Sports and politics rarely coincide all that often, but recently we had a presidential candidate take shots at a rival University of Florida school. U.S. Representative Marco Rubio, who is a Presidential candidate in the upcoming 2016 election, recently did a radio interview with a station, KNXO 1460 AM, in Des Moines, Ia. Rubio is a graduate of both the University of Miami and the University of Florida. In the interview, Rubio was asked about the rivalry between Florida and Florida State. He didn’t hesitate to take a shot at the school in Tallahassee.
“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 on the Iowa-based radio program in the days leading up to Saturday’s Iowa-Iowa State game, and described what the annual in-state rivalry is like for the Florida-Florida State matchup that’s played on the final regular season Saturday of the season each year.
“We’ve [Florida] had our up years, obviously we’ve been down the last couple years, Florida State’s has a lot of talent come in. But I think the dynamic is probably quite similar to the dynamic of what you have in your rivalry here [Iowa and Iowa State] and that is, kids that grew up playing together, high school and even before that are now lined up against each other with a uniform on, so it gets quite intense.”
Rubio was also asked about the dynamic between the Big 3 in Florida — Miami, Florida State and Florida. Florida and Miami used to be one of the most intense rivalries in college football in the late 1970s and 80s. Florida State and Miami still play regularly every year in a series that dates back to 1951 — the ‘Noles have won the last five matchups against the Hurricanes.
He added that he wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Florida State defeat Miami if it meant reaching the College Football Playoff.
He gave some parting thoughts on the future of the Florida football program as well.
“These things ebb and flow, I feel good about the future of the Florida program.” Rubio said.
You can listen to the full interview here.