Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio gives two thumbs up as he awaits U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington

For Republican Rubio, a moment of truth in race to lead U.S.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio gives two thumbs up as he awaits U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in WashingtonBy Steve Holland CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) – Long viewed by the Republican establishment and many donors as one of their rising stars, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has been struggling to make his mark in the race for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination in a field led by mavericks Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Regarded as well-spoken and telegenic, Rubio began facing criticism a few months ago when he was perceived as campaigning too little in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states where next month party members will cast their first ballots. Rubio, 44, may still have a breakthrough, but with 20 days to go until Iowa’s Feb. 1 nominating caucuses, the first-term Florida lawmaker faces questions about his campaign strategy in a race for the Nov. 8 election made up of 11 candidates dominated by the billionaire Trump and U.S. Senator Cruz of Texas.

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