November 08, 2012 at 4:36 pm
(CNN) Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will headline a birthday fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad next week, a spokesman for the governor announced Thursday.
The speaking gig will no doubt stir talk of a potential 2016 presidential bid for Rubio, as the event provides the first-term senator the chance to mingle with the Republican class in Iowa, the first state to hold caucuses in a presidential election.
At last year’s fundraiser, six of the Republican presidential hopefuls had a speaking slot, with the exception of Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich showed up late to the event, and did not give remarks.
The governor’s spokesperson, Tim Albrecht told ABC News that Branstad invited Rubio “a couple of months ago” and is “excited he accepted.”
A rising star in the Republican Party, Rubio was vetted for the GOP vice presidential spot and served as a top surrogate for Mitt Romney, particularly among the Latino voting bloc.