MIAMI, Florida — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will officially announce he is running for President tonight in Miami.
The venue, the iconic Freedom Tower, holds a lot of symbolism for the Cuban-American community. It’s the place where Cuban exiles would have their government paperwork processed and where the new immigrants, who often arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs, could pick up food for their families.
The location holds a lot of symbolism for Rubio personally as well; he has frequently shared the story of how his parents left Cuba to build a better life in America and how grateful he is for the opportunities this country has provided his family. From Breitbart News’ exclusive interview with Rubio:
Family has always been a priority for Rubio, and central to his message on the campaign trail. Rubio has frequently told the story of how his parents left Cuba with practically nothing to build a better life here in America. His mother was a maid and his father was a bartender, and he would mention at events that one of the things that made America so great was that he was standing at a podium in the front of a hotel ballroom very much like the ones where his father would have been tending bar at the back.
Monday, the bartender’s son will be speaking in the front of yet another room, this time as a presidential candidate. Breitbart News asked Rubio what this meant for his family.
Rubio replied that, like any family, there was a “sense of pride about what we’ve done up to this point and how far we’ve come,” but also a “sense of wonder” about this “incredible country [where] five, six decades ago, a young couple arrives with no money, barely speaking English, no connections, and very limited education, and sixty years later, their son is running for the highest office in the land.”
“I mean is there really any other country in human history where that journey would even be possible?” asked Rubio. “I think it’s a testament to [my parents] certainly, but more importantly to our country.”
The Freedom Tower only holds about 1,000 people, but some 3,500 requested tickets and there were 190 media requests from 65 different outlets, according to a report by Politico’s Marc Caputo. The ticket requests came from every state in the United States except for Vermont. To accommodate the overflow crowds, crews are setting up a Jumbotron across the street, and the event will be livestreamed at www.marcorubio.com.
Rubio had a walk-through at the Freedom Tower with his staff last night. IJ Review posted several photos provided by Rubio staffers.
After the walk through, Rubio headed to the Coral Gables home of Bernie Navarro, the immediate past president of the Latin Builders Association, and his wife, Claudia. Sources close to Rubio told Breitbart News that Sunday’s event was more of a gathering of friends than a fundraiser, and about 250 people attended. The Navarros are longtime friends and supporters of Rubio’s since before he was involved in politics and will host a separate fundraiser later this month, according to the Miami Herald.
Breitbart News spoke to a Rubio staffer who said that the Senator and his team are feeling very positive and looking forward to tonight. “It’s all about 6 p.m…he’s ready,” the staffer said. Hillary Clinton’s campaign launch Sunday was viewed as a positive development by the Rubio team. A source close to the Senator said that it was a “great chance to directly contrast” the two, a comparison they believe will be positive for Rubio.
While Clinton released a pre-produced YouTube video online and did not follow up with any media appearances, Rubio is taking a very different approach, giving several interviews over the past few days and tweeting a video he took on his phone:
Just recorded this quick video on my phone. I hope you will watch my announcement at 6pm tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/8AgTl4vqUB
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 12, 2015
“We’re excited about the announcement tomorrow,” says Rubio, over noise from the wind; the location is barely a block from the coast. Another tweet from Rubio used a “Game of Thrones” theme:
It’s gonna be a big day.
— Team Marco (@TeamMarco) April 13, 2015
Rubio is also scheduled to sit down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos before his speech, and Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity afterwards. According to a report by CNN, Rubio confirmed he was throwing his hat in the ring on a phone call with top donors and supporters Monday morning. And he’s ready to go:
— Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) April 13, 2015
Tonight’s program will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET and Rubio is scheduled to speak at 6:00 p.m. Breitbart News will be live on the scene.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.