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. Martha in CF

    So why is so much attention being drawn to Rubio. He still has milk on his lips to be responsible for anything...
    Enough coverage of this guy already!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh and he is not presidential material for a while yet!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. omar

    Lol, I bet he is. Of course its too soon and obvious for the Republicans to try to show that they can relate to ppl. Now rubio likes raps. Sure he does. I guess that supposed to win him young votes when he runs in 2016? Please. Gtfoh

    November 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    And the rethuglicans just LOVE to say President Obama was inexperienced. Yet we are supposed to think this phony is presidential material. I don't think so. He could dig Easy-E up and promote a free concert and I still wouldn't vote for him or any of them. EVER.

    November 19, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. fernace

    I agree w/Rubio that there's no pure rap left, but that can be said of rock & pop, too! Popular music is now a melding of styles & is usually an indicator of what's happening in society! The mashup of styles let's us in on the clue that our youth are very open minded! The fact that there is so much party music & fantasy themed movies, tells us that people are inundated by negativity & the last thing they want to listen to or watch are more "serious subjects"! My fave tunes are Public Enemy– Shut Em Down, Salt & Pepa's–Get Up & Queen Latifah– U.N.I.T.Y. I could have a discussion w/Rubio about music, but he lost me when he mentioned DeMint & his statement about evolution! That was straight out of the T-Party grab bag!!

    November 19, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Mike

    This guy is a joke and a liar. Talk about the GOP trying to put lipstick on the pig they are trying to sell you.

    November 19, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    Someone here asked when Earth's birthday was, since we're all so smart. Oh all right, you win, Earth isn't that old. Fact, Hannibal and the Carthaginians rode on triceratops over the Alps on their way to sack Rome. The elephants-story was just liberal media bias.

    November 19, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Not left, not right, just logical

    Let the shameless Republican courting of the black vote begin........

    November 19, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Spike2014

    Well the election is over and the libs still seem to continually prove that they are a bunch of idiots.....

    November 19, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. MTATL67

    Anti Marriage Equality, No to a womens right to choose, No to equal Pay but you know that's ok because Mario likes RAP. As if we are going to give our freedoms away because he likes Eminem and knows who N.W.A is.

    November 19, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. TheVoice2

    He is right about rap, but he lost me at "creationsim."

    November 19, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Debbie

    If we go by Rubio's logic, then he should not be a pro life either.. . Because he is not a doctor and by his own logic he should not have any stance in that issue..

    November 19, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Sondagsakare

    As Chris Matthews said, "like putting on a dress to get into the lifeboat "

    November 19, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. ghostriter

    MC Rubio is in the hizzy....What it do, my conservative peeps? TP are ya wit me?!? When I say Tea, you say Party!

    The debt ceiling, the debt ceiling, the debt ceiling's on fire....
    We don't need no water, let that (bleep) burn......

    November 19, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Ivan

    Rubio doesnt know that Pitbull actually was a rapper before he realized there was way more money doing remixes

    November 19, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. Sean

    What a joke. This weasel isn't remotely presidential material and I have no idea why he keeps getting his name tossed around. He's done nothing in the senate other than be another annoying Republican obstructionist.

    November 19, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. Howie76

    What an idiot!

    November 19, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    Just another fake, phony, lying GOP fraud. They're all liars, they have no interest in governing, they just care about collecting a paycheck and creating government gridlock. Truth be told, every GOP member should be shot on sight for the treasonous domestic terrorists that they are.

    November 19, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Ed Fl

    Looks like we have a ROMNEY junior trying to move up in politics.Rubio You performance as the house speaker in Florida where 95,000 dollars on the government credit card is/was your water loo . In addition Your lying about your family and sucking up Exhile goodies illegally when your parents claimed to be exhiles vice legitmate Immigrants who came here in the mid 1950's. Where did all those freebees come from and how much did you get for you schooling,that you should be paying back.there are lots of questionable information that is in your background. There isn't enough votes in your home town miami to get you on the national scene. Don't push your luck!

    November 19, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. fastrack1

    Really? This is relevant? To exactly what? Bring him back when he starts to shave and grow hair on something besides his hands.

    November 19, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  20. Flagship, NC

    No Freaken Way!
    He is NOT, NOT, NOT presidential material.
    At 42 years old, he will never will be. He is the Latin version of Dan Quale.
    Don't even think about!

    November 19, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. Mike in NH

    By the commnets the dems are getting scared of Rubio.

    November 19, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. tffl

    His views on the age of the Earth don't upset "liberal blogs and many scientists" – they upset _all_ (real) scientists and should upset anyone who can actually think. Saying things like this doesn't "court more moderate voters" – they only court hard right biblical literalists. This idiot is on the Senate Science and Space subcommittee and he doesn't believe in science. That makes him a hypocrite at best and thoroughly unworthy to serve in that role (or in my opinion, in any role in government).

    November 19, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Bob

    Love how the Democrats are already calling Rubio a "liar." For absolutely no reason. Anyone who doesn't share their beliefs is automatically a liar, I guess. Idiots.

    November 19, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  24. tone deaf

    And let the pandering begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  25. Proud Independent !

    And the GOP just jumped off a cliff again ! Seriously GOP , Rubio is the biggest joke in congress next to Michele Bachmann ! While you're pandering GOP , consider this ! Most Latinos view Rubio as a sellout ! He is just like Herman Cain and Colonel West in that regard ! The GOP assumed just because they were Black that they would get some of the minority vote ! WRONG ! Black people can't stand Herman Cain or Colonel West ! You have to have policy and a track record of policy that embraces diversity ! The GOP does not have that and I don't see them changing their spots anytime soon !

    November 19, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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