Hostilities between Florida and Miami have waned, so Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a graduate of both schools, has honed in his enmity for remaining rival Florida State.
Speaking last week to KNXO 1460 AM in Des Moines, Iowa, Rubio seemingly abdicated his role as a U.S. senator from Florida for a few moments to put on his orange and blue (and green) and lay a little smack talk at Florida State’s expense.
“Look, I don’t have anything against Florida State,” said Rubio, setting himself up to drive home the dagger. “I think there has to be a school where people that can’t get into Florida can go to college. And that’s why we have Florida State.”
Rubio went to Tarkio College in Missouri on a football scholarship, but he earned his graduate degree from Florida. A Miami native, he went to law school locally.
The Gators and Hurricanes discontinued their annual rivalry game following the 1987 season, which only intensified each fan base’s distaste for the other “Big 3” rival.
“I grew up in Miami, I’m a Gator fan, but I don’t root against the Hurricanes,” Rubio said. “When they play Florida State, it isn’t hard for me to root against Florida State.”
Rubio added he wouldn’t mind seeing Florida State defeat Miami if it paved the way for Florida to earn a playoff bid.
Maybe so as to not completely alienate the registered voters that pull for the Seminoles, Rubio did acknowledge Florida State has had the upper hand recently. He might need those 29 electoral votes around this time next year.
“But these things ebb and flow,” he said.