Rubio breaks it down: Pitbull is no Eminem
November 19th, 2012
01:50 PM ET
2 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. Data Driven

    Wow, NWA, Eminem, Pitbull? Rubio is so totally def.

    Anyway, I find it more troubling that he thinks the planet might be only several thousand years old. What up wit dat, home-slice?

    November 19, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Ben

    Uh, yeah, the whole Earth-being-billions-of-years-old thing? That's not a "belief". That's a thing called a "fact".

    November 19, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "A new word for the lexicon: "Gerrypander" v. – ..."

    HA! Good one. Don't forget "Geripander" too....i.e., "death panels" and "keep the government's hands off my Medicares!!!"

    November 19, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Marco? Polo

    Did the GOP just have a nerdy, out of touch, canidate who tried to re-invent himself as a "regular" guy...how'd that work out

    November 19, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. adam

    Sniffit- the term "sociopath" and "psychopath" are clinically synonymous. Just FYI.

    November 19, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Let's Move Forward

    Rubio hasn't a clue. Does he not understand that most Black Americans hate rap. Rap is nothing but violence toward police and others, profanity and degrading women and it is racist toward white people Leave it to republicans to continue insulting minorities, women and law enforcement. I don't think the christian right will be happy with Rubio.

    November 19, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Grover Norquest

    Just like all the other republican Senators...I own this guy...he signed my pledge.

    November 19, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Sniffit- the term "sociopath" and "psychopath" are clinically synonymous. Just FYI."

    Functionally true, although there is some distinction in terms of the views of the person doing the diagnosing as to the origins of the disorder, i.e., personal or social determinates etc.

    November 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    And God said "let there be rap"? Soooo, a priest, a rabbi and a mullah all walk into the Large Hadron Collider....

    November 19, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. JJC

    He said "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"

    No, there are not multiple theories out there. There are scientific theories, which are based upon fact and are thoroughly tested, and there are opinions. Religious ideals are not theories, they are opinions and not based upon anything in reality. All politicians that pander in this way should know that if you do not say "the earth is billions of years old" then they are in effect saying "I use religion to base my views on reality". There is no middle ground. I vote against ALL politicians that do not use science to base their world views.

    November 19, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    At least he admits he's not a scientist: as for everything else, well, there are 12-step programs to help him to kick the narcotic known as conservatism, starting with reality.

    November 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. shadysider

    Rubio might want to give a talk to the entire Fox News Network about Common, if he's such an enlightened rap fan.

    November 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Courtney

    So what is this suppose to make him a likable guy? big deal they did the same thing with Paul Ryan so what a liar likes to workout while playing rage against the machine that help him didnt win the White House . Nice try CNN.

    November 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. shadysider

    So....when are you going to clue the entire Fox News network into Common's music?

    And Eminem was garbage after he started constantly ranting about his issues. His best stuff was just before he got signed by Dre.

    November 19, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Rubio is Bush's boy no matter how he tries to spin it and he always has to give some credit to DeMint and the tea party. This guy isn't going anywhere, there are too many other Hispanic politicians who don't stand with the Tea Party or Republicans but stand on the side of human rights for all, that's why they stood with and for Obama.

    November 19, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Listening

    JJC – The complete science you are referencing, still has not been concluded as fact. Not to mention I find it laughable that the far left call for the electric chair towards anyone that doesn't buy into their theories in total. Personally I could care less how old the effen Earth is. If that's your criteria for POTUS, then good luck finding someone willing to understand all cultures and views in a peaceful way. After all, most science driven folks hold a 'my way or die' approach. Maybe good for Henry VIII but not POTUS.

    November 19, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. shadysider

    So, if one of his favorite songs is 'Straight outta Compton,' we're going to see Fox talking about how Rubio is an unhinged supporter of violence and insurrection from the inner cities on civilized society, right?

    November 19, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Sniffit

    And God said "let there be rap"? Soooo, a priest, a rabbi and a mullah all walk into the Large Hadron Collider....

    **********************************
    Thanks for ending my day with a laugh. I've noticed just sayin, wilson and the usual rightie echoes are not in evidence much today. Seen them much?

    November 19, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Here is another surprise: we Latinos don't like Rubio. As for Latino women, he does not have a prayer. This Hispanic-Catholic- educated woman will do anything to mame sure he loses. And I'm not alone, in fact I have lots and lots of friends, family and acquaintances that feel the same way about him. No nos gusta!!!!

    November 19, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Jim

    Was prepared to like Rubio as a possible mover in the Republican party. But his non commitment on how old the Earth is just shows he is your typical idiot Republican who either 1) really believes there is a debate between 7 days and 10 billion years; 2) Is too afraid to say what he really believes because people in the party might think he is intellectual. When will people in the RNC actually stand up for common sense and what they actually believe? Enough of these Republican lemmings, they offer no real solutions for the modern World.

    November 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. ladyfon

    OK your tards that find fault with everything Republicans say. If the Earth is 6.5 billion years old and it is a FACT, what is the earth's birthday? Is it today or Jan 10, Oct 1, Nov 28, or Dec 15, just let me know once you know it alls figure it out.

    November 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "So, if one of his favorite songs is 'Straight outta Compton,' we're going to see Fox talking about how Rubio is an unhinged supporter of violence and insurrection from the inner cities on civilized society, right?"

    Nah...he slipped...what he meant to say was "Straight Outta Camaguay"...

    "Thanks for ending my day with a laugh. I've noticed just sayin, wilson and the usual rightie echoes are not in evidence much today. Seen them much?"

    I think they're all waiting in line for the newest iTroll tinfoil hats.

    November 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. W.G.

    Yeah , yeah , rapo , eminem . WHO CARES ! He´s a republican ! A Cubam Romney ! He has nothing in common
    with REAL Latinos ! Why do the GOP try to put lipstick on a dog and call it Farrah Fawcit !

    November 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. California Gary

    I don't give a hoot about "rap"........how can anyone be concerned about this when we are in the middle of a twinkie crisis? If Hostess goes down, Little Debbie isn't gonna be able to keep up with the demand........and if I don't have access to twinkies.......it's gonna get ugly out here. I understand there is now to be a mediation meeting to try and save the twinkies.......they better not mess this up!

    November 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. ping pong

    Rubio Is. an arrogant punk. Let him run in 16 perfect. He will end up. like the double talking. Romney .

    November 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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