Nikita Richardson
April 13, 2015 1:46 pm

When it rains presidential candidates, it pours. In the last three weeks, three big-name politicians — Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and as of yesterday, Hillary Clinton — have announced their intentions to enter the 2016 presidential race and today, we have a fourth candidate: Senator Marco Rubio.

Word came down from multiple sources last week that the Republican politician (representing Florida) would be announcing his candidacy and today he made it official over a special breakfast with campaign donors. According to the New York Times, Rubio will make a more public announcement at Miami’s Freedom Tower this evening.

Though he’s currently polling behind candidates like former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker — neither of whom have officially announced their bids . . . yet — Rubio already stands out from other Republican nominees in a number of ways. Here’s how the Senator’s record breaks down:

Who is Marco Rubio?

The son of Cuban immigrants, at 43 Rubio is the youngest contender to enter the race. Pundits think he may have a better chance of reeling in young voters of color, a problem many Republican candidates — old, white, and wealthy — have had difficulty overcoming.

In a nutshell, what are his views?

Compared to his more conservative party mates, Rubio comes across as fairly moderate, being neither a Tea Party darling nor a so-called “Blue Republican.” Still, Rubio has been known to toe the party line: He wants to get the national debt under control while lowering taxes for corporations and citizens alike. For a time, he seemed like a Republican ally in the fight for immigration reform, but ended up backpedaling after his fellow Republicans turned against him. As a member of both the Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees, Rubio wants the U.S. to be more aggressive when it comes to countries like Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

What is his stance on healthcare?

From Senator Rubio’s official website: “The President’s new health care law will drive costs up, bankrupt the country and create bureaucratic red tape when it comes to everyday health care decisions . . . Senator Rubio will focus on three goals: repealing and replacing Obamacare; allowing individuals to control their own health care choices; and returning control of health policy to the states.”

What is his position on abortion?

Rubio is pro-life. In 2013, he sponsored a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks and called for the repeal of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. But he’s is willing to make exceptions when it comes to pregnancies that harm the life of the mother or result from rape or incest.

What is his position on same-sex marriage?

Like many of his fellow Republicans, Rubio is against gay marriage though he does not support discrimination against gays and lesbians. He has been highly-critical of recent court rulings overturning state bans on same-sex marriage.

What is his position on climate change? 

Last May, Senator Rubio appeared on ABC, saying that while he believe the climate may be changing, he’s not certain human beings are to blame. In fact, he believes that policies aimed at saving the environment and reversing climate change pose a threat to the economy.

What is his stance on education?

Unlike his mentor, Jeb Bush, Rubio is against Common Core and any national standard for education. He supports programs that give parents a choice when it comes to their children’s education.

For more on the senator and how he measures up to the other candidates, check out The Atlantic’s handy cheat sheet for the 2016 presidential election. And as always: Stay informed, stick to your convictions, and vote.

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