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Finally -- we know where Rubio's boots came from

By Ann Marie Awad
Finally -- we know where Rubio's boots came from
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., claims his infamous boots were made in Wisconsin. Fact-checkers at Politifact say he's wrong. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The boots that launched a thousand jokes -- Sen. Marco Rubio's chic ankle boots with a 2-inch heel -- were not made in America as the presidential hopeful said.

Rubio joked at a campaign stop in Iowa on Monday: "They're made in Wisconsin. Florsheim! You know what that means? That means I did more for American business in one week than Barack Obama did in seven years!"

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Not so fast, Politifact says. After an in-depth investigation, the fact-checking website concluded the boots were actually made in India, as much of Florsheim's production facilities are located abroad.

The boots went viral after a New York Times reporter tweeted a photo of them on Jan. 3.

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called them "cute," after fashion critics from Vanity Fair, New York Magazine and the Times all weighed in.

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Right to Rise USA, the super PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, even cut a campaign ad about the boots, riffing off of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Were Made For Walking."

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Rubio initially bristled at the attention, shedding his customary sense of humor that helped him recover from his infamous sip of water during his 2013 televised response to the State of the Union address. Rubio went on to crack jokes about needing water at later appearances, and the gaffe has become so entwined with his public persona that Politico compared his trademark water bottle to Ronald Reagan's endearing fixation with jelly beans.

Rubio first called the boot brush-up "craziness," then bragged about the attention Monday, saying Florsheim sold out of his boots online. He's right -- they are sold out in certain sizes.

The company said the boots will be restocked by Feb. 1, ironically, the same day as the Iowa caucuses. Time will tell whether the outcome of the caucuses will have an impact on Florsheim's bottom line.

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