The Marco Rubio Myth vs. Truth

WASHINGTON – Anyone in the public arena knows how this works.

It’s unsurprising that the Washington Post decided to dig into the details, especially as the 2012 election season unfolds. Regardless of Sen. Rubio’s denial he wants to be vice president, the fact remains that he is seen by many, especially in the media, to be a rising star. For good reason, especially as we look upon the motley crew vying for the nomination.

Marco Rubio had a choice a long time ago and he made it. 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 – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement regarding false allegations that he embellished his family’s history:

“To suggest my family’s story is embellished for political gain is outrageous. The dates I have given regarding my family’s history have always been based on my parents’ 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.

“What’s important is that the essential facts of my family’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 family’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.

“They 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.”

Mitt Romney, never one to miss an opportunity, came to Sen. Rubios defense yesterday. From the National Journal:

“I have the highest respect for Marco Rubio. I think his family’s history of having come to this country speaks for itself,” said Romney, adding: “I think the world of Marco Rubio, support him entirely and think that the effort to try to smear him was unfortunate and bogus.”

As you may have read, 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. 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 spurns the Dream Act, than whether he’s actually a “son of exiles,” something that doesn’t impact their lives today.

Taylor Marsh’s new e-book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss will be published in November. Marsh is an author, Washington based political analyst, veteran national politics writer and commentator on national politics, foreign policy, and women in power. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.

  

19 Comments

  1. It still amazes me that no one is willing to admit it was plutocrats like Rubio’s family that made Castro possible. It should be a lesson for us – wealth concentration at the top is not a good idea. The fact that he has trouble with the truth should come as no surprise,

  2. it’s a conundrum I think, Taylor. And thanks for the article. I worked with people who had immigrated from Cuba in the 1960s. There were various layers of stories about why. Including Cubanos coming the US for many decades previous as immigrants for oppty, and a large group came in the later 60′s because their very vast holdings were nationalized. Many poor people came too, for their reasons. Amongst the immigrant communities, there is not one, but several. I dont know which one Rubio came from. But many Cubanos who came were highly educated and many Cubanos who came were in the trades, and many were just hard working people who either raised the kids, or worked at what they could, or both. However, there is amongst all the immigrant communities (and veteran and hippie, and civil rights communities et al) people who claim to be ‘freedom fighters’ when they were not, claim to have been at Tet, when they were not, claim to have been at Woodstock or on the Selma march, when they were not. It is true, and I come from an immigrant and refugee family, that there are some amongst the larger groups whose stories dont tally, but the majority, I think, do tell about the events truthfully. Mainly we know the truthtellers because they tell stories about others who are heroic, and they are themselves, often filled with grief and relief to be in the US, despite all else, including immigrant discrimination. The other thing I would note, is during tough times, those who have the $$ and contacts immigrate. Many many are left behind because they know no one, can find no sponsors, have not enough $$. The last thing I’d mention is that some of the immigration studies strongly infer that very very few people immigrate to US with idea of going back home wherever home is. Rather they go visit, for there are people back home they love, and often they return on a visit and are welcomed with fiesta and love. But. Once immigrated, many many never go back home, no matter who is premiere, president or leader. (People who are literally hired by US business interests in other countries and transported to US to work, are in a different psycho-social category). There are of course, exceptions to the majority’s customs. In our family, people who immigrated before WWII could not go home again, and many did not see their natal country til 40 or 50 years after the war was finally over.

    Thanks

  3. Many Germanic people fled ahead of the predictable tide of Nazism in the 1930s. A. Einstein led a highly publicized ‘brain drain’ exodus from Germany during that gathering storm.

    Some in my wife’s family were among them. I think it’s fair to say many of those people were ‘exiles.’

    Either way you slice it, Marco Rubio is a first generation American success story. His bio is written with info from dead or aged parental recollections from 55 years ago.

    From the Miami Herald blog:
    “The Post also says “the supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity.” That’s a stretch. The actual story of the “flight” is far less emphasized than the fact that Rubio’s an Hispanic Republican, and the child of immigrants and exiles (Update note: I mistakenly called him an immigrant and exile in original post).

    So to suggest Rubio serially embellished the “dramatic” story of his parents fleeing Cuba could be a little too dramatic itself. And it might be an embellishment as well — absent more information clearly showing Rubio has repeatedly said his parents fled Castro’s Cuba.”

    Who’s family history is crystal clear? Mine sure isn’t.

    Or perhaps the echo chamber and their compadres at the WaPo simply don’t like successful Hispanic people.

  4. RON BEASLEY says:
    OCTOBER 23, 2011 AT 12:14 AM

    On wealth, important point to add, agreed and thanks for doing so.

    locomotivebreath1901 says:
    OCTOBER 23, 2011 AT 9:53 AM

    Or perhaps the echo chamber and their compadres at the WaPo simply don’t like successful Hispanic people.

    I don’t think there is any evidence whatsoever to back this comment up.

    DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this comment, Clarissa. As part of the Vietnam generation, this part of your comment is what made me write this piece:

    However, there is amongst all the immigrant communities (and veteran and hippie, and civil rights communities et al) people who claim to be ‘freedom fighters’ when they were not, claim to have been at Tet, when they were not, claim to have been at Woodstock or on the Selma march, when they were not.

    The details of what you explain in the struggles is why Mr. Rubio’s story, regardless of whether it works for him, just don’t pass the smell test.

    As an aside, I’ve attended several gatherings on Cuba at New American Foundation since coming to D.C., all of which revolve around normalizing relationships. One was on the Sequoia Presidential Yacht, with luminaries & supporters of Cuba. The setting elevated the importance of the event, with speakers adding the history. Not really relevant to anything, but a moment I savored, nonetheless.

    http://www.sequoiayacht.com/

  5. He got caught embellishing the facts, and dates, too bad.

  6. @loco
    Many Germanic people fled ahead of the predictable tide of Nazism in the 1930s.
    Care to provide links to this claim. I’ll buy “Germanic Jews”, bout not your claim.

  7. Or perhaps the echo chamber and their compadres at the WaPo simply don’t like successful Hispanic people.

    I don’t think there is any evidence whatsoever to back this comment up.

    I agree there’s no evidence of that kind of bias, but more than a whiff to make one suspect that WaPo folks don’t like successful Hispanic politicians who pose a serious threat to Obama’s reelection, IMO.

  8. Naw, I don’t trust him.

    You can’t trust Fulgencio Batista fanatics. Batista turned Cuba into a bordello. Anybody that made money off of that filth should be taken back to Cuba to face justice. There was a reason for, and, justification for, the Cuban revolution. Castro sought the help of the United States before he went to the Soviets. Of course we had a Republican administration so corruption won the day, forcing Castro into the hands of the communists. What we are seeing from Rubio is further Batista style “in your face” arrogance. This man is not suitable for national office IMO.

  9. from Wiki…

    -[I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country's policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear]-

    President John F. Kennedy to Jean Daniel, October 24, 1963. One month before his assassination. Can you imagine a Republican President ever saying anything so out right honest?

  10. Rudi…

    now that is an odd thing to comment on… care to elaborate?

  11. SL-

    Rudi has been smoking some really good acorn lately. I don’t know what to do about Rudi. He keeps the dogs barking all night. Driving them right round the bend he is.

  12. Gee, I wonder if some folks don’t trust business men that are not smooth-talking politicians, also.

  13. My point was just that Germans supported the rise of Hitler. Just looking for links to ethic Germans fleeing the Nazis…

  14. CStanley,

    Thank you for that clarification on my lil bit of snark that apparently flew too fast past Mrs. Marsh.

    As for Rudi,

    “…A. Einstein led a highly publicized ‘brain drain’ exodus from Germany during that gathering storm.”

    You’ll have to do your own research.

  15. Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein.” – Joe Theismann

  16. Good one Steve. ;-)

  17. Up next is Rubio “Brown” enough.

  18. EEllis-

    It’s not the color of his skin that is corrupt, it’s the content of his character.

  19. Rubio of course isn’t brown enough, just as Cain isn’t black enough.

    Neither are sufficiently obedient little Democrats, or sufficiently liberal.

Submit a Comment