West Des Moines, Iowa (CNN)While Paul Ryan had been a walking billboard for the P90X workout regime, don't expect prospective 2016 hopeful Marco Rubio to do the same for current exercise craze Crossfit.
Rubio gets personal with Iowans, promises to return
"I tried it once," Rubio told a personal trainer on Friday. "I hurt my shoulder."
In a nondescript Barnes & Noble in West Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, Marco Rubio -- who introduced himself as just "Marco" -- also chatted about policy issues while making plenty of time for the lighter stuff with prospective caucus-goers.
In a nod to his presidential aspirations, Rubio regularly told the roughly 100 people who lined up to meet him that he would be coming back to Iowa and even asked one supporter not to move out of the state "until after February of 2016" -- the month after the Iowa caucuses.
Rubio is among about two dozen Republicans who are considering running for president in 2016. Last month, nearly a dozen of these presidential hopefuls came to Des Moines for an event sponsorteed by Rep. Steve King. Rubio did not attend and said on Friday that the presence of so many Republicans in the state will not push him into the presidential race earlier.
"If I decide to run for president, you have to come to Iowa more than once of twice," Rubio said, who said a decision was coming "soon."
Rubio said Iowans "expect to meet you in person and size you up" and it appeared that this first stop on the senator's "American Dreams" book tour was meant to do just that.
He lingered with those who came to greet him and chatted with Iowa politicians who lined up to see him. "You don't have term limits, do you," he asked Mark Costello, an Iowa state representative. When Costello said no, Rubio laughed, "Thank god we did."
He talked about his law school debt, which was not paid off until 2012. "You're not planning on going to law school," he asked one Drake student. "Just don't take out the loans," he said. To another prospective law student, Rubio said the loans "are just so debilitating."
While the Republican side of the contest is crowded, the opposite it true for the Democrats. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, has laid low for the last two months. Republicans have contended that Clinton is hiding from the issues and Rubio was no different.
"I think she [Clinton] has two fundamental problems," Rubio said on Friday. "The first is that America's foreign policy is a disaster and she was part of being its chief architect. And second, she is offering no new ideas."
He concluded: "In fact, at this point, she is offering no ideas and basically is hiding on all the major issues of our day."
Rubio also took are few careful jokes from the attendees. When one man named Blake said he was from Illinois, Rubio asked if had driven here just for this.
"No, sorry," Blake said "You're not that special."