Florida’s Junior Senator Has A Lot Of Growing Up To Do
From the desk of Mark Christopher
When the birthers went after presidential candidate Barack Obama, they found nothing that hadn’t already been well-known – or even published by Obama himself – that wasn’t verified by the facts. And you better believe they looked.
More recently, the birthers decided that U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) would be their latest target. With Rubio being named as a potential Vice Presidential candidate for 2012, he was ripe for a good factual flogging, so they thought.
According to Marco Rubio, he was born to Cuban exiles living in Miami who had fled Fidel Castro’s communist regime. It was a story he had told many times to great effect.
So the birthers started fishing. And boy did they catch a whopper.
Apparently, Rubio has been misrepresenting his life story for years. Whether intentional or not, his stump story is a tall tale worthy of the finest Hollywood fiction. Yes, at worst, Rubio lied to you. At best, he fibbed for dramatic effect.
What is for certain is that he didn’t know the dates and facts surrounding his parents’ BIG STORY, yet he told everybody that story. Ad nauseam.
And none of that is acceptable behavior for a U.S. Senator.
Recently unearthed documents – thanks crazy birthers! – show that Rubio’s parents actually left Cuba several years before Castro came into power. Marco Rubio‘s parents bailed before Castro gripped Cuba with an iron fist, meaning they were not exiles.
They left Cuba on their own seeking a better financial opportunity which, by definition, does not an exile make. Read that one more time so it sinks in.
Why is it such a big deal? By his own doing, Rubio’s life story is an essential part of who he is as an American and as a politician. He hasn’t been bashful about telling and re-telling his parents’ Castro-fleeing tale, using to his political advantage whenever possible.
Sen. Marco Rubio meets with Bay of Pigs vets
And when others have printed or repeated his now-known-to-be-false story, Marco Rubio or his staff never corrected them. So he benefited from the Hollywoodized version of his life story, but doesn’t want to face the music when it turns out to be not true.
Yet Rubio continues to defiantly claim that his parents are exiles, projecting shame on anyone who disputes this. This despite dictionaries everywhere that define an exile as a person who is of explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return to their homeland.
The story of his parents fleeing a communist dictator also was a huge plus for conservatives, who continue to use communism as a buzzword and a tool of fear. He was their golden boy, tailor-made for the presidency if not this time out then next.
Surely he can survive this small family oversight right?
But there’s more. National Public Radio (NPR) also discovered that there was another discrepancy in another one of Rubio’s heart-warming tales. That one is about the much ballyhooed trip that his mother took to Cuba while Castro was in control of the island.
Note: a true exile could not return to Cuba after being exiled.
“And they would go to the airport every day for nine months waiting to be let go, and finally they were able to come and it was very frightening,” he said in the interview which has been dug up and re-aired on NPR.
Too bad that doesn’t jibe with the version of the story that Rubio himself scribed. He wrote that his mother actually had the “intention of moving back” to Cuba but a month or so into it, she came to the conclusion that “the change happening in Cuba was not for the better.”
Marco Rubio being sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden
He never mentioned grandpa or his hospitalization or the fact that mom was kept from leaving the country.
Rubio says that he should be excused for not knowing his own parents’ stories because he was only recently aware of the actual dates.
“If The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that,” Rubio wrote in Politico. “But to call into question the central and defining event of my parents’ young lives … the fact that a brutal communist dictator took control of their homeland and they were never able to return … is something I will not tolerate.”
Nobody has ever said any of that, Senator. You are deflecting. In fact, you say another untrue statement in that quote when you say they were never allowed to return. She was. You are wrong three times by my count, fess up.
You notice how Rubio downplays his errors while at the same time attacking his accusers? Classic play by the master politician. But it still doesn’t satisfy those of us who want Rubio to give a full confession, what else hasn’t he been telling us?
It would be different if his track record was as pure as the driven snow. But it’s not. Floridians are well aware of Rubio’s ethical lapses and betrayals of the public trust as a member of Florida’s House of Representatives. Now the rest of America will get to feast on Rubio’s state secrets.
Marco Rubio with new friend Joe Lieberman, also not an exile
Let’s see which one of these will become the most popular?
- Rubio failed to disclose $34,000 in expenses as required by state law.
- He doled out tens of thousands of dollars to his wife and relatives through political action committees he controlled.
- The I.R.S., U.S. Attorney and the FBI is looking into whether or not Rubio and others used Republican Party of Florida credit cards illegally.
- He once received a $50,000 from a political group run by a Broward County eye doctor indicted on corruption charges.
- While he was running for the U.S. Senate, a home Rubio co-owned with another Miami-area politician was foreclosed on.
Now that he’s been busted, Rubio has tried to turn the tables on the “liberal” media for hammering him on this. The media should hammer him, liberal or otherwise – Rubio has been telling a fabricated story throughout his entire political career.
His excuse that he didn’t know the actual dates is ridiculous and an insult to the intelligence of Americans. Any responsible person running for office that was planning on using a phenomenal story such the one that Rubio has been peddling would have done a little digging himself, just to make sure.
And if my parents really were exiles I would at least have the dates correct.
Instead he winds up all over the news and looks and sounds … dishonest. Do you think maybe now the Republican Party will stop calling him and ask him to run for vice president.
Written for Sunshine Slate