Early in his surprise Senate run against Charlie Crist, Marco Rubio was being badly out-raised and was this close to dropping out to run for attorney general. Then Crist made a strategic error: He really pissed off Rubio. After Crist's campaign leaked rumors that Rubio was soon to drop out of the race, the angry Tea Party hero re-upped, "crossed the bridge and burned it behind me."
So writes Rubio in his hotly anticipated new autobiography, which reporters got their hands on last night. It's among the juicier revelations in what sounds like a not-particularly juicy tome.
The new book, "An American Son," was rushed into stores to compete with an unauthorized biography by Manuel Roig-Franzia ("The Rise of Marco Rubio"). Roig-Franzia's reporting dropped a few bombshells on Rubio's personal narrative -- including the fact that his parents had actually immigrated to Florida before Castro's rise and that Rubio was briefly Mormon as a child.
Rubio addresses both those controversies in his autobiography, which many believe is meant to recast his story to aid a bid as vice president.
He writes that his parents indeed left Cuba in 1956, looking for better opportunities. But by the early 1970s, they were disenchanted with Miami's crime and "disco-centered social scene." (Really!)
As the Orlando Sentinel writes this morning, the book is "full of small surprises" -- journalistic code for "empty of big news."
Other than the Crist news, the book's two most newsworthy tidbits are that Rubio was briefly infatuated with Ted Kennedy during his 1980 presidential bid, until his grandfather convinced him to flip to the Republicans.
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Also, Rubio reveals that one afternoon while fundraising for his Senate race, he hung up the phone and discovered his son Dominick, then a toddler, face-down in a shallow pool of water.
The boy took several minutes to revive and spit out the water, an episode that left him feeling that the "campaign and its problems meant nothing."
The book officially comes out next Tuesday if you'd like to start the queue at Books & Books.