Rubio breaks it down: Pitbull is no Eminem
November 19th, 2012
01:50 PM ET
1 year ago

Rubio breaks it down: Pitbull is no Eminem

(CNN) – Since winning his U.S. Senate seat in 2010, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has frequently weighed in on immigration, education and the economy.

But the 42-year-old freshman lawmaker apparently has a lot to say about another topic: Rap music.

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"The only guy that speaks at any sort of depth is, in my mind, Eminem. He's a guy that does music, that talks about the struggles of addiction and before that violence, with growing up in a broken family, not being a good enough father," Rubio said in an interview with GQ released Monday.

Saying he "came of age" during the East Coast v. West Coast rap debate of the '90s, a cross-country rivalry between various artists, Rubio considers himself a serious fan of hip hop, which he says has transformed into a new genre altogether.

"Hip Hop's 30 years old now and it's crossed over and sort of become indistinguishable from pop music in general," Rubio said. "You know, many people say Nicki Minaj is a rapper, but she's also a singer. Kanye's another guy who's also a rapper, but his songs aren't pure rap anymore."

Rubio, who was vetted as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, has stolen the spotlight in the days after the election by traveling to Iowa to headline a fundraiser for Gov. Terry Branstad. The move quickly stirred rumors of a potential 2016 bid, given Iowa's standing as the first-in-the-nation state to hold a presidential primary caucus. The senator has also been vocal on the need for immigration reform and a more inclusive Republican Party, echoing post-mortem refrains heard across the GOP.

And while Rubio is known for giving carefully-crafted statements, he gave a simple answer when asked about his three favorite rap songs: "'Straight Outta Compton' by N.W.A. (1988) 'Killuminati' by Tupac (1996). Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' (2002)."

He was also asked if he has one song in particular that "psyches" him up. Rubio, however, said his life doesn't have much room for a warm-up routine. "I don't have time for that. You know you can't put on earphones and then storm the floor and vote."

Also during the interview, Rubio was asked to name his best friend. Other than his wife, the senator pointed to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party favorite who played an instrumental role in helping Rubio get elected two years ago.

"He's a great source of wisdom as a person who's had to make decisions that have made him unpopular in his own party," he said, also naming former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as a mentor.

Rubio may be a student of rap, but he's no scholar of science, he argued. Asked how old the Earth is, Rubio said such an answer was not his to give.

"I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all," he said, adding that he thinks parents should be able to teach both creationism and evolution.

"Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that," he said. "It's one of the great mysteries."

Rubio ignites debate with answer about creationism

The answer will no doubt fuel liberal blogs and many scientists who point firmly to the widely-held belief that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. But by appealing to both sides of the argument, his answer also gives him room to court more moderate voters–many of whom can be found in Iowa.

For now, though, Rubio seems to be more precise on his music tastes. Of the hip artists he doesn't favor, Rubio says Pitbull–who's known for "Back in Time" (2012) and "I Know You Want Me" (2009)–doesn't quite do the trick.

"(Pitbull's) songs are all party songs. There's no message for him, compared to like an Eminem," he said. "But look, there's always been a role for that in American music. There's always been a party person, but he's a young guy. You know, maybe as he gets older, he'll reflect in his music more as time goes on. I mean, he's not Tupac. He's not gonna be writing poetry."


Filed under: Florida • Marco Rubio
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    yo yo yo, my name is Marco Rubio.......thanks for the daily chuckle there Marco

    November 19, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Rubio? Conservatives can ridicule all they want about "Chicago politics". Chicago cannot hold a stick against Florida for crooked politics, unique politicians, and all of it coming out of the right wing. For example, take Marco Rubio here. He's not a bad guy, one would think. But, how about that story he told about escaping from Castro's Cuba? Do not believe for one minute that excuse about how he must have misunderstood the stories as a kid. I'm sure he took some history, and studied a bit about Cuba. That was my first exposure to Rubio, and it wasn't good.

    November 19, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    So, they are going to gain the youth vote by talking about rap? Wow, that's a strategy for 2016. Can you really picture Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn pushing this in the next GOP Senate Caucus meeting? I would love to hear that conversation.

    November 19, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Max

    So what? We all have our choices and preferences in music, math, and mythology. So, his point is?

    November 19, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. GEN. BETRAYUS..WHOOPS....PETREUS

    Very deceptive of you Marco trying to get into hip hop to sway voters. I wish i did this interview. i would have followed up with "why is Killuminati one of your favorite albums?" 'Do you know the reason behind the album?" "Do you know that Killuminati was the album that lead to Tupac's death?" N.W.A. is one of your favorite groups too? You do know what N.W.A. stands for right Marco?

    November 19, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Tim

    "You know whether or not the sun revolves around the earth, or the earth revolves around the sun...I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of those great mysteries" – Marco Rubio

    November 19, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. GOP IS LOST

    LOL. Marco, Marco, Marco.... You don't know nothing about rap music. Slim wouldn't be caught dead around a fraud like you. And, Pitbull surely has no use for a sell out like you. So, stick to the boy bands!! You're making a complete fool of yourself.

    November 19, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Darryl

    What a JOKE !!! I can see why he likes the basket case ( NUT ) singers !! He's a freekin nut himself ! Anyone can tell he has mental problems just by his speeches. PSYCHOPATH is what Rubio is !

    November 19, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    We are soooooooooooo proud of you Marco. He also talked about raping and killing his sister and or mother in his music early on, do not remember which because I just filed it away as more of the same old trash. The GOP clown car is trying to get its battery jumped so it can get going again. Hey, maybe Allen West would like to climb in with you this time.

    November 19, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. carlos

    poster child...poster boy...and....poster little man.....

    November 19, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. carlos

    what about doing some constructive work in the Senate where he was elected to do.....useless.

    November 19, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Another up-and-coming liar from Florida. He's been hit with all kinds of fraud already and his house (co-owned with another man) was foreclosed. Yep - sounds like a republican to me. Just because he's Cuban doesn't mean he will be popular with hispanics, or even other cubans that resent the crooks giving them all a bad name (like Rubio).

    November 19, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. KC Yankee

    Well, there's a certain large faction of his base that will make sure he never admits to believing in science. This crooked fool is going to be the great beige hope of the GOP in 2016?

    November 19, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Ditto Head

    wow...I wonder how long it will be before Rush says Rubio isn't a "Real Republican"

    November 19, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Ice Ice Baby

    Look at how big his forehead is...isn't that a sign of mental illness?

    November 19, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. kayla

    if he could not deliver florida for the twitt, he actually think he can win the blacks over? what an idiot.

    November 19, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. global warmimg pitbull

    buy pitbull album it's out..
    and yeah..pitbull's music is just to dance.

    November 19, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Barry

    suddenly Rubio wants to look and sound as if he knows rap music. Wait, it was your own party that condemned this tyep pf music and the people wholistened to it recently and you SAID NOTHING. regardless, this won't make us vote for your party. You and your party have a better chance of laying on a train track with an approaching train than you wining the next election. By the way, is this what the people of Florida sent you to congress to do.: talk about what RAP music you enjoy listening to?

    November 19, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Outsider.92

    "The world may actually be flat. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that." -Rubio

    November 19, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Curt

    Rubio is about as relevant as Palin, Trump,McCain and the loser Romney. Can't figure out why CNN insist on giving Rubio and others so much press. If you ignore them, they will go away.

    November 19, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. juge

    There are only FACTS – NOT NON-FACTS! Mr RUBIO you are one ignorant Floridian on the make. However, you and your ignorant friends are going down the tube AND that is a FACT!

    November 19, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. sassysticks53

    Also during the interview, Rubio was asked to name his best friend. Other than his wife, the senator pointed to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party favorite who played an instrumental role in helping Rubio get elected two years ago.

    "He's a great source of wisdom as a person who's had to make decisions that have made him unpopular in his own party,"

    lol! Yeah, Jim DeMint – Remembering DeMint during the health care debates. "We will break him; ... it will be his waterloo..." Wonder how that waterloo thingy is working out for Jim DeMint these days? Rubio needs some "best friends" his own age. Jim DeMint! Too funny!

    November 19, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. insight iowa

    Rap – (mostly based on sex, drugs, killing or being killed), when it comes to his style of music and the Bible when it comes to "how old the earth is" and his party stance... anyone? anyone?

    November 19, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. chupacabra

    Pretty little boy, is he out off highschool yet?

    November 19, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. don in albuquerque

    Quite a role model ya got there Rube. Tell us, will he be part of your revamped family values campaign?

    November 19, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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