Rubio heading to Iowa this weekend
July 31st, 2014
05:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Rubio heading to Iowa this weekend

(CNN) - Marco Rubio's heading to Iowa this weekend.

The first-term Republican senator from Florida and possible 2016 GOP White House contender will be in the Hawkeye State to campaign for state senator Joni Ernst, Iowa's GOP Senate nominee.

Rubio will attend a fundraiser for Ernst on Saturday. Later in the day he'll mingle at an annual party hosted by Bruce Rastetter, a top Iowa donor to Republican candidates and causes. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, another potential GOP presidential candidate, is also attending the party. The visits were first reported by the Des Moines Register and confirmed by CNN.

This is the second trip to Iowa by Rubio in the past two months. Rubio made a last-minute stop in Iowa the day before the June 2 primary to campaign for Ernst.

Ernst, who's also a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard and who grabbed national attention earlier this year by touting her hog castrating skills in a campaign commercial, has the backing of some top names and groups among both the tea party movement and establishment Republicans. She went from being a longshot to easily winning the party's Senate nomination.

Rubio decries ‘intolerance’ against same-sex marriage opponents

She now faces off in the midterm elections against Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley. The winner of November's general election will succeed longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who is retiring at the end of the year. If Republicans flip Harkin's seat, and five other Democratic held seats, they will control the Senate.

Rubio and 2016

Anytime a possible presidential hopeful visits Iowa - the state that kicks off the presidential caucus and primary calendar – the political world takes notice.

Next month Rubio heads to South Carolina to keynote Rep. Jeff Duncan's annual Faith and Freedom Barbecue. South Carolina holds the first southern contest in the race for the White House.

In May Rubio traveled to New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House. He sounded like a presidential candidate, as he headlined the Rockingham County Republican Committee's annual "Freedom Founders" dinner, held at the historic Wentworth-By-The-Sea hotel just outside of Portsmouth. Earlier that day, he headlined a fundraiser for the state GOP, held private meetings with some influential Republicans, and sat down for interviews with local media.

First on CNN: Rubio to court South Carolina conservatives

Rubio's said that should he decide to launch a 2016 presidential campaign, he won't run simultaneously for re-election for his seat in the U.S. Senate.

The recent moves by Rubio put the first-term senator back in the 2016 spotlight.

Early last year Rubio's name was near or at the top of public opinion polls of Republicans' choice for their party's 2016 presidential nomination. But Rubio's numbers slipped after his high-profile support for a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in June of last year. The measure, which stalled in the House, included an eventual pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants, which is strongly opposed by many conservatives.

Rubio's numbers in 2016 polls quickly faded, and have remained in the single digits in surveys asking Republicans their choice for the party's presidential nomination. Rubio stood at 6%, in the most recent CNN/ORC International poll, which was conducted earlier this month.

Rubio and Cruz won't be the only GOP White House hopefuls in Iowa the next couple of weeks. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Texas Gov. Rick Perry,  former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will make stops in the state.

CNN's Peter Hamby and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2016 • Iowa • Joni Ernst • Marco Rubio
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Hey Iowa! Please keep this worthless moron.

    July 31, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Ernst, who's also a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard ...."

    Ernst, who also spent some time last week stating publicly her belief that states can nullify federal law....


    Neo-confederate moron.

    July 31, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Iowa, drive all these idiots away in droves. God bless. None of these rethuglicans are worth your dime.

    July 31, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Ol' Yeller

    Rubio heading to Iowa this weekend.... Wouldn't it be easier for CNN to just run stories on republicants NOT running for President in 2016?
    And co-sign on Sniffit's post regarding ernst and the video of her going on and on and on about how the Federal government needs to just stop passing any Bills they even suspect will be nullified by any state.
    The House of tea bagger clowns appear to be taking this advice as I don't believe they have passed a bill (other than the 50+ 'overturn Obamacare' votes and the 'We are going to sue the President for doing his job and we don't like it because we haven't passed a bill saying he is allowed to do that Bill', otherwise known as the Desparation WahWah bill) since Obama won his second term.
    BTW- did anyone see how the Dems made the republicants go on record that they would not agree to divulge the cost of the lawsuit to the American people, they would not agree to abstain from using political lobbyists as attorneys, they would not agree to use taxpayer dollars to hire Law firms who are profitting from the ACA, and a host of other issues the republicants would not agree to in this silly and wasteful political ploy.
    I'm sure their dream scenario is to somehow get this to the activist SCOTUS which will render a decision in favor of the House that the President IS NOT allowed to do his job if the House sheds big enough Alligator tears- and of course this finding will only pertain to Democratic Presidents named Obama who served during the particular time frame between 08' and 16'.
    I thought republicants HATED trial lawyers.... how come they always run and hire them a passle whenever they cannot win in the actual political arena?

    July 31, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Does this Cuba guy know how to cook Bean Burrito, enchilada, if so we can think of cook position in WH for this guy.

    July 31, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Thomas


    A unnamed spokesperson , who was quoted off the record , said both Ernst and Rubio plan to spend some time dressing in black leather and having a photo op sitting on Harley's on Sunday after church .

    July 31, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Bill

    I hope he remembers to take his bottled water. The guy is goof.

    July 31, 2014 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. biodome

    Please don't. I live in Iowa, so don't be suprised If I crash your party Marco and ask if you have any constructive ideas. All republicans do is whine and complain. We're tired of hearing it, that's why you'll never get my vote.

    July 31, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. stormchaser 101

    Live it up while you can we're going to vote you out as soon as possible

    July 31, 2014 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. S. B. Stein

    If all the GOP candidate spend enough money to get the economy going, then let them travel. Otherwise, they need to figure out a way to face reality and understand that relaxing the rules won't help the public.

    July 31, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    I see Rubio consider immigration reform less important or even immigration funding for the humanitarian crisis on the border less important than supporting a pig castrating lt col in the national guard for Senate this week. both seemingly per GOP great qualifications for a US senator.... think I need a bit more than that!?
    Tell them both Iowans what you think is more important... its more than three months to the mid term elections. plenty of time for Rubio to give Joni his love etc after the delayed end of house recess for over 1month.
    No wonder this GOP majority house gets nothing, but nothing done!!

    August 1, 2014 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  12. Bigwilliestyles

    Rubio, starring in: The Last Delusion-Bender 2. The sequel to The Last Delusionary, starring Herman Cain.

    August 1, 2014 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  13. Marie MD

    Who pays for these useless trips of some who will NEVER in a trillion years be president?

    August 1, 2014 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  14. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    It seems these party of STUPID GOP clowns will campaign for anybody with an R behind their name no matter how DISFUNCTIONAL they are . Rubio should campaign for himself because this teaparty EXTREMEST is going to get KICKED out of office !!!!!

    August 1, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  15. Chris..E.Al

    he will lift a glass of water ?

    August 1, 2014 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    The fact that Rubio is actually trying to make a run in 2016 only serves to prove he's out of touch.

    August 1, 2014 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  17. dan

    Rubio 2016!

    August 1, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Democrat Junk

    Perhaps if Rubio does run, he could solicit advise from President Obama as to which of the 57 states he should concentrate his campaign efforts.

    August 1, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |