1. Florida Politics

Rubio's financial disclosure shows $800,000 book advance

Sen. Marco Rubio used part of his $800,000 advance to write An American Son, part biography and part political document, to pay off more than $100,000 in college loan debt. Rubio’s book deal also calls for royalty payments of 15 percent of sales of the hardcover edition, 7.5 percent to 10 percent of paperback (due out May 28) and 25 percent of audio editions.
Published May 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who likes to joke in speeches that his book An American Son is available on Amazon, earned $800,000 off it in 2012, his newly filed financial disclosure shows.

The Florida Republican used the money to strike an albatross from previous disclosures: more than $100,000 in college loan debt.

The $800,000 advance from publisher Penguin Group puts Rubio in a league with other recent senators who have become national figures. Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts got a $700,000 advance for his book in 2010. In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama listed $147,000 in royalties for one book and a $425,000 advance for another.

Rubio — a much-talked-about possible 2016 presidential candidate — stands to make a lot more. His deal calls for royalty payments of 15 percent of sales of the hardcover edition; 7.5 percent to 10 percent of paperback (due out May 28); and 25 percent of audio editions.

Obama is still raking in royalties for his books. His financial disclosure, released Wednesday, shows he earned between $100,000 and $1 million for his book Dreams from My Father and a children's book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters; and between $50,001 and $100,000 for The Audacity of Hope.

Rubio's An American Son, which was published in English and Spanish, is part biography, part political document. Rubio tells his family's Cuban immigrant story, his cigar smoking grandfather who taught him about Ronald Reagan and his parents, a hotel bartender and Kmart stock clerk who pursued the American Dream. It also dwells heavily on the 2010 U.S. Senate race in which Rubio began as a long-shot candidate against then Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and stuck in the race as some of his closest advisers urged him to get out. Rubio had his own doubts.

"Had the Republican Party chairman or Crist himself reached out to me personally in the spring of 2009, they could probably have persuaded me not to run," Rubio wrote. "I'm not proud of it now, but I think if they had acknowledged my concern that the party had strayed too far from our conservative principles, I would have walked away from the Senate race. I was looking for a face-saving way out. Instead, out of pride and hubris, they chose to intimidate me. And I, too, reacted out of pride. ... I became more comfortable with the idea of running for the Senate, whether or not Charlie Crist decided to stand in my way."

Elected in 2010 on a tea party wave, Rubio was an instant star in the GOP and has worked to establish a national profile. He has also worked to broaden the party's message, talking about the middle class, the struggles of student loans and high cost of college and promoting "career education" for people who may not want to go to a four-year school.

His 2012 financial disclosure shows $16,416 in income from his part-time teaching job at Florida International University. His wife, Jeanette, also earned money through her consulting firm JDR Events Inc., though he is required to report only that she earned "over $1,000."

Rubio reports a 30-year mortgage on his home in West Miami and a home equity loan as well as a 30-year mortgage on the home he owns in Tallahassee with David Rivera, a former state representative and congressman.

Alex Leary can be reached at


  1. Senator Wilton Simpson, R- Trilby, examines papers as he enter the Florida Capitol, Wednesday, May 1, 2019 during the last week of the sixty day legislative session. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The man once called “the Donald Trump of regional egg farmers" is in line to become leader of Florida’s Senate in 2020
  2. Tampa firefighter Tanja Vidovic steps out of the federal courthouse in Tampa in during the 2017 federal trial of her sexual discrimination case against the city of Tampa. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON   |   Times]
    Tanja Vidovic will run against incumbent Joe Ayoub in the city’s March 2020 elections.
  3. In this image from a telecast by The Florida Channel, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks to a Gainesville crowd that came to discuss revisions to the state's education standards this past week. “We’re going to end up with the world’s best standards,” Corcoran said. The Florida Channel
    The effort, ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis, aims to transform the way students learn in public schools. A “listening session” is set for Tampa’s Jefferson High.
  4. The annual assault on Florida’s public records law begins anew today in the Legislature.
    “It’s pretty alarming what they’re doing here,” said a former Florida long-term care ombudsman who now runs an advocacy group for residents.
  5. Protestors gather in Turlington Plaza to practice the chant "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" prior to the speech of Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle at the University of Florida on October 10, 2019.  CHRIS DAY  |  Chris Day
    The president’s son was joined by former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, his girlfriend, who serves as an adviser for Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.
  6. Republicans circle the wagons. Samantha J. Gross | Miami Herald
    Even this week’s revelations in Florida haven’t disrupted the state’s political dynamics. That means Republicans are firmly behind their leaders.
  7. Chelsea Tremblay, left, looks on while her husband Mayor Scott Tremblay is congratulated by Sherry Maklary after Pasco legislators table bill from state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, calling for election on dissolving Port Richey at the  public hearing held at Pasco-Hernando State College in New Port Richey on Friday. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Rep. Amber Mariano’s bill requiring a public referendum on the city’s future is tabled until a legislative audit is conducted.
  8. The Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller will waive some late charges for residents who have had their driver's license suspended as part of Operation Green Light. Courtesy Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
    Florida drivers can lose their licenses for things unrelated to their safe driving record, such as unpaid court fines and traffic fees . Operation Green Light and similar programs are trying to help...
  9. The impeachment trial against President Andrew Johnson opens in the Senate Chambers in the U.S. Senate historical Society drawing.  Johnson, who became president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, clashed with Congress over reconstruction policies after the Civil War and was impeached over a Tenure of Office dispute.  (AP Photo/U.S. Senate Historical Society) AP
    From Andrew Johnson in the 1860s to Richard Nixon in the 1970s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s, American history is our guide.
  10. Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
    The Department of Corrections has not tracked how many inmates have required treatment as a result of overdoses during the past three years.