During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his familyâ€™s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the â€œson of exiles,â€ he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after â€œa thug,â€ Fidel Castro, took power. But a review of documents â€“ including naturalization papers and other official records â€“ reveals that the Florida Republicanâ€™s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubioâ€™s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than two-and-a-halfyears before Castroâ€™s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Yearâ€™s Day 1959. – Marco Rubioâ€™s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show
Anyone in the public arena knows how this works.
Marco Rubio had a choice a long time ago and he made it. He decided some elements were worth ignoring for a dramatic header that made him look more heroic and his struggles decidedly majestic.
The “son of exiles” was chosen for obvious reasons. Anyone saying otherwise, which his office is, doesn’t understand they’ve given the story, not only legs, but a jet engine. It’s politically stupid, but unsurprising.
Has the man who wanted to play senator been caught telling a whopper to get the opportunity, a bald-faced lie, or simply been seduced by consultants who said nobody will care and we’ll deal with it later?
Rubio’s office sent out this very angry response, which the Miami Herald first posted:
Washington, DC â€” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement regarding false allegations that he embellished his familyâ€™s history:
â€œTo suggest my familyâ€™s story is embellished for political gain is outrageous. The dates I have given regarding my familyâ€™s history have always been based on my parentsâ€™ recollections of events that occurred over 55 years ago and which were relayed to me by them more than two decades after they happened. I was not made aware of the exact dates until very recently.
â€œWhatâ€™s important is that the essential facts of my familyâ€™s story are completely accurate. My parents are from Cuba. After arriving in the United States, they had always hoped to one day return to Cuba if things improved and traveled there several times. In 1961, my mother and older siblings did in fact return to Cuba while my father stayed behind wrapping up the familyâ€™s matters in the U.S. After just a few weeks living there, she fully realized the true nature of the direction Castro was taking Cuba and returned to the United States one month later, never to return.
â€œThey were exiled from the home country they tried to return to because they did not want to live under communism. That is an undisputed fact and to suggest otherwise is outrageous.â€
What defensive, posturing rubbish.
When it comes to piecing together family history, as I have labored to do over decades, it’s not an easy task to get everything to fit, especially if there are gaps in generations. But honest people don’t opt for the most laudatory when it’s not the case.
However, the Miami Herald has taken issue with the Washington Post’s piece:
Rubio’s inability to remember these specific dates isn’t much of a surprise. Rubio is sometimes sloppy. When he was in the Florida House, he failed to disclose a loan at one point and fill out his financial disclosures properly. He rung up a host of personal and questionable expenses on a Republican Party of Florida credit card and couldn’t show how they furthered party business. Indeed, the Washington Post story notes that “details have changed in his accounts” of his grandmother’s death — whether it happened when his father was 6 or 9. That’s not embellishment. That’s evidence of sloppiness. – Did the Washington Post embellish Marco Rubio’s ‘embellishments’?
Maybe the Miami Herald is correct. Marco Rubio is simply continuing the pattern he’s always had, which is that the senator from Florida has trouble with the truth.
Marco’s ego made him do it. Unless he slays it and comes clean, he’s just another slick politician who can’t be trusted with a thing that comes out of his mouth. I’m shocked.
However, none of this may matter to voters, including Latinos, who are likely a lot more incensed by Mr. Rubio’s right-wing ideology that craps on the Dream Act, than whether he’s actually a “son of exiles,” something that doesn’t impact their lives today.