land use and zoning until 2014 when he took a position with Broad and Cassel, a Miami law and lobbying firm (though state law precluded him from engaging in lobbying or introducing legislation on behalf of the firm’s clients).[29][38]


Rubio’s official portrait as a State Representative

When Rubio took his seat in the legislature in Tallahassee in January 2000, voters in Florida had recently approved a constitutional amendment on term limits. This created openings for new legislative leaders due to many senior incumbents having to retire. According to an article in National Journal, Rubio also gained an extra advantage in that regard, because he was sworn in early due to the special election, and he would take advantage of these opportunities to join the GOP leadership.[29]

Majority whip and majority leader

Later in 2000, the majority leader of the House, Mike Fasano, promoted Rubio to be one of two majority whips.[29] National Journal described that position as typically requiring a lot of arm-twisting, but said Rubio took a different approach that relied more on persuading legislators and less on coercing them.[29]

Fasano resigned in September 2001 as majority leader of the House due to disagreements with the House speaker, and the speaker passed over Rubio to appoint a more experienced replacement for Fasano. Rubio volunteered to work on redistricting, which he accomplished by dividing the state into five regions, then working individually with the lawmakers involved, and this work helped to cement his relationships with GOP leaders.[29]

In December 2002, Rubio was appointed House majority leader by Speaker Johnnie Byrd.[39][40] He persuaded Speaker Byrd to restructure the job of majority leader, so that legislative wrangling would be left to the whip’s office, and Rubio would become the main spokesperson for the House GOP.[29]

According to National Journal, during this period Rubio did not entirely adhere to doctrinaire conservative principles, and some colleagues described him as a centrist “who sought out Democrats and groups that don’t typically align with the GOP”.[29] He co-sponsored legislation that would have let farmworkers sue growers in state court if they were shortchanged on pay, and co-sponsored a bill for giving in-state tuition rates to the children of undocumented immigrants.[29] In the wake of the September 11 attacks, he voiced suspicion about expanding police detention powers and helped defeat a GOP bill that would have required colleges to increase reporting to the state about foreign students.[29]

As a state representative, Rubio requested legislative earmarks (called “Community Budget Issue Requests” in Florida), totaling about $145 million for 2001 and 2002, but none thereafter.[41][42] Additionally, an office in the executive branch compiled a longer list of spending requests by legislators, including Rubio,[43] as did the non-profit group Florida TaxWatch.[44] Many of those listed items were for health and social programs that Rubio has described as “the kind of thing that legislators would get attacked on if we didn’t fund them”.[44] A 2010 report by the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald said that some of Rubio’s spending requests dovetailed with his personal interests.[43] For example, Rubio requested a $20 million appropriation for Jackson Memorial Hospital to subsidize care for the poor and uninsured,[44] and Rubio later did work for that hospital as a consultant.[43] A spokesman for Rubio has said that the items in question helped the whole county, that Rubio did not lobby to get them approved, that the hospital money was necessary and non-controversial, and that Rubio is “a limited-government conservative … not a no-government conservative”.[43]

House speaker

On September 13, 2005, at age 34,[45] Rubio became speaker after State Representatives Dennis Baxley, Jeff Kottkamp, and Dennis A. Ross dropped out. He was sworn in a year later, in November 2006. He became the first Cuban American to be speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and would remain speaker until November 2008.[46]

Then Speaker-Designate Rubio, challenging House colleagues to help write “100 Innovative Ideas For Florida’s Future”, September 2005

When he was chosen as future speaker in 2005, Rubio delivered a speech to the House in which he asked members to look in their desks, where they each found a hardcover book titled 100 Innovative Ideas For Florida’s Future; but the book was blank because it had not yet been written, and Rubio told his colleagues that they would fill in the pages together with the help of ordinary Floridians.[29] In 2006, after traveling around the state and talking with citizens, and compiling their ideas, Rubio published the book.[47][48] The National Journal called this book “the centerpiece of Rubio’s early speakership”.[29] About 24 of the “ideas” became law, while another 10 were partially enacted.[48] Among the items from his 2006 book that became law were multiple-year car registrations, a requirement that high schools provide more vocational courses, and an expanded voucher-like school-choice program. Rubio’s defenders, and some critics, point out that nationwide economic difficulties overlapped with much of Rubio’s speakership, and so funding new legislative proposals became difficult.[29]

As Rubio took office as Speaker, Jeb Bush was completing his term as governor, and Bush left office in January 2007. Rubio hired 18 Bush aides, leading capitol insiders to say the speaker’s suite was “the governor’s office in exile”. An article in National Journal described Rubio’s style as being very different from Bush’s; where Bush was a very assertive manager of affairs in Tallahassee, Rubio’s style was to delegate certain powers, relinquish others, and invite political rivals into his inner circle.[29] As the incoming speaker, he decided to open a private dining room for legislators, which he said would give members more privacy, free from being pursued by lobbyists, though the expense led to a public relations problem.[29]

Rubio as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Private Property Rights, October 2005

In 2006, Florida enacted into law limitations upon the authority of the state government to take private property, in response to the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London which took a broad view of governmental power to take private property under eminent domain. This state legislation had been proposed by a special committee chaired by Rubio prior to his speakership.[49]

Jeb Bush was succeeded by Charlie Crist, a moderate Republican who took office in January 2007. Rubio and Crist clashed frequently. Their sharpest clash involved the governor’s initiative to expand casino gambling in Florida. Rubio sued Crist for bypassing the Florida Legislature in order to make a deal with the Seminole Tribe. The Florida Supreme Court sided with Rubio and blocked the deal.[50][51]

Rubio also was a critic of Crist’s strategy to fight climate change through an executive order creating new automobile and utility emissions standards. Rubio accused Crist of imposing “European-style big government mandates”, and the legislature under Rubio’s leadership weakened the impact of Crist’s climate change initiative.[29][51] Rubio said that Crist’s approach would harm consumers by driving up utility bills without having much effect upon the environment, and that a better approach would be to promote biofuel (e.g. ethanol), solar panels, and energy efficiency.[52][53][54]

Rubio introduced a plan to reduce state property taxes to 2001 levels (and potentially eliminate them altogether), while increasing sales taxes by 1% to 2.5% to fund schools. The proposal would have reduced property taxes in the state by $40–50 billion. His proposal passed the House, but was opposed by Governor Crist and Florida Senate Republicans, who said that the increase in sales tax would disproportionately affect the poor. So, Rubio agreed to smaller changes, and Crist’s proposal to double the state’s property tax exemption from $25,000 to $50,000 (for a tax reduction estimated by Crist to be $33 billion) ultimately passed.[29][49][55] Legislators called it the largest tax cut in Florida’s history up until then.[49][56] At the time, Republican anti-tax activist Grover Norquist described Rubio as “the most pro-taxpayer legislative leader in the country”.[55]

Rubio with Democratic leader Dan Gelber in 2007

As Speaker, Rubio “aggressively tried to push Florida to the political right“, according to NBC News, and frequently clashed with the Florida Senate, which was run by more moderate Republicans, and with then-Governor Charlie Crist, a centrist Republican at the time.[51] Although a conservative, “behind the scenes many Democrats considered Rubio someone with whom they could work,” according to biographer Manuel Roig-Franzia.[57] Dan Gelber of Miami, the House Democratic leader at the time of Rubio’s speakership, considered him “a true conservative” but not “a reflexive partisan”, saying: “He didn’t have an objection to working with the other side simply because they were the other side. To put it bluntly, he wasn’t a jerk.”[58] Gelber considered Rubio “a severe conservative, really far to the right, but probably the most talented spokesman the severe right could ever hope for.”[51]

While speaker of the Florida House, Rubio shared a residence in Tallahassee with another Florida State Representative, David Rivera, which the two co-owned. The house later went into foreclosure in 2010 after several missed mortgage payments.[59] At that point, Rubio assumed responsibility for the payments, and the house was eventually sold.[60][61]

House Speaker Rubio and Senate President Ken Pruitt embrace after the House’s unanimous approval of the Senate’s resolution to formally express deep regret for slavery. March 2008.

In 2007, Florida state senator Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville), chairman of the state legislature’s Black Caucus, requested that the legislature apologize for slavery, and Rubio said the idea merited discussion.[62] The following year, a supportive Rubio said such apologies can be important albeit symbolic; he pointed out that even in 2008 young African-American males “believe that the American dream is not available to them”.[63][64] He helped set up a council on issues facing black men and boys, persuaded colleagues to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City, and supported efforts to promote literacy and mentoring for black children and others.[65][66][67][68]

In 2010 during Rubio’s Senate campaign, and again in 2015 during his presidential campaign, issues were raised by the media and his political opponents about some items charged by Rubio to his Republican Party of Florida American Express card during his time as House speaker.[69][70][71] Rubio charged about $110,000 during those two years, of which $16,000 was personal expenses unrelated to party business, such as groceries and plane tickets.[72] Rubio said that he personally paid American Express more than $16,000 for these personal expenses.[73][74] In 2012, the Florida Commission on Ethics cleared Rubio of wrongdoing in his use of the party-issued credit card, although the commission inspector said that Rubio exhibited a “level of negligence” in not using his personal MasterCard.[75][76] In November 2015, Rubio released his party credit card statements for January 2005 through October 2006, which showed eight personal charges totaling $7,243.74, all of which he had personally reimbursed, in most instances by the next billing period.[71][72][77] When releasing the charge records, Rubio spokesman Todd Harris said, “These statements are more than 10 years old. And the only people who ask about them today are the liberal media and our political opponents. We are releasing them now because Marco has nothing to hide.”[71]


After leaving the Florida Legislature in 2008, Rubio began teaching under a fellowship appointment at Florida International University (FIU) as an adjunct professor.[78] In 2011, after entering the U.S. Senate, he rejoined the FIU faculty.[78][79] Rubio teaches in the Department of Politics and International Relations, which is part of FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.[80] He has taught undergraduate courses on Florida politics, political parties, and legislative politics.[81][82]

Rubio’s appointment as an FIU professor was initially criticized.[83][78][84] The university obtained considerable state funding when Rubio was speaker of the Florida House, and many other university jobs were being eliminated due to funding issues at the time FIU appointed him to the faculty.[78][81][84] When Rubio accepted the fellowship appointment as an adjunct professor at FIU, he agreed to raise most of the funding for his position from private sources.[84][85]

U.S. Senate

Start of Rubio’s official welcome message at his U.S. Senate website



On May 5, 2009, Rubio stated his intent to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martínez, who had decided not to seek re-election and subsequently resigned before completing his term. Prior to launching his campaign, Rubio had met with fundraisers and supporters throughout the state.[86] Initially trailing by double digits in the primary against the incumbent governor of his own party, Charlie Crist, Rubio eventually surpassed Crist in polling for the Republican nomination.[87][88] In his campaign, Rubio received the support of members of the Tea Party, many of whom were dissatisfied with Crist’s policies as governor.[89] On April 28, 2010, Crist stated he would be running without a party affiliation, effectively ceding the Republican nomination to Rubio.[90][91][92] Several of Crist’s top fundraisers, as well as Republican leadership, refused to support Crist after Rubio won the Republican nomination for the Senate.[93][94][95]

On November 2, 2010, Rubio won the general election with 49 percent of the vote to Crist’s 30% and Democrat Kendrick Meek‘s 20%.[96] When Rubio was sworn in to the U.S. Senate, he and Bob Menendez of New Jersey were the only two Latino Americans in the Senate.


In April 2015, Rubio decided to run for president instead of seeking re-election to the Senate. After suspending his presidential campaign on March 15, 2016, Rubio “seemed to open the door to running for re-election” on June 13, 2016, citing the previous day’s Orlando nightclub shooting and how “it really gives you pause, to think a little bit about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country.”[97] Rubio officially started his campaign nine days later, on June 22.[98] Rubio won the Republican primary on August 30, 2016, defeating Carlos Beruff.[99] He faced Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy in the general election, defeating him with almost 52% of the vote.[100]

Tenure as senator

During Rubio’s first four years in the U.S. Senate, Republicans were in the minority. After the 2014 midterm elections, the Republicans obtained majority control of the Senate, giving Rubio and the Republicans vast federal influence during the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency, as well as during all four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. After the 2020 elections, the Democrats regained majority control of the Senate, and Rubio has reassumed minority status within the Senate.


At Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan with Floridians, January 2011
Visiting Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in May 2012

Shortly after taking office in 2011, Rubio said he had no interest in running for president or vice president in the 2012 presidential election.[101] In March 2012, when he endorsed Mitt Romney for president, Rubio said that he did not expect to be or want to be selected as a vice presidential running mate,[102] but was vetted for vice president by the Romney campaign.[102] Former Romney aide Beth Myers has said that the vetting process turned up nothing disqualifying about Rubio.[103]

Upon taking office, Rubio hired Cesar Conda as his chief of staff.[104][105][106] Conda, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, and former top aide to Sens. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) and Robert Kasten (R-Wis.), was succeeded in 2014 as Rubio’s chief of staff by his deputy, Alberto Martinez, but Conda remained as a part-time adviser.[107]

During his first year in office, Rubio became an influential defender of the United States embargo against Cuba and induced the State Department to withdraw an ambassadorial nomination of Jonathan D. Farrar, who was the Chief of Mission of the United States Interests Section in Havana from 2008 to 2011. Rubio believed that Farrar was not assertive enough toward the Castro regime.[108] Also in 2011, Rubio was invited to visit the Reagan Library, during which he gave a well-publicized speech praising its namesake, and also rescued Nancy Reagan from falling.[109][110]

With Israeli President Shimon Peres during trip to Jordan and Israel in February 2013

In March 2011, Rubio supported U.S. participation in the military campaign in Libya to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.[111] He urged that Senate leaders bring “a bi-partisan resolution to the Senate floor authorizing the president’s decision to participate in allied military action in Libya”.[112] The administration decided that no congressional authorization was needed under the War Powers Resolution; Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) joined Rubio in writing an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal in June 2011 again urging passage of such authorization.[113] In October 2011, Rubio joined several other senators in pushing for continued engagement to “help Libya lay the foundation for sustainable security”.[114] Soon after Gadhafi was ousted, Rubio warned there was a serious threat posed by the spread of militias and weapons, and called for more U.S. involvement to counter that threat.[111]

Rubio voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011, which included mandatory automatic budget cuts from sequestration.[115][116] He later said that defense spending should never have been linked to taxes and the deficit, calling the policy a “terrible idea” based on a “false choice”.[115]

The following month, Rubio and Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, co-sponsored the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act (AGREE Act), which would have extended many tax credits and exemptions for businesses investing in research and development, equipment, and other capital; provided a tax credit for veterans who start a business franchise; allowed an increase in immigration for certain types of work visas; and strengthened copyright protections.[117][118][119][120]

Rubio voted against the 2012 “fiscal cliff” resolutions. Although he received some criticism for this position, he responded: “Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax, and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hires they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control.”[121]

Touring the US-Mexican border in November 2011 with Border Patrol officials

In 2013, Rubio was part of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators that crafted comprehensive immigration reform legislation.[122] Rubio proposed a plan providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States involving payment of fines and back taxes, background checks, and a probationary period; that pathway was to be implemented only after strengthening border security.[123][124] The bill passed the Senate 68 to 32 with his support, but Rubio then signaled that the bill should not be taken up by the House because other priorities, like repealing Obamacare, were a higher priority for him; the House never did take up the bill. Rubio has since explained that he still supports reform, but a different approach instead of a single comprehensive bill.[125]

About to give response to the State of the Union address in February 2013

Rubio was chosen to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address.[126] It marked the first time the response was delivered in English and Spanish.[127] Rubio’s attempt to draw a strong line against the looming defense sequestration was undercut by fellow Republican senator Rand Paul‘s additional response to Obama’s speech that called for the sequester to be carried out.[128]

In April 2013, Rubio voted against an expansion of background checks for gun purchases, contending that such increased regulatory measures would do little to help capture criminals.[129][130]
Rubio voted against publishing the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. In 2016, Rubio said the U.S. should “find out everything they know” from captured terrorists and should not telegraph “the enemy what interrogation techniques we will or won’t use.”[131]


Rubio in November 2015

Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate as a result of the elections in November 2014.[132] As this new period of Republican control began, Rubio pushed for the elimination of the “risk corridors” used by the federal government to compensate insurers for their losses as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The risk corridors were intended to be funded by profitable insurers participating in the PPACA, but since insurer losses have significantly exceeded their profits in the program, the risk corridors have been depleted. His efforts contributed to the inclusion of a provision in the 2014 federal budget that prevented other funding sources from being tapped to replenish the risk corridors.[133]

In March 2015, Rubio and Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, proposed a tax plan that according to The Wall Street Journal, combined thinking from “old-fashioned, Reagan-era supply-siders” and a “breed of largely younger conservative reform thinkers” concerned with the tax burden on the middle class. The plan would lower the top corporate income tax rate from 38% to 25%, eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends, and inherited estates, and create a new child tax credit worth up to $2,500 per child. The plan would set the top individual income tax rate at 35%. It also included a proposal to replace the means-tested welfare system, including food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit, with a new “consolidated system of benefits”.[134]

According to analysis by Vocativ as reported by Fox News, Rubio missed 8.3% of total votes from January 2011 to February 2015.[135] From October 27, 2014, to October 26, 2015, Rubio voted in 74% of Senate votes, according to an analysis by, which tracks congressional voting records.[136][137] In 2015, Rubio was absent for about 35% of Senate votes.[136][138] In historical context Rubio’s attendance record for Senate votes is not exceptional among senators seeking a presidential nomination; John McCain missed a much higher percentage of votes in 2007. But it was the worst of the three senators who campaigned for the presidency in 2015.[139]

During his Senate tenure, Rubio has co-sponsored bills on issues ranging from humanitarian crises in Haiti to the Russian incursion into Ukraine,[140] and was a frequent and prominent critic of Obama’s efforts in national security.[140]

On May 17, 2016, Rubio broke from the Republican majority in his support of Obama’s request for $2 billion in emergency spending on the Zika virus at a time when Florida accounted for roughly 20% of the recorded cases of Zika in the U.S., acknowledging that it was the president’s request but adding, “it’s really the scientists’ request, the doctors’ request, the public health sector’s request for how to address this issue.”[141] On August 6, Rubio said he did not believe in terminating Zika-infected pregnancies.[142]

On December 13, after President-elect Trump nominated Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State in the incoming administration, Rubio expressed concern about the selection.[143] On January 11, Rubio questioned Tillerson during a Senate committee hearing on his confirmation, saying afterward he would “do what’s right”.[144] On January 23, Rubio said that he would vote to confirm Tillerson, saying that a delay in the appointment would be counter to national interests.[145]

On April 5, 2017, Rubio said Bashar al-Assad felt he could act with “impunity” in knowing the United States was not prioritizing removing him from office.[146] The next day, Rubio praised Trump’s ordered strike: “By acting decisively against the very facility from which Assad launched his murderous chemical weapons attack, President Trump has made it clear to Assad and those who empower him that the days of committing war crimes with impunity are over.”[147]

President Trump (left) with FEMA Administrator Brock Long (center) and Senator Rubio in September 2017

In September 2017, Rubio defended Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He called the program, which provided temporary stay for some undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as minors, “unconstitutional”.[148]

In the first session of the 115th United States Congress, Rubio was ranked the tenth most bipartisan senator by the Bipartisan Index, published by The Lugar Center and Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy.[149]

While ballots were being counted in a close Florida Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and Republican challenger Rick Scott, Rubio claimed without evidence that Democrats were conspiring with election officials to illicitly install Nelson.[150][151][152] He claimed without evidence that “Democrat lawyers” were descending on Florida and that “they have been very clear they aren’t here to make sure every vote is counted.”[150] He claimed that Broward County officials were engaged in “ongoing” legal violations, without specifying what those were.[150] Election monitors found no evidence of voter fraud in Broward County, and the Florida State Department found no evidence of criminal activity.[152]

In 2019, Rubio defended Trump’s decision to host the G7 conference at the Trump National Doral Miami, a resort Trump owns. Rubio called the decision “great” and said it would be good for local businesses.[153][154]

In 2020, Rubio supported the nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Shelton had received bipartisan criticism over her support for the gold standard and other unorthodox monetary policy views.[155][156]

After Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 presidential election and Trump made false claims of election fraud, Rubio defended Trump’s right to assert said claims and challenge the election results, saying any “irregularities” and “claims of broken election laws” could not be claimed false until the courts ruled on them. Rubio later shifted his rhetoric to saying that concerns from Republican voters over “potential irregularities” in the election demanded redress. By November 23, 2020, Rubio referred to Biden as president-elect.[157]

Rubio described the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as unpatriotic and “3rd world-style anti-American anarchy“.[158] Of the rioters, Rubio said some of them were adherents “to a conspiracy theory and others got caught up in the moment. The result was a national embarrassment.” After Congress was allowed to return to session, Rubio voted to certify the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count.[159] In February 2021, Rubio voted to acquit Trump for his role in inciting the mob to storm the Capitol.[160]

On May 28, 2021, Rubio voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.[161]

Committee assignments

Rubio’s committee memberships are as follows:[162]


2016 presidential campaign

Rubio speaks at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Rubio said in April 2014 that he would not run for both the Senate and president in 2016, as Florida law prohibits a candidate from appearing twice on a ballot, but at that time he did not rule out running for either office.[163] He later indicated that even if he would not win the Republican nomination for president, he would not run for reelection to the Senate.[164] Also in April 2014, the departure of Cesar Conda, Rubio’s chief of staff since 2011, was seen as a sign of Rubio’s plans to run for president in 2016. Conda departed to lead Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC as a senior adviser.[165][166] Groups supporting Rubio raised over $530,000 in the first three months of 2014, most of which was spent on consultants and data analytics, in what was seen as preparations for a presidential campaign.[167]

A poll from the WMUR/University, tracking New Hampshire Republican primary voters’ sentiment, showed Rubio at the top alongside Kentucky senator Rand Paul later in 2013, but as of April 18, 2014, he had dropped to 10th place behind other Republican contenders. The poll, however, also suggested that Rubio was not disliked by the primary voters, which was thought to be positive for him if other candidates had chosen not to run.[168] Rubio placed second among potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates in an online poll of likely voters conducted by Zogby Analytics in January 2015.[169]

In January 2015, it was reported that Rubio had begun contacting top donors and appointing advisors for a potential 2016 run, including George Seay, who previously worked on such campaigns as Rick Perry‘s in 2012 and Mitt Romney’s in 2008, and Jim Rubright, who had previously worked for Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and John McCain.[170][171] Rubio also instructed his aides to “prepare for a presidential campaign” prior to a Team Marco 2016 fundraising meeting in South Beach.[172]

On April 13, 2015, Rubio launched his campaign for president in 2016.[173] Rubio was believed to be a viable candidate for the 2016 presidential race who could attract many parts of the GOP base, partly because of his youthfulness and oratorical skill.[174][175] Rubio had pitched his candidacy as an effort to restore the American Dream for middle and working-class families, who might have found his background as a working-class Cuban-American appealing.[176]

Republican primaries

In the first Republican primary, the February 1 Iowa caucuses, Rubio finished third, behind candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.[177] During a nationally televised debate among Republican candidates in New Hampshire on February 6, 2016, Rubio was criticized by rival Chris Christie for speaking repetitiously and sounding scripted. On February 9, when he placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary results, Rubio took the blame and acknowledged a poor debate performance.[178] In the third Republican contest, the South Carolina primary on February 20, Rubio finished second, but did not gain any delegates as Trump won all of South Carolina’s congressional districts and thus delegates.[179][180] Jeb Bush left the race that day, leading to a surge in campaign donations and endorsements to Rubio. On February 23, Rubio finished second in the Nevada caucuses, again losing to Trump.[181] Trump called Rubio’s remarks at the February 25 debate “robotic” due to Rubio’s repeated use of the same talking points; Rubio was later followed by hecklers who were dressed as robots.[182]

At another Republican debate on February 25, Rubio repeatedly criticized frontrunner candidate Donald Trump.[183] It was described by CNN as a “turning point in style” as Rubio had previously largely ignored Trump during his campaign, and this deviated from Rubio’s signature “optimistic campaign message”. The next day Rubio continued turning Trump’s attacks against him,[184] even ridiculing Trump’s physical appearance.[185] On March 1, called ‘Super Tuesday‘ with eleven Republican contests on that day, Rubio’s sole victory was in Minnesota, the first state he had won since voting began a month prior.[180] Rubio went on to win further contests in Puerto Rico on March 6 and the District of Columbia on March 12, but lost eight other contests from March 5 to 8.[180] Around that time, Rubio revealed he was not “entirely proud” of his personal attacks on Trump.[186]

On March 15, Rubio suspended his campaign after placing second in his own home state of Florida.[185] Hours earlier, Rubio had expressed expectations for a Florida win, and said he would continue to campaign (in Utah) “irrespective of” that night’s results.[187] The result was that Rubio won 27.0% of the Florida vote, while Trump won 45.7% and all of Florida’s delegates.[188] The conclusion of the six March 15 contests (out of which Rubio won none) left Rubio with 169 delegates on the race to reach 1237, but Ted Cruz already had 411 and Trump 673.[180][189] On March 17, Rubio ruled out runs for the vice-presidency, governorship of Florida and even re-election for his senate seat. He stated only that he would be a “private citizen” by January 2017, leading to some media speculation of the termination of his political career.[190]

After candidacy

Rubio with Taiwan‘s president Tsai Ing-wen in June 2016

On April 12, during an interview with Mark Levin, Rubio expressed his wishes that Republicans would nominate a conservative candidate, name-dropping Cruz.[191] This was interpreted as an endorsement of Cruz, though Rubio clarified the following day that he had only been answering a question.[192] Rubio would later explain his decision to not endorse Cruz being due to his belief that the endorsement would not significantly benefit him and a desire to let the election cycle play out.[193] On April 22, Rubio said he was not interested in being the vice presidential candidate to any of the remaining GOP contenders.[194] On May 16, Rubio posted several tweets in which he critiqued sources reporting that he despised the Senate and a Washington Post story that claimed he was unsure of his next move after his unsuccessful presidential bid, typing, “I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January.”[195]

Rubio and President Trump (left) visit a fourth-grade classroom in Orlando, Florida, March 3, 2017.

On May 18, after Trump expressed a willingness to meet with Kim Jong-un, Rubio said Kim was “not a stable person” and furthered that Trump was open to the meeting only due to inexperience with the North Korea leader.[196] On May 26, Rubio told reporters that he was backing Trump due to his view that the presumptive nominee was a better choice than Hillary Clinton for the presidency and that as president, Trump would sign a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replace the late Antonin Scalia with another conservative Supreme Court Justice.[197] He also confirmed that he would be attending the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where he intended to release his pledged delegates to support Trump.[198] On May 29, Rubio continued disavowing vice presidential speculation but indicated an interest in playing a role in Trump’s campaign.[199] On June 6, Rubio rebuked Trump’s comments on Gonzalo P. Curiel, who Trump accused of being biased against him on the basis of his ethnicity, as “offensive” while speaking with reporters, advising that Trump should cease defending the remarks and defending the judge as “an American”.[200]

On July 6, Olivia Perez-Cubas, Rubio’s Senate campaign spokeswoman, said he would not be attending the Republican National Convention due to planned campaigning on the days the convention was scheduled to take place.[201]

During the Republican primary campaign in which Rubio and Donald Trump were opponents, Rubio criticized Trump,[202] including, in February 2016, calling Trump a “con artist” and saying that Trump is “wholly unprepared to be president of the United States”.[203] In June 2016, after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee, Rubio reaffirmed his February 2016 comments that we must not hand “the nuclear codes of the United States to an erratic individual”.[204] However, after Trump won the Republican Party’s nomination, Rubio endorsed him on July 20, 2016.[205] Following the October 7, 2016, Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy, Rubio wrote that “Donald’s comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify. No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.”[206] On October 11, 2016, Rubio reaffirmed his support of Trump.[207] On October 25, 2016, it was reported that Rubio was booed off a stage for endorsing Trump by a crowd of mostly Latino voters, at the annual Calle Orange street festival in downtown Orlando.[208]

Political positions

As of early 2015, Rubio had a rating of 98.67 by the American Conservative Union, based on his lifetime voting record in the Senate. According to the National Journal, in 2013 Rubio was the 17th most conservative senator.[209] The Club for Growth gave Rubio ratings of 93 percent and 91 percent based on his voting record in 2014 and 2013 respectively, and he has a lifetime rating from the organization above 90 percent.[210][211][212]

Senator Rubio speaks at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Rubio initially won his U.S. Senate seat with strong Tea Party backing, but his 2013 support for comprehensive immigration reform legislation led to a decline in their support for him.[213][214] Rubio’s stance on military, foreign policy, and national security issues – such as his support for arming the Syrian rebels and for the NSA – alienated some libertarian Tea Party activists.[214][215]

Rubio supports balancing the federal budget, while prioritizing defense spending. He rejects the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, which is that climate change is real, progressing, harmful, and primarily caused by humans, arguing that human activity does not play a major role and claiming that proposals to address climate change would be ineffective and economically harmful.[216][217][218] He opposes the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and has voted to repeal it.[219] He opposes net neutrality, a policy that requires Internet service providers to treat data on the Internet the same regardless of its source or content. Early in his Senate tenure, Rubio was involved in bipartisan negotiations to provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants while implementing various measures to strengthen the U.S. border; the bill passed the Senate but was blocked by immigration hardliners in the House.[220] Over time, Rubio distanced himself from his previous efforts to reach a compromise on immigration,[221] and developed more hardline views on immigration, rejecting bipartisan immigration reform efforts in 2018.[222]

Rubio is an outspoken opponent of abortion.[223] He has said that he would ban it even in cases of rape and incest, but with exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger.[223][224][225]

Rubio has expressed caution about efforts to reduce penalties for drug crimes, saying that “too often” the conversation about criminal justice reform “starts and ends with drug policy”.[226] He has said that he would be open to legalizing non-psychoactive forms of cannabis for medical use, but otherwise opposes its legalization for recreational and medical purposes.[227][228] Rubio has said that if elected president he would enforce federal law in states that have legalized cannabis.[228][229]

Rubio supports setting corporate taxes at 25%, reforming the tax code, and capping economic regulations, and proposes to increase the social security retirement age based on longer life expectancy. He supports expanding public charter schools, opposes Common Core State Standards, and advocates closing the federal Department of Education.[230]

Rubio supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq and military intervention in Libya.[231] Rubio voiced support for a Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen against Houthi rebels.[232] Regarding Iran, he supports tough sanctions, and scrapping the recent nuclear deal; on the Islamic State, he favors aiding local Sunni forces in Iraq and Syria.[233][234] Rubio says that the United States cannot accept more Syrian refugees because background checks cannot be done under present circumstances.[citation needed] He supports working with allies to set up no-fly zones in Syria to protect civilians from Bashar al-Assad. He favors collection of bulk metadata for purposes of national security.[citation needed] He has said that gun control laws consistently fail to achieve their purpose.[citation needed] He is supportive of the Trans Pacific Partnership, saying that the U.S. risks being excluded from global trade unless it is more open to trade. He is wary of China regarding national security and human rights, and wants to boost the U.S. military presence in that region but hopes for greater economic growth as a result of trading with that country. He also believes the U.S. should support democracy, freedom, and true autonomy of the people of Hong Kong.[235][236][237][238] On capital punishment, Rubio favors streamlining the appeals process.[234]

Rubio applauds Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during an event with the Venezuelan American community, February 18, 2019.

Rubio condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and called for a stronger response to the crisis.[239] Rubio is a staunch supporter of Israel. He is a co-sponsor of a Senate resolution expressing objection to the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories as a violation of international law.[240] Rubio condemned Turkey‘s wide-ranging crackdown on dissent following a failed July 2016 coup.[241]

At a February 2018 CNN town hall event in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Rubio defended his record of accepting contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA), saying, “The influence of these groups comes not from money. The influence comes from the millions of people that agree with the agenda, the millions of Americans that support the NRA.”[242]

In March 2018, Rubio defended the decision of the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.[243] Experts noted that the inclusion of such a question would likely result in severe undercounting of the population and faulty data, as undocumented immigrants would be less likely to respond to the census.[243] Fellow Republican members of Congress from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, criticized the Trump administration’s decision on the basis that it could lead to a faulty census and disadvantage Florida in terms of congressional apportionment and fund apportionment.[243]

In July 2018, Rubio offered an amendment to a major congressional spending bill to potentially force companies that purchase real estate in cash to disclose their owners as “an attempt to root out criminals who use illicit funds and anonymous shell companies to buy homes”.[244]

On August 28, 2018, Rubio and 16 other members of Congress urged the United States to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Chinese officials who are responsible for human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.[245]

Rubio opposed the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). On April 27, 2020, the US Supreme Court voted 8–1 to defeat his attempt to undermine the Act.[246][better source needed]

In March 2016, Rubio opposed President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, saying, “I don’t think we should be moving forward with a nominee in the last year of this president’s term. I would say that even if it was a Republican president.”[247] In September 2020, Rubio applauded Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the court after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s death, voting to confirm her on October 26, 86 days before the expiration of Trump’s presidential term. No Democrat voted for her, nor did Maine’s independent Angus King, Republican Susan Collins, or Vermont independent Bernie Sanders.[248][249]

Rubio has a mixed relationship with Donald Trump.[250] During the Republican primaries in the 2016 presidential election, they harshly criticized each other. But during Trump’s presidency, Rubio “[supported] just about everything Trump said and did”, according to the Sun-Sentinel.[250]

In May 2021, Rubio argued that “Wall Street must stop enabling Communist China” in The American Prospect[251] and on his website.[252] “Americans from across the political spectrum should feel emboldened by the growing bipartisan awakening to the threat that the CCP poses to American workers, families, and communities”, he wrote. “As we deploy legislative solutions to tackle this challenge, Democrats must not allow our corporate and financial sectors’ leftward shift on social issues to blind them to the enormity of China as a geo-economic threat.”[251]

Personal life

Rubio (left) and wife Jeanette, just after being sworn in as a U.S. senator by Vice President Joe Biden. January 2011.

Rubio is a Roman Catholic[253] and attends Catholic Mass at Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, Florida.[254] He also previously attended Christ Fellowship, a Southern Baptist Church[255] in West Kendall, Florida.[256]

In 1998, Rubio married Jeanette Dousdebes, a former bank teller and Miami Dolphins cheerleader, in a Catholic ceremony at the Church of the Little Flower. They have four children.[257][258] Rubio and his family live in West Miami, Florida.[19]

As of 2018, according to, Rubio’s net worth was negative, owing more than $1.8 million.[259]

Electoral history

Republican primary results[260]
Republican Marco Rubio 1,059,513 84.6%
RepublicanWilliam Kogut111,5848.9%
RepublicanWilliam Escoffery81,8736.5%
Total votes1,252,970 100.0%
2010 United States Senate election in Florida[261]
RepublicanMarco Antonio Rubio 2,645,743 48.89% -0.54%
IndependentCharles Joseph Crist Jr.1,607,54929.71%+29.71%
DemocraticKendrick Brett Meek1,092,93620.20%-28.12%
LibertarianAlexander Snitker24,8500.46%N/A
IndependentSue Askeland15,3400.28%N/A
IndependentRick Tyler7,3940.14%N/A
ConstitutionBernie DeCastro4,7920.09%N/A
IndependentLewis Jerome Armstrong4,4430.08%N/A
IndependentBobbie Bean4,3010.08%N/A
IndependentBruce Riggs3,6470.07%N/A
Total votes5,411,106 100.00%
Republican holdSwing
Cumulative results of the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries
Republican Donald Trump 14,015,993 44.95%
RepublicanTed Cruz7,822,10025.08%
RepublicanJohn Kasich4,290,44813.76%
RepublicanMarco Rubio3,515,57611.27%
RepublicanBen Carson857,0392.75%
RepublicanJeb Bush286,6940.92%
RepublicanRand Paul66,7880.21%
RepublicanMike Huckabee51,4500.16%
RepublicanCarly Fiorina40,6660.13%
RepublicanChris Christie57,6370.18%
RepublicanJim Gilmore18,3690.06%
RepublicanRick Santorum16,6270.05%
2016 Republican National Convention delegate count
Republican Donald Trump 1,441 58.3%
RepublicanTed Cruz55122.3%
RepublicanMarco Rubio1737.0%
RepublicanJohn Kasich1616.5%
RepublicanBen Carson90.4%
RepublicanJeb Bush40.2%
RepublicanRand Paul1<0.01%
RepublicanMike Huckabee1<0.01%
RepublicanCarly Fiorina1<0.01%
Republican primary results[263]
Republican Marco Rubio (Incumbent) 1,029,830 71.99%
RepublicanCarlos Beruff264,42718.49%
RepublicanDwight Young91,0826.37%
RepublicanErnie Rivera45,1533.16%
Total votes1,430,492 100.00%
United States Senate election in Florida, 2016[264]
RepublicanMarco Rubio (incumbent) 4,835,191 51.98% +3.09%
DemocraticPatrick Murphy4,122,08844.31%+24.11%
LibertarianPaul Stanton196,9562.12%+1.66%
IndependentBruce Nathan52,4510.56%N/A
IndependentTony Khoury45,8200.49%N/A
IndependentSteven Machat26,9180.29%N/A
IndependentBasil E. Dalack22,2360.24%N/A
Total votes9,301,820 100.0% N/A
Republican hold



Rubio has been awarded the following foreign honor:

See also


  1. ^ “On Venezuela, Marco Rubio assumes U.S. role of ouster in chief”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  2. ^ Linkins, Jason (October 20, 2011). “Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal Become Focus Of Bipartisan Birthers”. The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  3. ^ Manuel Roig-Franzia (2012). The Rise of Marco Rubio. Simon & Schuster. p. 26. ISBN 978-1451675450.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Roig-Franzia, Manuel (October 21, 2011). “Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 21, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011. See also Live Chat: Marco Rubio’s embellished family story Archived September 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, The Washington Post (October 24, 2011).
  5. ^ “Marco Rubio Once Benefitted From Birthright Citizenship, Now He’s Open to Restricting It”. National Journal. August 18, 2015. Archived from the original on October 11, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  6. ^ “Rubio’s Parents Were Plain Old Immigrants, Not Refugees”. The Atlantic. October 2011. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  7. ^ Peters, Jeremy. “Marco Rubio’s Policies Might Shut the Door to People Like His Grandfather” Archived September 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, New York Times (March 5, 2016): “He asked for vacation time, and when his bosses granted it, he fled to Miami. … Immigration records also show that other members of Mr. Rubio’s family – two aunts and an uncle – were admitted as refugees.”
  8. ^ a b Roig-Franzia, Manuel (June 17, 2012). “Marco Rubio’s grandfather had difficult transition to U.S.” The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  9. ^ Peters, Jeremy. “Marco Rubio’s Policies Might Shut the Door to People Like His Grandfather” Archived September 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, New York Times (March 5, 2016)
  10. ^ “Marco Rubio’s grandfather ordered deported to Cuba in 1962”. West Palm Beach, FL: WPBF. Associated Press. April 25, 2012. Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Peters, Jeremy (March 5, 2016). “Marco Rubio’s Policies Might Shut the Door to People Like His Grandfather”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 13, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  12. ^ Grunwald, Michael (February 7, 2013). “Immigrant Son”. TIME. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  13. ^ “Rubio’s Grandfather may have temporarily been in U.S. illegally”. Herald Tribune. Associated Press. April 25, 2012. Archived from the original on December 22, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
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  16. ^ Burr, Thomas (June 18, 2012). “Marco Rubio’s book explains why he left Mormonism”. Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
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  18. ^ Marrapodi, Erin (February 23, 2012). “Sen. Marco Rubio’s religious journey: Catholic to Mormon to Catholic to Baptist and Catholic”. CNN. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  19. ^ a b “Representative Marco Rubio”. Florida House of Representatives. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  20. ^ Bennett, George (October 2, 2010). “Republican candidate Marco Rubio casts U.S. Senate race as battle for America”. The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  21. ^ “Marco Rubio – Biography” (PDF). Republican Business Council. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 24, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  22. ^ “Transcript: Marco Rubio’s State of the Union Response”. ABC News. February 13, 2013. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  23. ^ Clark, Lesley (January 5, 2011). “Miami’s Marco Rubio becomes new Florida senator”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved August 24, 2011.[dead link]
  24. ^ O’Keefe, Ed (April 10, 2014). “In South Florida, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are forcing locals to pick sides”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  25. ^ Leary, Alex (October 9, 2010). “Marco Rubio’s meteoric rise in Florida politics”. Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on June 15, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  26. ^ “Marco Rubio, Tea Party Pretty Boy”. July 22, 2010. Archived from the original on April 7, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  27. ^ “16 Apr 2000, 235 – The Miami Herald at”. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  28. ^ Samuels, Robert. “The story behind Marco Rubio’s frustrating first job as a politician” Archived October 27, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, The Washington Post (July 30, 2015).
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Mishak, Michael. “What Kind of Leader Is Marco Rubio? An Investigation; A look at what happens when the Florida senator wields power” Archived October 29, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, National Journal (November 5, 2015).
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  31. ^ “December 14, 1999 Special Primary Senate 34 and House 111 & 115”. Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
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  33. ^ “Legislator says he got calls demanding he end sit-in Series: AROUND THE STATE: [SOUTH PINELLAS Edition]”. St. Petersburg Times. January 26, 2000.ProQuest 263423613.
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  213. ^ Washington Newsroom (June 30, 2015). Gregorio, David; Lewis, Matthew (eds.). “Factbox: Republican 2016 presidential field swells to 14 with Christie”. Reuters. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2017. “He was swept into the Senate in the Tea Party wave of 2010 but has fought to strengthen ties with conservatives after he helped lead a failed push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.”
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  223. ^ a b “PolitiFact – Rubio would take away right to abortions for rape or incest victims, Murphy says”. @politifact. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  224. ^ Rappeport, Alan (August 7, 2015). “Marco Rubio Clarifies His Position on Abortion”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  225. ^ “Marco Rubio takes tough stand against abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest”. Los Angeles Times. August 7, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  226. ^ Sullivan, Sean (April 28, 2015). “How Rubio’s stance on drug laws stands out in GOP presidential field”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 21, 2015.
  227. ^ Leary, Alex (July 30, 2014). “Rubio comes out in limited support of medical marijuana”. Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on February 9, 2016.
  228. ^ a b Reilly, Molly (May 19, 2014). “Marco Rubio Claims There’s ‘No Responsible Way To Recreationally Use Marijuana. HuffPost. Archived from the original on December 22, 2018.
  229. ^ Joseph, Chris (August 11, 2015). “Marco Rubio Says He’d Crack Down on Marijuana If Elected President”. New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  230. ^ Parker, Ashley (April 17, 2015). “Marco Rubio Swings Through New Hampshire”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 9, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
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  233. ^ Guray, Geoffrey (April 13, 2015). “What does Marco Rubio believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues”. PBS NewsHour. Archived from the original on October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  234. ^ a b “Marco Rubio on the Issues” Archived January 27, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  235. ^ “Wicker Joins Bill to Support Hong Kong’s Freedom and Democracy”. Roger Wicker. November 13, 2014. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  236. ^ S.2922 – Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act Archived September 27, 2019, at the Wayback Machine,, November 13, 2014
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  238. ^ “A Useful Hong Kong Rebuke: China’s betrayal of its promises becomes a U.S. political issue”. The Wall Street Journal. January 30, 2015. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  239. ^ Hussein, Fatima (October 22, 2017). “Sen. Todd Young urges action to end Muslim genocide in Myanmar”. IndyStar. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  240. ^ Cortellessa, Eric (January 5, 2017). “Bipartisan group of senators call for repealing UN resolution on Israel”. The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  241. ^ “Helsinki Commission Urges Turkish President to Lift State of Emergency”. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. October 17, 2017. Archived from the original on March 1, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
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  243. ^ a b c Klas, Mary Ellen. “Rubio says asking citizenship question on census in Florida should be ‘no problem. Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on March 28, 2018. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  244. ^ Hall, Kevin. “Crackdown on dirty money shook Miami real estate. Now Rubio wants to take it national”. Miami Herald. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  245. ^ “Group of U.S. lawmakers urges China sanctions over Xinjiang abuses”. Reuters. August 29, 2018. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
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  250. ^ a b Man, Anthony. “That sigh of relief you’re hearing from Marco Rubio? Trump just endorsed him for re-election”. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  251. ^ a b “Wall Street Must Stop Enabling Communist China”. May 26, 2021.
  252. ^ “ICYMI: Rubio: Wall Street Must Stop Enabling Communist China”.
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  255. ^ “Southern Baptist Convention”. Archived from the original on April 4, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  256. ^ Gibson, David (November 15, 2010). “Is Marco Rubio Catholic or Baptist? Or Is the Reformation Over?”. Politics Daily. Archived from the original on May 14, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2013./
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  259. ^ “Marco Rubio – Net Worth – Personal Finances”. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
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  262. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on December 5, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  265. ^ “Klaus Iohannis a decorat opt congresmani americani cu Ordinul Steaua României în grad de Comandor”. (in Romanian). June 9, 2017. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  266. ^ Peia, Florentina; Iacob, Simona (June 9, 2017). Purcarea, Vicentiu; Pandea, Razvan-Adrian (eds.). “President Iohannis and U.S. congressmen discuss Romania’s inclusion in Visa Waiver programme”. Agepres. Archived from the original on February 10, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2018.

External links

Florida House of Representatives
Preceded by

Carlos Valdes
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 111th district

Succeeded by

Political offices
Preceded by

Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
Succeeded by

Party political offices
Preceded by

Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Florida
(Class 3)

2010, 2016
Most recent
Preceded by

Response to the State of the Union address
Succeeded by

U.S. Senate
Preceded by

U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Florida
Served alongside: Bill Nelson, Rick Scott
Preceded by

Chair of the Joint China Commission
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

Succeeded by

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States senators by seniority
Succeeded by

Recent Elections

2016 US Senator

Marco Rubio (R)4,835,19152%
Patrick Murphy (D)4,122,08844.3%
Paul Stanton (L)196,9562.1%
Bruce Nathan ()52,4510.6%
Tony Khoury ()45,8200.5%
Steven Machat ()26,9180.3%
Basil Dalack ()22,2360.2%

Source: Ballotpedia


RUBIO, MARCO ANTONIO has run in 7 races for public office, winning 6 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $84,465,176.

Source: Follow the Money



Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Senate Special Committee on Aging


Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues
East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy
State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation




  • Committee on Appropriations
  • Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Select Committee on Intelligence (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues (Ranking Member)
    • Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy
    • Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development
  • Special Committee on Aging


Sponsored and Cosponsored



Government Reform

  • Sanctions against Russia for interfering in 2016 election. (Jul 2018)
  • Next president should appoint in mold of Justice Scalia. (Mar 2016)
  • The Constitution is not a living and breathing document. (Feb 2016)
  • No to a simple majority to confirm a Supreme Court justice. (Feb 2016)
  • I will reverse US decline, both at home and abroad. (Feb 2016)
  • I will repeal all of Obama’s executive orders. (Jan 2016)
  • Mainstream media is a SuperPAC for Democrats. (Oct 2015)
  • Regulatory agencies shouldn’t write criminal law. (Apr 2015)
  • Conservatives must show they have real solutions to poverty. (Jan 2015)
  • Government has a role, but it is not giving poor money. (Jan 2015)
  • More government breeds complicated rules & holds us back. (Feb 2013)
  • Choose more freedom instead of more government. (Aug 2012)
  • Accused of using campaign funds for personal expenses. (Jun 2012)
  • Used earmarks early in legislative career, then stopped cold. (Jun 2012)
  • 2003: Anonymous contributors; 2004: backed down & disclosed. (Jun 2012)
  • $400,000 for Members-only House lunchroom kept out lobbyists. (Jun 2012)
  • Constitutional term limit amendment for Members of Congress. (Feb 2012)
  • America is greatest country; but not our government. (Jan 2012)
  • Reduce paid petition business in citizen initiative process. (Nov 2006)
  • Texas Sunset Review abolished 47 agencies; do same in FL. (Nov 2006)
  • Early FL primary forces diversity into presidential process. (Nov 2006)
  • Closer regulation of petition verification process. (Nov 2006)
  • Allow transferring surplus campaign funds to other campaigns. (May 2006)
  • Identify constitutionality in every new congressional bill. (Jul 2010)
  • Audit federal agencies, to reform or eliminate them. (Jul 2010)
  • Moratorium on all earmarks until budget is balanced. (Jul 2010)
  • Ban stock trading based on Congressional insider knowledge. (Nov 2011)
  • Prohibit IRS audits targeting Tea Party political groups. (Feb 2014)

Civil Rights

Civil Rights

  • Men’s bathrooms are for men & women’s bathrooms for women. (Oct 2016)
  • One-man-one-woman marriage existed before our laws. (Apr 2015)
  • I oppose gay marriage, but it’s the law of the land. (Apr 2015)
  • Opposes Paycheck Fairness: don’t require equal pay for women. (Apr 2014)
  • Balance gay anti-discrimination with religious rights. (Mar 2014)
  • Defining marriage does not demean a class of people. (Jun 2013)
  • I believe in historical marriage, but ok if states redefine. (Jun 2013)
  • Leave gay marriage to states, but keep DOMA. (Mar 2013)
  • Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. (Feb 2013)
  • Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage. (Aug 2010)
  • Opposes Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). (Sep 2010)
  • Respect faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage. (Mar 2018)


Budget & Economy

  • Reduce debt to save key programs like Social Security. (Feb 2016)
  • Raising the minimum wage is an economic disaster. (Nov 2015)
  • We borrow from countries that dislike us. (Oct 2015)
  • Repeal and replace Dodd-Frank: it eviscerates banks. (Aug 2015)
  • Freeze spending for everything but defense at 2008 levels. (Apr 2015)
  • Tax, borrow, & spend is not the way out of the recession. (Feb 2013)
  • Real problem is $1T deficit each year since 2009. (Feb 2013)
  • Oppose Obama stimulus package; it’s bad for America. (Mar 2010)
  • Support balanced budget amendment and line-item veto. (Feb 2010)
  • Demand a Balanced Budget amendment. (Jul 2010)
  • Limit federal spending growth to per-capita inflation rate. (Jul 2010)
  • Supports the Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge. (Jan 2012)
  • Disapprove of increasing the debt limit. (Jan 2012)
  • Audit the Federal Reserve & its actions on mortgage loans. (Feb 2013)

Tax Reform

  • My tax reform gives more to lower earners, percentage-wise. (Oct 2015)
  • Our outdated tax code encourages outsourcing jobs. (Jan 2015)
  • 2007: Replace all property taxes by adding 2.5% to sales tax. (Feb 2014)
  • Replace property taxes with a consumption tax. (Jun 2012)
  • OpEd: Proposed consumption tax called “largest tax increase”. (Jun 2012)
  • Eliminate Florida property tax; or cap it at 1.35%. (Jun 2012)
  • We need new taxpayers, not new taxes. (Apr 2012)
  • No one should pay higher taxes in recession, not even top 2%. (Oct 2010)
  • Extend Bush tax cuts, even for high earners. (Oct 2010)
  • Address market uncertainty by making Bush cuts permanent. (Aug 2010)
  • 2000: $4 surcharge to cruise tickets to fund Marlins stadium. (Jul 2010)
  • Proposed to replace property taxes with state sales tax. (Mar 2010)
  • Pledged to never raise taxes as state rep. (Mar 2010)
  • Capital gains tax is double taxation. (Feb 2010)
  • Simplify our tax code; reduce the tax burden. (Feb 2010)
  • Supermajority vote for any tax increases. (Nov 2006)
  • Supports flat-rate federal tax; opposes increased tax rates. (Aug 2010)
  • Adopt a single-rate tax system. (Jul 2010)
  • Repeal tax hikes in capital gains and death tax. (Jul 2010)
  • Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. (Jan 2012)



  • Bad idea to arm teachers against school shootings. (Feb 2018)
  • Why did we stop doing vocational education in America? (Oct 2015)
  • Common Core will convert from suggestions to mandate. (Aug 2015)
  • No national school board; end Department of Education. (Apr 2015)
  • Empower parents to overcome disastrous public system. (Apr 2015)
  • Theistic evolution: science and faith are not incompatible. (Apr 2015)
  • Too many 4-year college grads; focus on vocational careers. (Apr 2015)
  • Private lenders get percentage of student’s income. (Feb 2015)
  • Professor of political science at Florida International U. (Feb 2015)
  • Outdated educational systems must be updated to meet needs. (Jan 2015)
  • The poor benefit most from parental choice in education. (Jan 2015)
  • Turn over Head Start to states. (Jan 2014)
  • Give parents chance to send kids to school of their choice. (Feb 2013)
  • Give info to students on costs & benefits of student loans. (Feb 2013)
  • Became serious college student after football injury. (Jun 2012)
  • 1999: Pushed for early education for at-risk children. (Jun 2012)
  • Silent on voluntary school prayer. (Jun 2012)
  • Presided over $2.3B cut to Florida public education. (Jun 2012)
  • Supports No Child Left Behind Opportunity Scholarships. (Nov 2010)
  • Voted for more scholarships for private schools. (Apr 2007)
  • Incentivize foreign language curriculum in elementary school. (Nov 2006)
  • Prepare students for the Global Marketplace. (Nov 2006)
  • More options for student and parent choice in education. (Nov 2006)
  • Integrate competition principles into education marketplace. (Nov 2006)
  • A+ Plan for Education: charters and choice. (Nov 2006)
  • 2+2 System: AA degree guarantees admission to university. (Nov 2006)
  • $4,500 voucher saves state $10,000 in per-student cost. (Nov 2006)
  • Private partnerships for provision of school services. (Nov 2006)
  • Supports less federal & more local control of education. (Sep 2010)



  • Property rights are a basic right; eminent domain attacks it. (Oct 2015)
  • Kelo case was egregiously flawed; limit eminent domain. (Oct 2015)
  • Co-sponsored bill to prevent “soring” of show horses. (Sep 2015)
  • Fix environment with free market, not government mandates. (Feb 2014)
  • State-run insurance carriers mean more taxpayer subsidies. (Jun 2012)
  • Partner with private companies for transportation system. (Nov 2006)
  • Hurricane Savings Accounts for homeowners’ insurance. (Nov 2006)
  • Utilize toll revenues to widen & improve expressways. (Nov 2006)
  • Increase funding for making homes hurricane-resistant. (Nov 2006)
  • Voted NO on protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems. (May 2013)
  • Rated 20% by HSLF, indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record. (Jan 2012)
  • No EPA permits required for forest road runoff. (Jul 2013)

Health Care

Health Care

  • Let people decide how to spend health care dollars. (Feb 2016)
  • All kids should get vaccinated, with medical exceptions. (Feb 2015)
  • ObamaCare stifles entrepreneurship with regulation. (Jan 2015)
  • World Health Organization can’t combat Ebola; only US can. (Oct 2014)
  • Ban visas from Ebola-stricken countries; target the source. (Oct 2014)
  • Medicaid expansion fails because funded only for a few years. (Jan 2014)
  • FactCheck: ObamaCare is not now forcing loss of insurance. (Feb 2013)
  • Expand mental health centers; address violence at its source. (Feb 2013)
  • Address mental illness with care, attention and compassion. (Feb 2013)
  • Backed out of Race for the Cure over abortion funding fight. (Sep 2012)
  • Medicare’s hospice care let my father die with dignity. (Jun 2012)
  • Expand prescription benefits to low-income seniors. (Jun 2012)
  • Provide alternatives to employer-based insurance system. (Mar 2010)
  • Launch a marketplace of affordable health insurance. (Nov 2006)
  • Capitated managed-care systems achieve better value. (Nov 2006)
  • Voted YES on the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts. (May 2011)
  • Opposes government-run healthcare. (Aug 2010)
  • Defund, repeal, & replace federal care with free market. (Jul 2010)
  • Repeal any federal health care takeover. (Jul 2010)



  • Child separation policy at border is simply un-American. (Oct 2018)
  • Children are trafficked into US illegally by criminal groups. (May 2018)
  • My parents immigrated on family connections; but stop that. (Mar 2016)
  • 45% of the problem is visa over-stays. (Feb 2016)
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is unconstitutional. (Feb 2016)
  • If we don’t know who you are, you don’t get into America. (Jan 2016)
  • Bar any company abusing H1 visas from future visas. (Oct 2015)
  • Change from family-based system to skills-based. (Oct 2015)
  • Replace family-based system with economic contribution. (Sep 2015)
  • Legal immigrants have been waiting in line for 15 years. (Aug 2015)
  • Human trafficking law & deferred action caused border crisis. (Aug 2014)
  • Give kids of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates. (Jan 2014)
  • Border control: 90% apprehension and 100% surveillance. (Apr 2013)
  • Immigration is a human issue AND a law & order issue. (Mar 2013)
  • English is de facto official language; let’s recognize that. (Jun 2012)
  • AZ anti-immigrant law demands papers like “police state”. (Jun 2012)
  • OpEd: Claimed falsely that parents fled Castro in 1959. (Jun 2012)
  • Legal status, but not citizenship, to migrant’s children. (Jun 2012)
  • AZ law may unreasonably single out some citizens. (Apr 2010)
  • Don’t count illegal immigrants in the 2010 census. (Apr 2010)
  • Allow children of illegals to pay in-state college tuition. (Mar 2010)
  • No amnesty in any form, not even back-of-the-line. (Mar 2010)
  • Oppose amnesty in any reform. (Feb 2010)

    Comprehensive Reform

  • Amnesty means no consequences; I was never for that. (Feb 2016)
  • In 2013, refugees were fleeing oppression; not like Syrians. (Dec 2015)
  • 2013 lessons: do necessities first; then get to citizenship. (Dec 2015)
  • My family are all immigrants; but no comprehensive solution. (Sep 2015)
  • No green card for 10 years for current illegal immigrants. (Jul 2015)
  • Comprehensive immigration reform is politically infeasible. (May 2015)
  • Joined “Gang of Eight” to push comprehensive reform. (Apr 2015)
  • Deal with border & future immigrants BEFORE any amnesty. (Feb 2015)
  • 2010: Earned path to citizenship is code for amnesty. (Feb 2015)
  • Modernize immigration to win global competition for talent. (Sep 2014)
  • FactCheck: No MarcoPhones, and no executive DREAMers either. (Apr 2014)
  • Not amnesty: 15-year wait, plus fee, minus federal benefits. (Apr 2013)
  • Green cards after 10 years; secure border; & e-Verify. (Apr 2013)
  • Compare reform to existing situation of 11 million illegals. (Apr 2013)
  • Leave immigration to feds; 50 sets of laws is worse. (Jun 2012)
  • GOP DREAM Act: visas for going to college or military. (Apr 2012)
  • Opposes granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. (Sep 2010)
  • Supports full implementation of current border security laws. (Sep 2010)


Homeland Security

  • Plenty of crescent moons in Arlington National Cemetery. (Mar 2016)
  • US security is more important than Apple. (Feb 2016)
  • George W. Bush kept us safe and dealt with Hussein. (Feb 2016)
  • FactCheck: Yes, Air Force is now smallest in its history. (Jan 2016)
  • Send more terrorists to Gitmo; find out everything they know. (Jan 2016)
  • Haul terrorists to Guantanamo for enhanced interrogation. (Jan 2016)
  • Hillary not qualified and Obama apologizes too much. (Jan 2016)
  • Modernize all three legs of the nuclear triad. (Dec 2015)
  • World is safer when America is the strongest military power. (Nov 2015)
  • Radical terrorism cannot be solved by intellect. (Sep 2015)
  • Don’t use military for pinpricks; only engage to win. (Sep 2015)
  • We’re eviscerating our military in dangerous times. (Sep 2015)
  • Empower V.A. to care more about vets than bureaucrats. (Aug 2015)
  • Defense spending is most important federal obligation. (Mar 2015)
  • Modernize military to be used 10 years in the future. (Mar 2015)
  • We need coherent interrogation policy, & keep it classified. (Dec 2014)
  • We need NSA intel to fight emerging terrorist threats. (Nov 2014)
  • Increased military investment demonstrates leadership. (Sep 2014)
  • ISIL’s goal is to drive us out of the region. (Sep 2014)
  • ISIL is a threat because many members have US passports. (Sep 2014)
  • ISIS is a more serious threat than al Qaeda. (Jun 2014)
  • No one has been held accountable for Benghazi. (May 2014)
  • World is a better place when America is the strongest nation. (Feb 2013)
  • 9/11 about people who hate what America stands for. (Sep 2012)
  • Safer place when America is strongest country in the world. (Aug 2010)
  • No greater risk than radical Islamic terrorists. (Aug 2010)
  • Islamic terrorists want to impose their view of the world. (Feb 2010)
  • No evidence to change policy of don’t ask, don’t tell. (Feb 2010)
  • Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act’s roving wiretaps. (Feb 2011)
  • Supports banning homosexuals in the military. (Aug 2010)
  • Sponsored opposing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. (Mar 2013)

Social Security

Social Security

  • Child tax credit refundable against payroll tax. (Nov 2015)
  • No benefits changes for my mom and others of her generation. (Oct 2015)
  • Benefits have to be less generous to save Social Security. (Jun 2012)
  • Raise retirement age for those now under 55. (Apr 2010)
  • Tough choices include raising retirement age & reducing COLA. (Mar 2010)
  • Hard choices for people under 40, to avoid runaway growth. (Mar 2010)
  • Keep raising the retirement age on the table. (Mar 2010)
  • Keep cost-of-living adjustment on the table. (Mar 2010)
  • Rated 7% by ARA, indicating a pro-privatization stance. (Jan 2013)


  • Abortion is complex issue; we must reduce the number of them. (Aug 2015)
  • Barbarians of our age have murdered millions of the unborn. (Aug 2015)
  • Ban abortion after 20 weeks. (Apr 2015)
  • Consensus that life begins at conception; so no abortion. (May 2014)
  • I believe in protecting life but I’m not a chauvinist. (Mar 2013)
  • Pro-life, but understands that woman’s right is the law. (Jun 2012)
  • Expand birth control exemption for faith-based organizations. (Jun 2012)
  • Opposed Sotomayor nomination based on her Roe support. (Jun 2012)
  • No right to privacy, that resulted in the Roe v. Wade. (Feb 2010)
  • Require ultrasounds before performing abortions. (Feb 2010)
  • Voted against funding stem cell research. (Apr 2006)
  • Opposes both federal abortion funding & judicial activism. (Aug 2010)
  • Supports prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research. (Aug 2010)
  • Supports giving legal protection to unborn children. (Sep 2010)
  • Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)

Foreign Policy

  • Engage with Putin, but recognize he supports zero sum games. (Jul 2018)
  • Stay with Japan & South Korea or they will be nuclear powers. (Feb 2016)
  • Three main threats: Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Russia. (Feb 2016)
  • North Korea is run by a maniac with nuclear weapons. (Sep 2015)
  • Putin trying to position Russia as a geopolitical force. (Sep 2015)
  • Pre-conditions for Iran: end enrichment & ballistic missiles. (Jul 2015)
  • I have a clear strategic vision of America’s role in world. (Feb 2015)
  • North Korea is a criminal syndicate, not a government. (Dec 2014)
  • Engagement with Vietnam & China has not led to freedom. (Dec 2014)
  • Tough sanctions against Russia for Ukraine aggression. (May 2014)
  • Only America can stand up to world totalitarianism. (Mar 2014)
  • Putin wants to reconstitute Russian power & Russian prestige. (Mar 2014)
  • The Russian government is a government of liars. (Mar 2014)
  • The China Dream is to surpass America as world leader. (Mar 2013)
  • America is exceptional: nation blessed by God with resources. (Jun 2012)
  • Prefer coalitions but don’t over-rely on global institutions. (Apr 2012)
  • America needs a foreign policy of engaging abroad. (Apr 2012)
  • Intervention to promote democracy abroad. (Nov 2011)
  • Promote democracy via engagement abroad. (Sep 2011)
  • Foreign aid spreads positive influence around the world. (Sep 2011)

    Latin America

  • End relations with anti-American communist tyranny in Cuba. (Jul 2015)
  • We’ve neglected Latin American democracies & our alliances. (Apr 2015)
  • Our policy should lead to more liberty for the Cuban people. (Dec 2014)
  • Cuba must improve on human rights for engagement to continue. (Dec 2014)
  • Cuba embargo was designed to protect American companies. (Dec 2014)
  • Press freedom is a universal human right, especially in Cuba. (May 2014)
  • Build relations with Mexico for trade & oil, not just border. (Nov 2012)
  • Che Guevara reviled by Cuban exiles; I want no association. (Jun 2012)


  • No honest broker on Israel: we are on their side. (Feb 2016)
  • I voted against the president’s inadequate Syria strategy. (Feb 2016)
  • Too risky to take in Syrian refugees. (Nov 2015)
  • Void in the Middle East, so gangster Putin steps in. (Nov 2015)
  • Do not leave it to Russia to get rid of ISIS. (Nov 2015)
  • Opposes nuclear deal with Iran; but supported deal in 2012. (May 2015)
  • Obama has no ISIS policy to avoid upsetting Iran. (Feb 2015)
  • Provide more assistance to Jordan, to prepare against ISIS. (Jun 2014)
  • Stay involved against ISIS or Iran becomes regional hegemon. (Jun 2014)
  • Military action should be on the table in Iran & Syria. (Apr 2012)
  • Rated -2 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
  • Vigorous support for State of Israel against Hamas in Gaza. (Nov 2012)
  • Sponsored funding and supplying the Syrian rebels. (Mar 2013)
  • Disallow Palestine from joining ICC to threaten Israel. (Jan 2015)
  • Move US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; recognize as cap. (Jan 2015)
  • Sponsored bill supporting Israeli settlements on West Bank. (Jan 2017)
Rick ScottRick Scott – FL

Current Position: US Senator since 2019
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): Governor from 2011 – 2019

Other Positions:
Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman

Featured Quote: 
These vaccine mandates are just the latest attempt by @POTUS & the Democrats to control Americans. I got the vaccine & encourage others to as well, but that’s each person’s decision. We all must stand up against this gross overreach.

Featured Video:
Enough Is Enough’: Rick Scott Blames Biden, Democrats For Inflatio

Sen. Rick Scott voices opinion on vaccine mandate
ABC We Are TV, Kai DavisSeptember 14, 2021 (Short)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Rick Scott voiced his opinion Tuesday on President Biden’s vaccine mandate announcement.

Scott believes the vaccine is the best way to defeat COVID-19 but says mandates imposed by the government are wrong.

Scott called the vaccine mandate a hypocrisy in his statement Tuesday because it includes private sector businesses but not members of Congress.

Although Scott disapproves of the mandates he encourages all Americans to talk with their doctors.


Current Position: US Senator since 2019
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): Governor from 2011 – 2019

Other Positions:
Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman

Featured Quote: 
These vaccine mandates are just the latest attempt by @POTUS & the Democrats to control Americans. I got the vaccine & encourage others to as well, but that’s each person’s decision. We all must stand up against this gross overreach.

Featured Video:
Enough Is Enough’: Rick Scott Blames Biden, Democrats For Inflatio


Sen. Rick Scott voices opinion on vaccine mandate
ABC We Are TV, Kai DavisSeptember 14, 2021 (Short)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Rick Scott voiced his opinion Tuesday on President Biden’s vaccine mandate announcement.

Scott believes the vaccine is the best way to defeat COVID-19 but says mandates imposed by the government are wrong.

Scott called the vaccine mandate a hypocrisy in his statement Tuesday because it includes private sector businesses but not members of Congress.

Although Scott disapproves of the mandates he encourages all Americans to talk with their doctors.



Rick Scott 1

Source: Government page

Rick Scott was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 and is currently serving his first term representing the state of Florida. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Rick Scott served two terms as the 45th Governor of Florida, working every day to turn around Florida’s economy and secure the state’s future as the best place for families and businesses to succeed.  Scott grew up in public housing in the Midwest as his adoptive father, a World War II veteran and truck driver, and his mother, a store clerk, struggled to financially support their family. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Ann, Scott joined the Navy, where he served active duty as a radar man aboard the USS Glover. He used the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and eventually opened his first business – a donut shop. Scott went on to run the world’s largest healthcare company and continues to fight every day so families across the state can have the same opportunities he had to live the American dream.

Rick Scott knows firsthand that a good paying job is one of the most important things for a family, and following Florida’s economic collapse ten years ago, he made the decision to run for governor as a businessman with no political experience. During his term as Governor, he successfully championed more than $10 billion in tax cuts and cut thousands of burdensome regulations that led Florida businesses to create nearly 1.7 million new jobs. Under his leadership, the unemployment rate dropped from 11 percent to 3.3 percent, Florida paid down $10 billion in state debt, and record investments were made in what matters most to Floridians – education, the environment, and public safety.

Rick Scott and his wife, Ann, have been married for 48 years and have two daughters, Allison and Jordan, six grandsons, Auguste, Quinton, Sebastian, Eli, Louie and Jude, and one granddaughter, Zelda Ann.

Voting Record

Votes on Bills


  • Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on Airland
    • Subcommittee on Cybersecurity
    • Subcommittee on Personnel
  • Commerce, Science and Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety
    • Subcommittee on Security
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management
    • Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management
  • Budget
  • Aging (Special)


  • Senate Republican Conference


Work Experience

  • Health care executive
  • lawyer



Birth Year: 1952
Place of Birth: Bloomington, IL
Gender: Male
Race(s): Caucasian
Spouse: Ann Scott
Children: Allison Scott, Jordan Scott


Washington, DC Office
716 Hart Senate Office
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5274

Tallahassee Office
111 N. Adams St.
Suite 208,
Tallahassee FL 32301
Phone: (850) 942-8415

Tampa Office
801 North Florida Avenue
Suite 421,
Tampa FL 33602
Phone: (813) 225-7040

Naples Office
3299 Tamiami Trail East
Building F, #106
Naples, FL 34112
Phone: (239) 231-7890

Orlando Office
225 East Robinson Street
Suite 410,
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 872-7161


Government Page, Facebook, Twitter


Source: none

Campaign Finance

Open Secrets – We Follow the Money

Voting Record

VoteSmart – Key Votes & Ratings



Wikipedia Entry

Richard Lynn Scott ( Myers, born December 1, 1952) is an American politician and businessman serving as the junior United States senator from Florida since 2019.[4][5] A member of the Republican Party, he was the 45th governor of Florida from 2011 to 2019.

Scott is a graduate of the University of Missouri–Kansas City and the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. In 1987, after serving in the United States Navy and becoming a law firm partner, he co-founded Columbia Hospital Corporation. Columbia later merged with another corporation to form Columbia/HCA, which eventually became the nation’s largest private for-profit health care company.[6] Scott was pressured to resign as chief executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997. During his tenure as chief executive, the company defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs. The Department of Justice ultimately fined the company $1.7 billion in what was at the time the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.[7][8] Following his departure from Columbia/HCA, Scott became a venture capitalist and pursued other business interests. In 2009, he founded Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.

Scott ran for governor of Florida in 2010. He defeated Bill McCollum in a vigorously contested Republican primary election, and then narrowly defeated Democratic nominee Alex Sink in the general election.[9] Scott was reelected in 2014, defeating former governor Charlie Crist. He was barred by term limits from running for reelection in 2018, and instead ran for the United States Senate.

Scott won the 2018 US Senate election, defeating Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. The initial election results were so close that they triggered a mandatory recount. The recount showed that Scott had won by 10,033 votes; Nelson then conceded the race. Scott took office following the expiration of his term as governor of Florida on January 8, 2019.

Early life and education

Rick Scott was born Richard Lynn Myers[10] in Bloomington, Illinois, on December 1, 1952. Scott never met his biological father, Gordon William Myers,[10] who was described by Scott’s mother, Esther J. Scott (née Fry; 1928 – 2012), as an abusive alcoholic.[11] Scott’s parents divorced in his infancy.[11]

In 1954, Esther married Orba George Scott Jr. (died 2006), a truck driver. Orba adopted Rick, who took his stepfather’s surname and became known as Richard Lynn Scott.[12] Scott was raised in North Kansas City, Missouri, the second of five children. His family was lower-middle-class and struggled financially; Esther Scott worked as a clerk at J. C. Penney, among other jobs.[13][14]

Scott graduated from North Kansas City High School in 1970.[15] He attended community college and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1970.[16][failed verification] Scott was in the Navy for 29 months[17] and served on the USS Glover (FF-1098) as a radarman.[18]

Scott attended college on the GI Bill,[18] and graduated from the University of Missouri–Kansas City with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.[19] He earned a Juris Doctor degree by working his way through Southern Methodist University.[18] He was licensed by the Texas Bar to practice law on November 6, 1978.[20]


Scott made his first foray into business while working his way through college and law school, initially buying and reviving a failing doughnut shop (the Flavor Maid Do-Nut) by adding workplace delivery instead of relying on foot traffic. He later bought and revived another doughnut shop.[21] After graduating from law school, Scott worked as an attorney at the law firm of Johnson & Swanson in Dallas, Texas.[22]

Columbia Hospital Corporation

In 1988, Scott and Richard Rainwater, a financier from Fort Worth, each put up $125,000 in working capital in their new company, Columbia Hospital Corporation;[23] they borrowed the remaining money needed to purchase two struggling hospitals in El Paso for $60 million.[24] Then they acquired a neighboring hospital and shut it down. Within a year, the remaining two were doing much better.[17] By the end of 1989, Columbia Hospital Corporation owned four hospitals with a total of 833 beds.[24]

In 1992, Columbia made a stock purchase of Basic American Medical, which owned eight hospitals, primarily in southwestern Florida. In September 1993, Columbia did another stock purchase, worth $3.4 billion, of Galen Healthcare, which had been spun off by Humana Inc. several months earlier.[25] At the time, Galen had approximately 90 hospitals. After the purchase, Galen stockholders had 82% of the stock in the combined company, with Scott still running the company.[24]


In April 1987, Scott made his first attempt to buy the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). While still a partner at Johnson & Swanson, Scott formed the HCA Acquisition Company with two former executives of Republic Health Corporation, Charles Miller and Richard Ragsdale.[26] With financing from Citicorp conditional on acquisition of HCA,[27] the proposed holding company offered $3.85 billion for 80 million shares at $47 each, intending to assume an additional $1.2 billion in debt, for a total $5 billion deal. After HCA declined the offer, the bid was withdrawn.[28]

In 1994, Columbia Hospital Corporation merged with HCA, “forming the single largest for-profit health care company in the country.” Scott became CEO of Columbia/HCA.[29] According to The New York Times, “[in] less than a decade, Mr. Scott had built a company he founded with two small hospitals in El Paso into the world’s largest health care company – a $20 billion giant with about 350 hospitals, 550 home health care offices and scores of other medical businesses in 38 states.”[30]

On March 19, 1997, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company.[31] Eight days after the initial raid, Scott signed his last SEC report as a hospital executive. Four months later, the board of directors pressured him to resign as chairman and CEO.[32] He was succeeded by Thomas F. Frist Jr.[33] Scott was paid $9.88 million in a settlement, and left owning 10 million shares of stock then worth more than $350 million.[34][35][36] The directors had been warned in the company’s annual public reports to stockholders that incentives Columbia/HCA offered doctors could run afoul of a federal anti-kickback law passed in order to limit or eliminate instances of conflicts of interest in Medicare and Medicaid.[33]

During Scott’s 2000 deposition, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment 75 times.[37] In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in what was at the time the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history. Columbia/HCA admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space. It also admitted to fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. It filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, it gave doctors “loans” never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.[38][7]

In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the United States government $631 million, plus interest, and $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.[39] In all, civil lawsuits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle; at the time, this was the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history.[40][41]

Venture capitalist

After leaving Columbia/HCA in 1997, Scott launched Richard L. Scott Investments, based in Naples, Florida (originally in Stamford, Connecticut[42]), which has stakes in health care, manufacturing and technology companies. Between 1998 and 2001, he purchased 50% of CyberGuard Corporation for approximately $10 million. Among his investors was Metro Nashville finance director David Manning.[42]

In 2006, CyberGuard was sold to Secure Computing for more than $300 million. In February 2005, Scott purchased Continental Structural Plastics, Inc. (CSP) in Detroit, Michigan. In July 2006, CSP purchased Budd Plastics from ThyssenKrupp, making CSP the largest industrial composites molder in North America.[43]

In 2005–06, Scott provided the initial round of funding of $3 million to (named for the first three letters of his two daughters’ names), which offered hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers the opportunity to post information about their prices, hours, locations, insurance accepted, and personal backgrounds online.[44] Scott co-founded the company with his daughter Allison.[42]

In 2008, Alijor was sold to HealthGrades. In May 2008, Scott purchased Drives, one of the world’s leading independent designers and manufacturers of heavy-duty drive chain-based products and assemblies for industrial and agricultural applications and precision-engineered augers for agricultural, material handling, construction and related applications. Scott reportedly has an interest in a chain of family fun centers/bowling alleys, S&S Family Entertainment, in Kentucky and Tennessee led by Larry Schmittou, a minor league baseball team owner.[45]

America’s Health Network (AHN)

In July 1997, Columbia/HCA Healthcare purchased a controlling interest in America’s Health Network (AHN), the first 24-hour health care cable channel. They[who?] pulled out of the deal on the day of the closing because Scott and Vanderwater were terminated, causing the immediate layoffs of more than 250 people in Orlando. Later that same year, Scott became majority owner of AHN.[46]

In 1998, Scott and Vandewater led a group of investors who gave AHN a major infusion of cash so that the company could continue to operate. By early 1999, the network was available in 9.5 million American homes.[47]

In mid-1999 AHN merged with Fit TV, a subsidiary of Fox; the combination was renamed The Health Network.[48] Later that year, in a deal between News Corp. and WebMD, the latter received half-ownership of The Health Network. WebMD planned to relaunch The Health Network as WebMD Television in the fall of 2000, with new programming, but that company announced cutbacks and restructuring in September 2000, and, in January 2001, News Corp. regained 100% ownership.[49] In September 2001, Fox Cable Networks Group sold The Health Network to its main rival, the Discovery Health Channel, for $155 million in cash plus a 10% equity stake in Discovery Health.[50]


Solantic, based in Jacksonville, Florida, was co-founded in 2001 by Scott and Karen Bowling, a former television anchor Scott met after Columbia bought what is now Memorial Hospital in 1995.[13]

Solantic opened its first urgent care center in 2002. It provides urgent care services, immunizations, physicals, drug screening, and care for injured workers. The corporation attracts patients who do not have insurance, cannot get appointments with their primary care physicians, or do not have primary care physicians. Solantic is an alternative to the emergency department care that these types of patients often seek, or for not seeing a doctor at all. In 2006, Scott said that his plans for Solantic were to establish a national brand of medical clinics.[13]

In August 2007, the company received a $40 million investment from a private equity firm and said that it expected to open 35 clinics by the end of 2009, with annual revenues of $100 million once all these clinics were open, compared to $20 million at the time.[51] As of March 2009, Solantic had 24 centers, all in Florida.[52]

Solantic was the target of an employment discrimination suit that claimed that there had been a policy to not hire elderly or obese applicants, preferring “mainstream” candidates. It was settled for an undisclosed sum on May 23, 2007. Scott responded to Salon regarding the claims of discrimination pointing out that “currently 53 percent of Solantic’s employees are white, 20 percent black and 17 percent Hispanic.”[53]


In 2003, Scott invested $5.5 million in Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacies,[54] which operates drugstores/pharmacies in the Western United States that offer vitamins, herbal medicine, skin products, homeopathic medicines, and prescriptions.

Other work

In the 1990s, Scott was a partner of George W. Bush as co-owner of the Texas Rangers.[55]

Scott founded[when?] and managed Naples, Florida-headquartered Novosan, marketer of the Viosan Health Generation food supplements, which have been criticized by alternative medicine critic and Quackwatch webmaster Stephen Barrett for being promoted with non-explicit suggestions that they could cure various diseases in violation of federal law.[56]

Early political career

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights

Governor Scott speaking at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida

In February 2009, Scott founded Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR), which he said was intended to put pressure on Democrats to enact health care legislation based on free-market principles.[57] As of March 2009, he had given about $5 million for a planned $20 million ad campaign by CPR.[58]

Governor of Florida



On April 9, 2010, Scott announced his candidacy for the 2010 Republican Party nomination for governor of Florida.[59] He ran against Democratic nominee Alex Sink.[60]

Susie Wiles, former communications chief to Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, served as Scott’s campaign manager, and Tony Fabrizio was his chief pollster. It was reported on May 7 that Scott’s campaign had already spent $4.7 million on television and radio ads.[61] His first video advertisement was released to YouTube on April 13.[62]

During the primary campaign, Scott’s opponent, Bill McCollum, made an issue of Scott’s role at Columbia/HCA. Scott countered that the FBI had never targeted him. Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald contended that a 1998 bill sponsored by McCollum would have made it more difficult to prosecute Medicare fraud cases, and was counter to his current views and allegations.[63] Scott won the August primary with approximately 47% percent of the vote to McCollum’s 43%. By the date of the Tampa debate between Scott and Sink (October 25, 2010), Scott had spent $60 million of his own money on the campaign compared to Sink’s reported $28 million.[64] Scott campaigned as part of the Tea Party movement.[65]

The Fort Myers News Press quoted Scott as saying he spent roughly $78 million of his own money on the campaign, although other figures indicate he spent slightly over $75 million. He won the general election, defeating Sink by around 68,000 votes, or 1.29%.[66] He took office as the 45th governor of Florida on January 4, 2011.


In October 2011, Scott announced that he would run for reelection in 2014.[67] His political funding committee, Let’s Get to Work, had raised $28 million for his campaign as of May 2014.[68][69]

As of early June 2014, Scott had spent almost $13 million since March on television advertisements attacking former governor Charlie Crist, who then appeared to be the likely Democratic nominee, and who was eventually nominated. The ads resulted in a tightening of the race, mainly due to a decline in Crist’s favorability ratings, while Scott’s favorability ratings did not increase.[70]

By late September 2014, Scott’s television ad spending had exceeded $35 million[71][72] and in mid-October reached $56.5 million, compared to $26.5 million by Crist. On October 22 it was reported that Scott’s total spending had exceeded $83 million and he announced that, having previously said he would not do so, he would invest his own money into the campaign, speculated to be as much as $22 million.[73]

Crist hoped to draw strong support from Florida’s more than 1.6 million registered black voters, an effort that was challenging given his previous political career as a Republican. A September 2014 Quinnipiac University poll revealed his support among black voters was 72%, well below the 90% analysts believed he needed to defeat Scott.[74]

Scott and Crist met in an October 15 debate held by the Florida Press Association at Broward College.[75] Scott refused to take the stage for seven minutes because Crist had a small electric fan under his lectern. The incident was dubbed “fangate” by media sources such as Politico.[76] On November 4, 2014, Scott and Carlos Lopez-Cantera won the general election against Crist and Annette Taddeo-Goldstein by 64,000 votes. The Libertarian candidates, Adrian Wyllie and Greg Roe, received 223,356 votes.[77]

Scott’s gubernatorial portraits during his first (left) and second (right) term


Scott, Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, and other state officials

Scott with the Coast Guard in Miami

Scott speaking at Veterans Award Ceremony

During Hurricane Irma, Scott led Florida through the largest mass evacuation in U.S. history. Unemployment, taxpayer debt, and crime declined statewide during his tenure. He signed a repeal of Florida’s 1985 growth management laws, reduced funding for water management districts, reduced oversight at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and supported increased funding for Everglades restoration. Scott supported permanent tax cuts and “focused on job numbers rather than on running state agencies or making sweeping policy changes”.[78]

Death penalty

In 2013, Scott signed the Timely Justice Act (HB 7101)[79] to overhaul the processes for capital punishment in Florida.[80] The Supreme Court of the United States struck down part of this law in January 2016 in Hurst v. Florida, declaring, in an 8–1 decision, that a judge determining the aggravating facts to be used in considering a death sentence with only a non-binding recommendation from the jury based on a majority vote was insufficient and violated the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a jury trial.[81][82]

The Florida Legislature passed a new statute to comply with Hurst v. Florida, changing the sentencing method to require a 10-juror supermajority for a sentence of death with a life sentence as the alternative.[83] In October 2016 this new sentencing scheme was struck down by the Florida Supreme Court in a 5–2 ruling, which held that a death sentence must be issued by a unanimous jury.[84] The Florida Supreme Court ruled the law “cannot be applied to pending prosecutions” which means that until the Florida legislature acts, there is no procedure or law allowing a prosecutor to seek the death penalty; but it leaves open[clarification needed] the status of sentences passed under the twice-struck down provisions,[85] also left open by the January 2016 United States Supreme Court Hurst decision. The Court granted Hurst a new sentencing hearing after the same Supreme Court decision.[85]

During Scott’s tenure, Florida executed more inmates (28) than had been executed under any other governor in the state’s history.[78][86]

Donald Trump

In the 2016 Republican primaries, Scott endorsed Trump after Trump won the Florida primary.[87] Scott chaired a pro-Trump super PAC in the 2016 election.[87][88] Unlike many other establishment Republicans, Scott praised Trump as tough on terrorism and as an outsider during the 2016 Republican convention.[87]

When Trump “sparred with the Muslim father of a slain U.S. soldier”, Scott said “I’m never going to agree with every candidate on what they’re going to say”.[87] When the Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape was publicized, in which Trump spoke of grabbing women “by the pussy”, Scott rebuked Trump, saying, “I’m not following politics closely right now, but this is terrible. I don’t agree with anyone talking like this about anyone, ever”.[89]

Drug testing for welfare recipients

In June 2011, Scott signed a bill requiring those seeking welfare under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to submit to drug screenings. Applicants who fail a drug test may name another person to receive benefits for their children.[90]

In an interview with CNN host Don Lemon, Scott said, “Studies show that people that are on welfare are higher users of drugs than people not on welfare” and “the bottom line is, if they’re not using drugs, it’s not an issue”. PolitiFact said this comment was “half true”. Government researchers in 1999–2000 reported “that 9.6 percent of people in families receiving some type of government assistance reported recent drug use, compared to 6.8 percent among people in families receiving no government assistance at all.”[91]

Preliminary figures from Florida’s program showed that 2.5% of applicants tested positive for drugs, with 2% declining to take the test, while the Justice Department estimated that around 6% of Americans use drugs overall.[92] The law was declared unconstitutional, with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upholding that ruling in December 2014.[93] The Scott administration declined to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court.


In Scott’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, he promised to create 700,000 jobs in the state. In 2018, PolitiFact ruled Scott’s job creation pledge as a “Promise Kept”.[94]

Under Scott, Florida’s job creation far outpaced the rest of the nation, while wages were below-average and poverty rates were above-average. During his tenure as governor, Florida employers created nearly 1.5 million jobs, and the state’s employment grew 20.3%, compared to 12.5% growth for the U.S. as a whole. Florida’s household income is lower than the national average, with a widening gap. At 15.8%, the state’s poverty rate is slightly above the national rate of 14.7%.[95]


In his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Scott vowed to expand school choice. PolitiFact rated this a “Promise Kept” due to Scott’s push to expand school choice as governor. School choice legislation signed by Scott includes the creation of the Hope Scholarship Program, which subsidizes the cost of private school or allows a transfer to another public school for students who were bullied.[96]

In December 2012, Scott announced a plan to encourage students to pursue majors in engineering and science by reducing tuition for some majors.[97]

In 2016, Scott signed a bill allowing parents to pick any public school in the state for their children, regardless of traditional attendance lines or county boundaries.[98]

In 2017, Scott signed a $419 million public school bill that included charter school expansion. The bill was supported by House Republicans, school choice proponents, and conservative political groups and it was opposed by superintendents, school boards, parent groups, and teachers unions.[99][100]

During the summer of 2017, Scott signed a bill (HB 989 and SB 1210) that would allow any Florida resident to “challenge the use or adoption of instructional materials” in public schools.[101] Proponents of the bill argued that it would allow parents to be more proactive in their child’s education. Opponents of the bill argued that it would allow more censorship, especially for scientific topics like global warming and evolution.[102]


Scott rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, saying “I’m not a scientist“.[103][104] The quote or paraphrases thereof became talking points for some Republican political candidates in the 2014 election campaigns.[105][106]

When questioned by the press on March 9, 2015, in Hialeah, Florida, Scott did not say whether he believes global warming is a problem or whether Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has made or is making preparations for its potential consequences.[107][108]

In March 2015, accusations were made that Scott’s administration had instructed Department of Environmental Protection officials to avoid the terms “climate change” or “global warming” in official communications. Scott denied that his administration had banned the terms.[109][110][111][112]

Scott cut $700 million from Florida’s water management districts over his tenure as governor.[113] The cuts stirred controversy in 2018 when Florida faced a water contamination crisis.[113][114]

Financial disclosures

In 2017, Donald Hinkle, a Democratic activist and lawyer, filed a lawsuit claiming that Scott had not disclosed sufficient information about his wealth and holdings and may have underestimated his net worth. Scott appealed to a three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court granted a writ of prohibition barring the circuit judge from taking any further action in the case. The five-page ruling agreed with Scott that only the Commission on Ethics “has constitutional authority to investigate Mr. Hinkle’s complaint.”[115][116]

Gun laws

As of February 2018, Scott had an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), indicating a record of supporting gun rights.[117] The NRA stated in 2014 that Scott “signed more pro-gun bills into law–in one term–than any other governor in Florida history”.[118]

In 2011, Scott signed the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act (informally called “Docs vs. Glocks”), which made it illegal for doctors and mental health professionals to ask patients about their gun ownership unless they believed “that this information is relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.”[119] Provisions of the law, including the part forbidding doctors from asking about a patient’s gun ownership, were struck down as unconstitutional in 2017 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.[119]

On June 9, 2017, Scott signed an expanded version of Florida’s stand-your-ground law into law.[120]

In February 2018, after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, Scott stated his support for raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21; at the time of the shooting, 21 was the minimum age to buy a handgun, but rifles could be purchased at age 18. He also announced his support of a ban on bump stocks. Scott said, “I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who has mental issues to use a gun”, requesting $500 million in funds for mental health and school safety programs.[121] In March 2018, the Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which incorporated many of the measures Scott supported. It raised the minimum age for buying firearms to 21, established waiting periods and background checks, provided a program for the arming of some teachers and the hiring of school police, banned bump stocks, and barred potentially violent or mentally unhealthy people arrested under certain laws from possessing guns. In all, it allocated around $400 million.[122] Scott signed the bill into law on March 9.[123] That same day, the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the law’s provision banning gun sales to people under 21. An NRA spokesman said, “We filed a lawsuit against the state for violating the constitutional rights of 18- to 21-year-olds.”[124]

Health care

Scott has been a harsh critic of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare),[125] but in his 2018 Senate campaign stopped harshly criticizing the bill.[126] In 2017, he said that people with preexisting conditions should be protected.[127] In June 2018, when the Trump administration sought to remove provisions of Obamacare protecting people with preexisting conditions, Scott declined to criticize the administration,[126][127][128] saying he did not know enough about it to comment.[127]

Scott has taken a number of positions on Medicaid expansion. For much of his first term as governor, he opposed Medicaid expansion in Florida, saying it was too costly. In 2013, he came out in support of Medicaid expansion, and reiterated his support in 2014 when he was up for reelection.[128] After being reelected, Scott reversed his position and adamantly fought against efforts by the Florida Senate to pass Medicaid expansion in 2015.[129] Scott rejected the Medicaid expansion because of his renewed fiscal concerns, saying it is “hard to understand how the state could take on even more federal programs.”[129]

Scott has been accused of having fueled an HIV epidemic while governor, by ensuring that Florida returned $54 million in unspent federal HIV-prevention grants and blocking $16 million in CDC grants to Miami-Dade and Broward counties.[130] The effect of this rejection of federal funds combined with Scott’s stance on Medicaid expansion has been described as “helping explain why the state’s HIV epidemic became almost peerlessly severe during Scott’s time in office”, with the state accounting for 13% of the country’s HIV diagnoses in 2017.[130] Scott has opposed most federal grants due to his fiscal conservatism.[130]

Hurricane Irma

Scott’s handling of Hurricane Irma boosted his profile in advance of his U.S. Senate campaign, with The Hill writing that his “aggressive approach to Irma, which saw him order an extensive evacuation ahead of the storm and coordinate disaster relief efforts as the storm came ashore, has sent his political stock even higher” and that Scott’s “preparedness has impressed Republicans and some Democrats.”[131]

An investigation by WFOR-TV found that after Hurricane Irma, Scott ignored existing debris removal contracts and instead issued emergency contracts for hurricane clean-up efforts.[132] Florida state officials sent an email to several companies on September 11 inviting them to hand in bids for debris clean-up by the next day.[132] State officials believed new contracts were needed to speed up the removal process given the severity of Hurricane Irma.[132] On September 13, state officials decided to use the services of MCM and Community Asphalt, firms owned by contributors to the Republican Party and Scott’s campaigns. According to the television station, the emergency contracts cost $28 to $30 million more than the existing contracts.[132]

Immigration and refugees

In 2010, Scott ran for governor as an immigration hard-liner.[133][65] At the time, he favored similar laws as Arizona’s controversial Arizona SB 1070 which targeted illegal immigrants, and criticized Florida lawmakers for not being tougher on illegal immigrants.[134][133] Scott called for police to check individuals’ immigration status.[134] By 2014, PolitiFact wrote that Scott had “abandoned promises to get tough on illegal immigration.”[135] Over time, he moderated his views on immigration.[65]

In 2011, Scott opposed giving in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, but reversed course in 2014 and signed a bill giving DREAMers in-state tuition in an effort to place limits on how much state institutions can raise tuition each year.[136][137] In 2013, Scott vetoed legislation that would have given DACA-eligible immigrants the ability to obtain temporary driving licenses.[138][137] By 2018, he spoke in favor of giving DREAMers a path to citizenship.[133]

In June 2018, Scott opposed the Trump administration family separation policy, which involved separating children from their parents, relatives, or other adults who accompanied them in crossing the border, sending the parents to federal jails and placing children and infants under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In a letter to United States secretary of health and human services Alex Azar, Scott wrote: “I have been very clear that I absolutely do not agree with the practice of separating children from their families. This practice needs to stop now.”[139][140]

Scott’s administration awarded Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. (CHSi) a tax incentive package of $600,000 to expand in Cape Canaveral, Florida. CHSi runs the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children which detains minor migrants, including those separated from families at the border.[141]

Medical marijuana

After voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, Scott signed a bill passed by the legislature which allowed the use of medical marijuana but not smokeable medical marijuana.[142] A judge ruled the ban on smokeable medical marijuana unconstitutional.[143] Scott appealed the decision.[144][145]

Predictive policing

On September 3, 2020, the Tampa Bay Times released an investigative report into Scott-appointed Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco’s “predictive policing” program, which relies on unproven algorithms.[146] The program is designed to use counter-terrorism and other military “intelligence” tactics to prevent property damage.[146] Nocco was a Republican insider with limited law enforcement experience at the time he was appointed by Scott, in 2011.[146]

Redistricting amendments

In the 2010 elections, Florida voters passed constitutional amendments banning gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts.[147] In February 2011, Scott withdrew a request to the United States Department of Justice to approve these amendments, which, according to The Miami Herald, might delay the implementation of the redistricting plan because the Voting Rights Act requires preclearance of state laws likely to affect minority representation. Scott said he wanted to make sure the redistricting was carried out properly.[148]

Several advocacy groups[which?] sued Scott in federal court to compel him to resubmit the acts to the Justice Department.[clarification needed][149]


On February 16, 2011, Scott rejected $2.3 billion in federal funding to develop high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando. He cited California’s experience with high-speed rail, namely much lower than expected ridership and cost overruns that doubled the final price.[150] In response, a veto-proof majority in the Florida Senate approved a letter rebuking Scott and asking the Department of Transportation to continue funding. On March 1, 2011, two Florida state senators filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court to compel Scott to accept the rail funds on the grounds that he lacked constitutional authority to reject funds that had been approved by a prior legislature.[151] On March 4, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Scott’s rejection of the rail funds did not violate the Constitution of Florida.[152]

In March 2011, Scott moved to have the Florida Department of Transportation amend its work plan to include $77 million for dredging PortMiami to a depth of 50 feet. Once the port is dredged, Panamax-sized vessels coming through the expanded Panama Canal could load and unload cargo there.[153]

In 2018, Scott reversed course and supported a high-speed rail project between Tampa and Orlando when the company All Aboard Florida sought to get taxpayer-backed funding from state and federal governments.[154] He argued that new budget surpluses following the recession could help fund the project.[154] Scott and his wife had invested at least $3 million in the parent company of All Aboard Florida, which had made donations to Scott’s political campaigns.[154]

Voting rights

Scott frequently sought to implement voter IDs as governor, with numerous courts ruling against him in voting rights cases.[155][156][157] He signed into law bills that created barriers to registering new voters, limited early voting, ended early voting on the Sunday before Election Day (known as “souls to the polls” in African-American churches), and restricted the ability of ex-felons to restore their voting rights. In 2012, Scott attempted to purge non-citizens from voter rolls just before the election; a court stopped him from doing so, and it was revealed that legitimate voters were on the voter rolls. The Tampa Bay Times noted that under Scott’s tenure, Florida had the longest voting lines of any state in the 2012 election.[155] After harsh criticism, he expanded early voting hours, and allowed early voting on the Sunday before Election Day.[155]

In 2016, Scott refused to extend registration deadlines after ordering evacuations due to Hurricane Matthew; courts ultimately extended the deadline. He signed legislation into law that rejected mail ballots where signatures on the ballot envelope did not match signatures in files; in 2016 a court struck down the law.[155] In 2014, Scott blocked a request by the city of Gainesville to use a facility at the University of Florida as a site for early voting.[155] In July 2018, a judge ruled against Scott’s prohibition of early voting on campus, saying the ban showed a “stark pattern of discrimination.”[156][157] In 2013, Scott ordered Pinellas County to close down sites where voters could submit mail ballots. In 2012, a court ruled that Scott could not place heavy fines on groups that registered voters but failed to submit the registrations within 48 hours.[155]

Scott rolled back automatic restoration of rights for nonviolent crimes, giving former felons a five- to six-year waiting period before they can apply for a restoration of voting rights.[158] Of the approximately 30,000 applications from former felons to have their voting rights restored during his tenure, Scott approved approximately 3,000.[158] A 2018 investigation by the Palm Beach Post found that during his governorship, Scott restored the voting rights of three times as many white men as black men, and that blacks accounted only for 27% of those granted voting rights despite blacks being 43% of those released from state prisons in the past 20 years.[159] The percentage of blacks among those whose voting rights were restored was the lowest in more than 50 years, and Scott restored a higher share of Republican voting rights than Democrat voting rights than in almost 50 years.[159] A clemency board set up by Scott held hearings on applications, but there were no standards on how to judge the worthiness of individual applications. In March 2017, seven former felons filed a class action lawsuit arguing that the clemency board’s decisions were inconsistent, vague and political.[158]

In February 2018, a U.S. District Court described Scott’s process as arbitrary and unconstitutional, and ruled that he had to create a new process to restore felons’ voting rights.[155][158] The ruling said that Scott and his clemency board had “unfettered discretion” to deny voting rights “for any reason,” and that “to vote again, disenfranchised citizens must kowtow before a panel of high-level government officials over which Florida’s governor has absolute veto authority. No standards guide the panel. Its members alone must be satisfied that these citizens deserve restoration.”[158] The Brennan Center for Justice described the clemency rules issued by Scott in 2011 as among the most restrictive in the country.[160]

U.S. Senate



After months of speculation about a potential run, Scott officially announced on April 9, 2018, that he would challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson in the 2018 election.[161][162]

Scott defeated Rocky De La Fuente in the Republican primary.[163][164] In the general election, Scott’s involvement in a large Medicare fraud case stirred controversy.[8][165] Scott responded with ads accusing Nelson of having cut Medicare benefits and stolen from Medicare; fact-checkers found that both of Scott’s assertions were false.[166][165] During the campaign, Scott called Nelson a “socialist”, an assertion PolitiFact described as “pants-on-fire” false.[167] During the campaign, Scott sought to avoid mentioning Trump and at times criticized or distanced himself from actions of the Trump administration, whereas in the past he had used his friendship with Trump to boost his profile and had been an early and vocal supporter of Trump in 2016.[87] Trump endorsed Scott for Senate.[88]

The initial election results showed Scott leading Nelson by 12,562 votes, or 0.15% of the vote. Under Florida law, a manual recount is triggered if election results show a margin of less than 0.5% of the vote.[168] Both candidates filed lawsuits in connection with the recount. After the recount, Florida elections officials announced on November 18, 2018, that Scott had prevailed. Scott received 50.05% of the vote to Nelson’s 49.93%; the margin of victory was 10,033 votes out of 8.19 million votes cast. Nelson then conceded.[169] It was the most expensive Senate race in the nation in 2018.[170] After the race, Scott’s Super PAC, New Republican PAC, received criticism from across the political spectrum for its aggressive practices and was the subject of several FEC complaints for multiple violations of federal election law;[171][172][173] the Super PAC’s finances are chaired by hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who personally donated at least $10 million to the PAC.[174][175][176]


The Senate term for the 116th Congress began on January 3, 2019, but Scott’s term as governor ended on January 8. On December 4, 2018, Scott’s office announced that he would finish his term as governor and not resign early.[5] Scott attended the ceremonial swearing-in of his successor as governor, Ron DeSantis, on the morning of January 8, 2019, in front of Florida’s historic Old Capitol.[177] Scott left the ceremony early to fly to Washington, D.C., and was sworn in to the Senate by Vice President Mike Pence later that afternoon.[178][5][179]

In January 2019, Scott encouraged Trump to declare a national emergency to build a border wall if Congress would not give him the funds to do so.[180] In February 2019, when Trump declared a national emergency, Scott applauded the decision.[181]

In April 2019, amid calls for an American military intervention in Venezuela, Scott said that the Maduro regime was perpetrating a “genocide” and that the U.S. was “not aggressive enough” about the situation. Fact-checkers and experts described Scott’s assertion of a genocide as false and misguided.[182][183] Scott called on the U.S. to position its military assets to be prepared to respond to events in Venezuela.[184]

In May 2020, Scott voted for an amendment co-sponsored by Senators Steve Daines and Ron Wyden that would have required federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain federal court warrants when collecting web search engine data from American citizens, nationals, or residents under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).[185][186]

After Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18, 2020, Scott sided with Senator Mitch McConnell and called on her replacement to be voted on before that year’s presidential election.[187]

After Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election while making false claims of fraud, Scott voted to object to seating the electors from Pennsylvania but voted against the other objection raised for seating the electors from Arizona. Both objections were rejected by the Senate 92-7 and 93-6 respectively.[188][189][190] In April 2021, Scott ran unopposed for the chairmanship of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and was formally selected on November 10, 2020, succeeding Senator Todd Young.[191]

In 2021, Scott voted against the American Rescue Plan Act, and called upon Florida and other states to reject federal assistance from the package.[192]

On May 28, 2021, Scott voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the 2021 United States Capitol attack.[193]

Committee assignments

Scott serves on the following committees:[194]


Net worth and investments

Scott’s net worth was estimated at US$219 million in 2010, $84 million in 2012, and $133 million in 2013.[195][196] On July 1, 2015, it was reported that Scott’s net worth had grown to $147 million,[197] $149 million on December 31, 2016,[198] and $232 million on December 31, 2017.[199] As of August 2018, his net worth is estimated at $255 million.[200]

Creation of “blind trust”

Early in his gubernatorial tenure, Scott said he created a blind trust for his holdings to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. In October 2018, The New York Times reported that the blind trust in question was blind in name only, and that there were various ways in which Scott could know what his precise holdings were. The holdings in question included investments in companies and funds that Scott could have had an impact on through his administration’s policies.[201] The trust in question was managed by one of Scott’s former personal assistants from before he became governor.[202]

In February 2019, Scott announced that he would no longer keep his holdings in a blind trust.[203]

Controversial investments

In 2017, Scott and his wife held stocks in firms that did business with the Maduro regime in Venezuela and a shipping firm with close ties to the Putin regime in Russia.[204][205][206] Scott had been a harsh critic of the Maduro regime and chastised companies that invested in Venezuela, saying, “Any organization that does business with the Maduro regime cannot do business with the state of Florida.”[206] By 2018, Scott and his wife no longer held stocks in the firms with links to the Maduro and Putin regimes.[204]

In a July 2018 financial disclosure statement, Scott and his wife reported earnings of at least $2.9 million in hedge funds registered in the Cayman Islands, a well-known tax haven. The financial statement said that the assets were held in a blind trust and a 2018 campaign spokesperson said Scott did not have a role in selecting particular investments.[204]

Scott and his wife invested at least $3 million in the parent company of All Aboard Florida, a rail investment company that proposed to build high-speed rail between Orlando and Tampa.[154][207] In 2018, Scott supported the efforts of the company to build the rail and get taxpayer-financing.[154] He had previously, early in his tenure as governor, rejected $2.3 billion in federal funding to develop high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando.[154] Scott stated the original project was fiscally irresponsible given the recession, and he supported a public-private partnership approach when the state’s finances were in order.[154]

Scott was an investor in the firm Conduent Inc., which was awarded a $287 million Florida contract in 2015 to manage SunPass, the toll program in the state of Florida. Due to glitches in SunPass, motorists were charged bank fees and overdraft charges, and the Florida Department of Transportation was criticized for failing to take action. Scott, a Conduent investor, defended the department’s handling of the SunPass controversy.[202]

Personal life

Scott’s wife, Ann Holland

On April 20, 1972, Scott, then aged 19, married his high school sweetheart, Frances Annette Holland (born February 11, 1952), who was 20 years old. The couple has two daughters and six grandsons.[13] They live in Naples, Florida, and are founding members of Naples Community Church.[208]

On November 20, 2020, Scott announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing mild symptoms.[209]

Electoral history

2010 Florida gubernatorial election (Republican primary)[210]
RepublicanRick Scott595,47446.4%
RepublicanBill McCollum557,42743.4%
RepublicanMike McCalister130,05610.1%
Total votes1,282,957 100.0%
2010 Florida gubernatorial election[211]
RepublicanRick Scott / Jennifer Carroll 2,619,335 48.87% -3.31%
DemocraticAlex Sink / Rod Smith2,557,78547.72%+2.62%
IndependencePeter Allen123,8312.31%N/A
IndependentC. C. Reed18,8420.35%N/A
IndependentMichael E. Arth18,6440.35%N/A
IndependentDaniel Imperato13,6900.26%N/A
IndependentFarid Khavari7,4870.14%N/A
Total votes5,359,735 100.0% N/A
Republican gain from Independent
2014 Florida gubernatorial election (Republican primary)[212]
Republican Rick Scott (Incumbent) 831,887 87.65%
RepublicanElizabeth Cuevas-Neunder100,49610.59%
RepublicanYinka Adeshina16,7611.77%
Total votes949,144 100.0%
2014 Florida gubernatorial election[77]
RepublicanRick Scott / Carlos López-Cantera (incumbent) 2,865,343 48.14% -0.73%
DemocraticCharlie Crist / Annette Taddeo2,801,19847.07%-0.65%
LibertarianAdrian Wyllie / Greg Roe223,3563.75%N/A
IndependentGlenn Burkett / Jose Augusto Matos41,3410.70%N/A
IndependentFarid Khavari / Lateresa A. Jones20,1860.34%+0.20%
Total votes5,951,571 100.0% N/A
Republican hold
2018 United States Senate election in Florida (Republican primary)[213]
Republican Rick Scott 1,456,187 88.61%
RepublicanRocky De La Fuente187,20911.39%
Total votes1,643,396 100.0%
2018 United States Senate election in Florida[214]
RepublicanRick Scott 4,099,505 50.06% +7.82%
DemocraticBill Nelson (incumbent)4,089,47249.93%-5.30%
Total votes8,190,005 100.0% N/A
Republican gain from Democratic

Awards and honors


  1. ^ Because Ron DeSantis and Jeannette Núñez took their oaths of office ahead of time, they became governor and lieutenant governor at midnight on January 8, rather than waiting for the inaugural ceremony. Thus, Scott’s and Lopez-Cantera’s terms ended at the end of January 7.[1]