Marco Rubio Decries 'Bootgate', Calls it 'Craziness' - NBC 7 San Diego
Decision 2016

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Marco Rubio Decries 'Bootgate', Calls it 'Craziness'

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    Marco Rubio Decries 'Bootgate', Calls it 'Craziness'
    AP
    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., smiles as he gets on his bus as he leaves a campaign stop, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H.

    Marco Rubio isn't taking a shining to all the attention being directed to his footwear.

    The Republican candidate defended his choice of slick, heeled boots when someone pointed them out during a town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Thursday, amid a fashion frenzy now known as "Bootgate."

    "So let me get this right. ISIS is cutting peoples' heads off, setting people on fire in cages. Saudi Arabia and Iran are on the verge of a war. The Chinese are landing airplanes on islands that they've built -- in international waters -- our economy is flatlining, and the stock market's falling apart. But boy, are we getting a lot of coverage about a pair of boots!"

    "Bootgate" kicked off on Monday, when a New York Times reporter tweeted a photo of Rubio's boots after they caught his eye while the candidate was on the trail in New Hampshire. It quickly went viral, sparking speculation over how much the boots cost and injecting some unexpected sole into Rubio's campaigning.

    "This is craziness," Rubio said on Thursday.

    Rubio and his boots became the butt of jokes from some of his rivals, who took to pointing out the size of his heels.

    "A vote for Marco Rubio Is a Vote for Men's High-Heeled Booties," tweeted Rick Tyler, Cruz's communications director.

    Carly Fiorina tweeted Rubio directly, with a photo of her own stylish, high heeled boots.

    "Yea, @marcorubio, but can you rock these?"

    Jeb Bush, who tweeted about his custom black cowboy boots bearing his name just before hitting the debate stage in October, told NBC News he now wears brown shoes that are better in snow.

    "They're not high heeled," he said to NBC News.

    Rand Paul teased Rubio's appearance on "The View" on Wednesday with a video, saying he didn't want to be "outdone."

    "I was in Whoopi Goldberg's dressing room picking out new shoes. Eat your heart out @marcorubio!"

    Paul didn't actually state his preferred choice of footwear. But his wife, Kelley, did admit on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that she took a liking to Rubio's kicks and would even let Paul wear them himself.

    "I would," she said. "I like them."

    Frontrunner Donald Trump and Ben Carson were noticeably silent on Twitter about Bootgate.

    So what do Democrats like to wear on their feet?

    Martin O'Malley appears to choose simple black dress shoes, while Bernie Sanders seems to prefer comfort.

    Hillary Clinton's campaign didn't immediately respond to an email about how the Democratic candidate chooses to dress her feet, but it's likely the Democratic frontrunner's heels won't get as much attention as Rubio's.