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BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins has a juicy exclusive this morning about the mysterious Mormon roots of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a rising Republican star whose name is at the top of every VP short list. Coppins reports that Rubio, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, was baptized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at around age 8. Cousins of the Rubios told Coppins that Rubio, his mother, and his sister were introduced to the faith while living in Las Vegas, and remained active in LDS life until the family moved to Miami when Rubio was a teenager.
The Senator’s name remains on LDS records, so officially he is still counted as a member of the church, according to Coppins. Rubio now identifies as a Catholic, but he and his family attend a non-denominational church in Florida.
News of Rubio’s Mormon roots could shake up plans for Rubio’s political future going into the 2012 election cycle. Sources close to the Romney campaign tell Business Insider that the candidate has his heart set on Rubio as his VP if he wins the nomination. A Tea Party favourite, Rubio could deliver Florida for the Republicans and could help Romney woo Hispanic voters in other key states.
But the possibility of having not one but two Mormons on the GOP ticket would likely complicate that political calculation, forcing Romney to start exploring other options for his No. 2.
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