Marco Rubio's rise within the Republican Party, just two years since his election to the Senate, has played out at head-spinning speed.
And now the Republican rock star gets his moment in the spotlight when he delivers the official response to the State of the Union address delivered minutes earlier by President Barack Obama.
Virtually every step of Rubio's budding career has been scrutinized closely for what it might mean for his future political prospects. And after maintaining a deliberately low profile for much of his first 24 months as a senator, Rubio has begun to embrace the spotlight, including Tuesday's coveted job of delivering the official Republican response to the president.
Rubio is expected to address immigration in his State of the Union response, but as part of a broader discussion about growing the economy and helping the middle class, according to an aide to the senator.
"He'll explain why President Obama's call for big government is bad for the middle class, and why limited but effective government will grow our economy and create jobs," the aide said.
Democrats are casting Rubio's expected speech as little more than a rehash of staid Republican proposals.
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