Monday, December 18, 2017
Politics

Sen. Marco Rubio's book describes how he nearly quit the race

TALLAHASSEE — Sen. Marco Rubio was on the verge of dropping out of the 2010 race for Senate, convinced that then-Gov. Charlie Crist's popularity, power and money would be too much to overcome in a Republican primary. He was also afraid any future political ambitions would be crushed by Crist's supporters, Rubio wrote in his autobiography to be released next week.

Rubio said there was a tremendous amount of pressure to quit when he was far behind in the polls and had little money in the bank. He considered running instead for attorney general.

While laying the groundwork to switch races, however, he was asked about a rumor he was dropping out and suspected that Crist's campaign found out about the plans and was pressuring him out before he was ready to make the announcement. It angered him into staying in.

"I crossed the bridge and burned it behind me. There was no way back and no way out but forward," Rubio wrote in the 303-page book to be released Tuesday.

The Associated Press purchased a copy Thursday. (The Tampa Bay Times received an embargoed copy and will have a story Tuesday.)

An American Son details Rubio's parents' life in Cuba and their early struggles in the U.S. It talks about his childhood, his political career and his rise to claim a Senate seat.

He recalls making calls to donors as his campaign struggled. He hangs up the phone to check on his toddler son, Dominick, only to find him face down in a shallow pool. He pulled the boy from the water, and after a few moments of silence, the boy cried and vomited water.

"The campaign and its problems meant nothing to me that afternoon. I held my son in my arms — my breathing, living son — and I wanted nothing else," Rubio wrote.

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