Which Presidential Candidate Is Married To An NFL Cheerleader?

Jeanette Rubio is a former cheerleader for the NFL Miami Dolphins.

She is now cheerleading, in a thus far low key way, for her husband/childhood sweetheart's 2016 presidential ambitions.

A mother of four, she has been married to U.S. Senator and GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio for 17 years and was a member of the Dolphins cheerleading squad from 1997 to 1998.

"Today, of course, she's a different sort of cheerleader -- for her husband's presidential campaign, appearing by his side at major public events... After attending the same Miami high school and dating throughout college, the pair married in 1998, right after Rubio finished law school at the University of Miami," the New York Post explained.

Rubio and colleague Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, are widely credited with winning the GOP debate on CNBC Wednesday night in part because they aggressively push backed against the approach of the moderators, who have been pounded by critics on social media for liberal bias and for the disorganized way they handled their anchoring roles.

In 2005, Marco Rubio became the first Cuban American to become the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (he was first elected to that chamber in January 2000). He won the election to the U.S. Senate from Florida in November 2010 but is not seeking reelection to that body, opting for a presidential run in the Republican primary instead.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called the GOP debate on CNBC a "crap sandwich," and today Priebus notified parent network NBC that the party is pulling out of an NBC News debate that was scheduled for February 2016.

"While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates' visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC's moderators engaged in a series of 'gotcha' questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates," Priebus wrote to NBC News President Andrew Lack, in which he also accused the network of conducting the Wednesday night CNBC debate in bad faith.

"The Democrats have the ultimate super-PAC: It's called the mainstream media," Marco Rubio declared during the GOP debate.

See clips below.

During the debate, Rubio, 44, also fended off criticism from rival Jeb Bush about his hit-or-miss attendance record in the Senate, noting that the Florida newspaper calling on him to resign never made a peep about Democrats John Kerry or Barack Obama's poor attendance/missed votes in the Senate while they were campaigning for the presidency. In addition, he chided Bush for remaining silent about fellow Republican John McCain's absences from Capitol Hill while he was also campaigning across the country for the White House in 2008.

Rubio also called out both Hillary Clinton, the Democrat presidential frontrunner, for lying about what happened at the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, when terrorists murdered four Americans there, and the news media for its fawning coverage of the former Secretary of State's Benghazi committee hearing testimony.

As far as the Rubio NFL connection is concerned, Jeanette Rubio's sister Adriana Dousdebes was also a Dolphins cheerleader, as was the senator's sister Veronica.

Parenthetically, Veronica was reportedly married to Carlos Ponce, who portrayed the uninhibited yoga teacher Salvador in the 2009 comedy Couples Retreat starring Vice Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristin Davis, and Kristen Bell, among others.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jeanette Rubio was even featured in the Miami Dolphins' cheerleading squad's first swimsuit calendar.

"I always wanted to be an NFL player, and now I'm going to have to tell my kids that the only one of her two parents that ever touched an NFL field was her mom," Marco Rubio told the Tampa Bay Times in 2012.

Jeanette Rubio quit the squad to attend the International Fine Arts College in Miami to pursue a degree in fashion design. She opted to become a stay-at-home mom upon marriage and starting a family.

In an homage to Sleepless in Seattle, Sen. Rubio proposed to Jeanette, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, on Valentines Day 1998 at the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

Jeanette and Marco RubioAccording to WebProNews, Mrs. Rubio is not a huge fan of the political spotlight.

"The former Jeanette Dousdebes... prefers to be behind the scenes and would rather just stay home to give stability to their children's lives."
"'I'm not pushing myself out there. I need to be with [the] kids just to give them that balance If he's out there, I feel like I have to be here for them, to give them that reality.' But she says that 'in the future, if I have to [campaign], of course I'll do it. But in general, I am shy,'" Jeanette Rubio revealed to Politico in 2012 when her husband was under active consideration as Mitt Romney's running mate.

Marco and Jeanette Rubio"In the public life of her husband, Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio has been largely in the background…Yet the 41-year-old, as poised in public as she is shy, has privately played a major role in Rubio's rise, offering blunt advice and bearing the responsibilities of raising four children, often as if a single mother," the Tampa Bay Times similarly claimed in May 2015 about the former Miami Dolphins cheerleader.

[All photos by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]