With Cuba Spotlight, Marco Rubio Looks To Emerge From Jeb's Shadow

The Obama administration's moves to normalize relations with Cuba have given Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) a chance to seize the spotlight just as he’s looking to emerge from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) shadow.

Rubio was out first and strongest of any 2016 presidential hopeful by ripping the Obama administration’s moves, touching on his own life experience as the son of Cuban exiles and promising to use his impending perch as chairman of a subcommittee with Cuba jurisdiction to “unravel” Obama’s actions. 

As a result, just a day after Bush announced he would “actively explore” a presidential bid, it was Rubio, not Bush, who was all over the cable news bashing the deal.

Rubio’s furious response and recent vocal criticism of President Obama’s global actions has helped the GOP senator emerge as a leading voice of a muscular, interventionist stripe of Republican foreign policy. 

Now, his Senate position gives him a platform to focus on something where Bush has less experience: building out a profile as a next-generation GOP hawk. And with Cuba emerging as a hot-button issue for months to come, Rubio is poised to be a leading player.

Now, Rubio seems to positioning himself to be that champion.

“He wants to take the foreign policy statesman mantle. And while Jeb narrowed the window to run for Rubio, there's still room for him,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. “What's going on around the world and how the Obama administration is handling foreign policy certainly gives Rubio a lifeline.”

Read more from Cameron Joseph at The Hill

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