The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

How Marco Rubio is introducing himself on TV in Iowa and New Hampshire

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio discusses his father's story in a 60-second ad set to air in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Video: Marco Rubio)

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio will make a Thanksgiving debut on Iowa television stations with a 60-second biographical commercial meant to emphasize his humble roots by highlighting his father's work as a bartender.

"When I was younger, I didn't fully appreciate all he did for us," Rubio says in the ad, adding later: "My father stood behind a small portable bar in the back of a room for all those years, so that I could stand behind this podium in front of this room and this nation."

The video cuts to Rubio telling the story during his April campaign kickoff speech in Miami. The Florida Republican senator's story about his dad, a Cuban immigrant, is a regular feature in his stump speech.

The ad comes amid a new phase in the campaign in which candidates and super PACs are expected to ramp up spending on paid television advertisements, which can be costly expenditures.

Rubio's campaign said the ad will air beginning Thursday in Iowa and in New Hampshire starting next week. It did not specify the size of its ad buy, which is Rubio's first in the early states. On Sunday, he unveiled a commercial about national security airing on cable stations nationally.

NBC News first reported the Iowa/New Hampshire commercial.

Rubio has his work cut out for himself in Iowa, where he is wrapping up a five-day swing on Tuesday. A new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed him in fourth place in the Republican race at 13 percent, behind Donald Trump (25 percent), Ted Cruz (23 percent) and Ben Carson (18 percent).

A recent New Hampshire survey conducted by Suffolk University for the Boston Globe showed Rubio in second place at 11 percent, behind Trump, who registered 22 percent support.