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.