What does it take to get noticed in a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders in which the leading candidate, Donald Trump, is making headlines almost minute-by-minute?
If you’re Marco Rubio, you might try whacking a corn-fed Iowa tyke in the noggin with a football.
While campaigning in Ankeny, north of Des Moines on Monday, the junior U.S. senator from Florida talked about his campaign while throwing the pigskin around with area kids.
“I want to thank my family for coming along with me today,” Rubio told the crowd and he stood with his wife and kids. “My sons are supposed to be in football practice right now. I told them, you will practice today, I just didn’t tell them it would be in Iowa.”
A cell phone video of the event, which was tweeted by Bloomberg and has drawn a lot of attention on social media, shows Rubio throwing a short pass to a young receiver that, unfortunately, lands on the top of the boy’s blond head and sends him sprawling onto the turf.
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Rubio is seen moving toward the child and offering a concerned, "Oh," in the video, which lasts less than five seconds.
What is unclear is whether the boy ran the wrong pattern, or if Rubio's pass was off the mark.
However, it appeared from the short clip that the boy sustained no career-ending injuries.
“D’oh,” Bloomberg tweeted along with the video. “Don’t worry, the kid’s okay!”
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) August 18, 2015
Rubio, 44, is the father of four kids, two girls and two boys, all of whom accompanied the candidate and his wife, Jeanette, to the Iowa State Fair, where they went on rides and ate funnel cake.
"We love coming to this state,” Rubio said at the fair's Political Soapbox, a regular attraction sponsored by the Des Moines Register. "We look forward to coming back quite often, especially as we get closer to the caucuses" scheduled for Feb. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.