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Sen. Marco Rubio (is/was) Mormon; Romney-Rubio an all-Mormon ticket?

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012 2:47 p.m. MST

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2011 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at the Newseum in Washington. As the GOP presidential race shifts to Florida, all eyes are on Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and one of Florida's most popular officials. He's pledged to stay neutral, but that hasn't stopped a growing fervor over whether the tea party favorite might make an endorsement _ and whether he'll end up on the Republican ticket.

Haraz N. Ghanbari, File, Associated Press

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BuzzFeed reporter McKay Coppins broke the news Thursday that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a boy in Nevada.

"Rubio was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his family at around the age of 8," Coppins wrote. "(He) remained active in the faith for a number of years during his early youth, family members told BuzzFeed. … (Rubio spokesman Alex) Conant told BuzzFeed that Rubio never requested to have his name removed from the LDS Church's records, which means officially, the church is likely still counting him as a member."

Rubio, of course, is the freshman senator from Florida and tea party favorite; it is widely believed he will be on the short list for vice presidential candidates if Mitt Romney wins the Republican presidential nomination. That possibility, combined with Thursday's revelation that Rubio spent part of his childhood on the LDS faith, caused the New Yorker to publish a blog post titled, "Marco Rubio and the all-Mormon ticket."

"Some of the Republican base may not be terribly thrilled with the idea of a Mormon presidential candidate, much less with the idea of an all-Mormon, or a Mormon-and-a-half ticket. Rubio is not a Mormon anymore — he left the Church of Latter-Day Saints (sic) and received his first Catholic communion at age 13. (There’s also the question of whether a ticket really has to be balanced if we’re just talking about different branches of Christianity; it’s not clear that it does.)"

The Washington Post theorizes that this latest revelation about Rubio's past will not harm his political future.

"Along with the inconsistencies in his accounts of his parents’ journey from Cuba to America, it could feed into the idea that he shapes his own history for his political convenience. But … while Rubio’s Mormon past adds a fascinating twist to the story of the Republican rising star, it’s not likely to stop that rise."

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