Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was considered a rising star in the Republican Party and is being talked about as a Vice-Presidential possibility for the year 2012. And if the Republicans don’t unseat President Barack Obama in 2012, he would have immediately been the front-runner for 2016.
I mean he is good-looking and articulate. He has a strong base of supporters. he is from an important swing state: Florida. Can one get elected President without Florida? President George W. Bush did in 2000. Well sort of. But I digress.
Yes, I speak of Senator Marco Rubio and his political future in the past tense.
Like many, many politicians on the rise, he told a lie. These lies can be survived depending on how the candidates handle them, but this one will be tough for Rubio. And this was not just a little lie, but a real Burger King Whopper.
Here is the Washington Post report on the lie he told during the Florida elections in 2010.
During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.
But a review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2 1/2 years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.
The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity, both before and after his stunning tea-party-propelled victory in last year’s Senate election. Rubio — now considered a prospective 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate and a possible future presidential contender — mentions his parents in the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site. It says that Mario and Oriales Rubio “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.” And the 40-year-old senator with the boyish smile and prom-king good looks has drawn on the power of that claim to entrance audiences captivated by the rhetorical skills of one of the more dynamic stump speakers in modern American politics.
And to be fair, Senator Marco Rubio had an explanation. So let’s hear him out and examine what he says.
In his statement, Mr. Rubio said that he just recently learned about the exact dates of his parents’ arrival in the United States.
“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,” he said.
He added that the “essential facts” are accurate.
“They were exiled from the home country they tried to return to because they did not want to live under communism,” Mr. Rubio said in the statement. “That is an undisputed fact and to suggest otherwise is outrageous.”
Rubio states that the “essential facts” are accurate does not hold water. The essential fact is that Rubio claimed his parents were exiled when in fact they emigrated from Cuba just like many other Cubans prior to 1959 and like many Europeans over the last 200 years. To use his parents and family as the narrative of his campaign is disingenuous at best, and just a flat out lie at its worst.
John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books