American Son: The Rising Star of Marco Rubio

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Sen. Marco Rubio has become a GOP superstar. The mere mention of his name in some circles draws applause.

The 41-year-old is one of a handful of people presidential candidate Mitt Romney is vetting as a possible vice presidential running mate.

The Florida lawmaker's story is uniquely American. He was born to Cuban exiles that fled to America for a better life, and their dreams became his -- a story Rubio told in his newly released memoirs, Marco Rubio: An American Son

In it, he details his faith journey, one that begins and ends with the Catholic Church yet includes baptism into the Mormon Church and attendance at an evangelical Christian church.

Rubio writes about his mentor, his maternal grandfather Pedro Victor Garcia. He remembers sitting at his "Papa's" feet on the front porch while the two talked politics.

"My grandfather didn't know America was exceptional because he read about it in a book," Rubio writes. "He lived it and saw it with his own eyes."

Rubio was with him when he died.

"I grabbed his hand and told him I loved him," he recalls in the book. "I swore I would study hard. I would do something with my life and make him proud. He squeezed my hand to let me know he had heard me."

Rubio dreamed of playing professional football. When he realized it wasn't to be, he set his sights on law school and politics.

His first victory came early when he was elected city commissioner for West Miami. Soon after, he won a seat in the Florida House of Representatives and went on to become the first Cuban American speaker of the House.

Then in November of 2010, Rubio stood with his wife Jeanette and their four children as he was introduced to the nation as the junior senator from Florida.

Sen. Rubio shared more about his life and winding journey to the halls of power, on "The 700 Club," June 28. Click play for the interview.

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Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.