Rubio breaks it down: Pitbull is no Eminem
November 19th, 2012
01:50 PM ET
6 years 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. Franky

    Oh gawd, please stop. Really, Really, you think this is what connecting with the people means GOP.

    November 19, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Chuck B

    I am surprise that the Republicans allowed Marco into the party. Okay, Rubio past my B-boy test with "killuminati and Straight Outta Compton." But I can only see him go as high as the vice-president ticket. I can't conceive the GOP allowing a free thinker like him to lead them.

    November 19, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Jeeeeezzz people,and i thought the right wing were uptight. If he wants to talk a little rap thats fine. America we need relax to more!

    November 19, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Hahaha...obvious weapon of mass distraction intended to bump up Token No. 8's "street cred."

    November 19, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Here's some advice, GOPers/Teatrolls: It's not that there's not enough brown in your's that there's not enough RESPECT.

    The deluge of tokens we're going to be subjected to in the conservatives' attempt to appeal to minority voters is, in fact, a sign of disrespect, because it shows that the GOP/Teatrolls still have not recognized and accepted that it's not about the color of the candidates' skin, but rather about the words and ideas coming out of their mouths. "Browning it up" is NOT going to work. EVER.

    November 19, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. bp

    Great. Another GOP star pandering to the far right by supporting the concept that science not not be believed or accepted unless it conforms with your personal beliefs, and that all belief-based views of science are equally valid.

    I don't know much about Rubio yet, but anyone who thinks science is subjective has lost my vote.

    November 19, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. varr72

    The next president of the United States.... liberals can foam at the mouth all they want.

    November 19, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. beevee

    The GOP is using the Rubio guy to get hispanic voters to their side.When that is accomplished they will spit him out. If he thinks he is going to be any one to be reckoned with in the GOP he is sadly mistaken just like the Lousiana governor Jindal. These two better remember how the country voted in the recent presidential election and who got the majority of the white votes.

    November 19, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |

    " Hey GOP "
    Get the formula from Marco R to gain minorities, as he said:
    The only guy that speaks at any sort of depth is, in my mind, Eminem.
    Just RAP, RAP, RAP, RAP, ..................UUUUUffffffff!....... RAP, RAP, RAP, RAP.............UUUUffffff....

    November 19, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Science.

    4.54 billion years old, good night.

    November 19, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I wonder what Bill O'Reilly is going to think about your comments Rubio.

    November 19, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Alfred E. Neuman

    I was going to comment then thought – why bother?

    November 19, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. 1twinsfan

    Don't be fooled by the combover. Rubio is hip.

    November 19, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    Rubio is about as exciting as Willard was. An authority on everything except humanity. Another republican loser in a long list of wanna-bees.

    November 19, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "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."

    Translation of MSM propaganda on the GOP's behalf: "Please believe that "moderate" automatically means "somewhere in the middle between reasonable people who recognize the truth of scientific facts and the radicalized far-right fundamentalist christian evangelicals.""

    November 19, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. ferret out the BS

    Sort of wishy-washy 7 days or 7 era's, what happened to 4.5 billion years? I guess if we don't want our kids educated in real science in order to compete in the global marketplace then I guess 7 days or 7 era's works.

    November 19, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Axalara

    Holy crap, the people on here are morons. He was asked a question and he answered it. He didn't bring it up on his own. And a psychopath? Really? You guys are leaving some dumb comments.

    November 19, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    And what CNN sweapt under the rug is taht Rubio actually, quite literally said that the age of the Earth is a matter for "debate" by "theologians"...not scientists, mind you, but "theologians." What you're looking at in the above photo is nothing more than the face of yet another pandering conservative champion of ignorance, not someone who is at all serious about moving the country forward.

    November 19, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    GREAT! A GOtP token likes Rap Music. That ought to get the youth on the Republican's side

    November 19, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. Chipster

    Unless this was predetermined, why on Earth would anyone think of asking Rubio, or any other political figure, what their 3 favorite rap songs are? How hokey can you get? A token Hispanic Republican, asked a bogus question about rap music? Can the GOP possibly get anymore clueless? Here's a tip for the GOP: people want JOBS in the U.S. not in China and they want you to stop trying to legislate YOUR ideas of MORALITY! Don't tell us who we can marry. Don't try to tell us that contraceptives cannot be covered by the insurance policies the WE PAY FOR! Stop telling us that the gay guy next door is less of a human being than the rest of us. And, in a nation where the founding fathers guaranteed freedom of religion, STOP trying to convince us that this nation is only for Christians! We studied history. We know that many of them were Deists and some were Atheists! We know that Jefferson opposed religious fundamentalism. So, just stop trying to divert our attention from the policies that we won't support. If you want our support, change your policies.

    November 19, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. CBP

    Why is any of this news? With so many issues facing us another interview with sen. Rubio just takes up space. Knowing that he thinks of Sen. DeMint as a good friend and mentor is enough to wonder about his thinking on all subjects since Sen. DeMint's statements and ideas are often way, far to the right and beyond the scope of acceptance by those of us who are sensitive to the needs of others.

    November 19, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. I Could Have Been A Contendah

    We just got through two years of brutal campaigning. Please, Senior Junior Senatore Rubio, give it (it = the cheap, self-serving, superficial propaganda proving you aren't a stuffed shirt like all the other GOP candidates) it a siesta!!

    Really, if you continue to campaign now, you will simply establish a NEW form of GOP hypocris, and a new reason for America to reject you. How about doing the job you were elected to do for a coupla more more years?

    November 19, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |

    It's GOP RAP party Time
    Hey Trump Rap, Mitt Rap, Bohener Rap, T Parties Rap, Gingrich Rap, Palin Rap, McCain Pap,

    November 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Chipster

    The comments are based on the fact that none of us believe for one minute that these questions were not contrived to try to make Rubio look "hip" – "cool" or whatever outdated term you'd like to use. Who cares if he likes rap, hip-hop, country, or classical? This was so obvious that it just makes him look phony.

    November 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Larry L

    @Ray E. (Georgia)

    Believe it or not, the Conservatives and Republician's believe you have enough canones to take care of yourself. The Liberal's and Democrats think you are too ignorant to take care of yourself So, they are now asking the igoranimouses to advise them? Well good luck on that. It is well known that Igorance Abounds thruout the land. If Obama has his was you will soon bite the hand that feeds you.
    You'd be wise not to misspell "igoranimouses" and "Igorance". It would also be great if you'd start the new term as a patriotic American rather than a mindless Fox News drone. Americans need to pull together rather than choosing political "teams" to support. All politicians need pressure from an honest and well-meaning electorate rather than cheap shots (like my stupid spelling comment) from brainwashed extremists. The last election showed you the future for right-wing radicals. We need pragmatic citizens sincerely working for a better America – for all of our people.

    November 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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