When Marco Rubio was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, the hype for Marco Rubio began. Young, smart, politically savvy. Hey, another Barack Obama perhaps.
He defeated in the general election a popular Republican, Charlie Christ, who happened to be the sitting governor too. Christ ran as an independent candidate, as he was defeated in the Republican primary by this popular and populist candidate, Marco Rubio.
The story of Marco Rubio was compelling. Interned for a Cuban-American Congresswoman and served as a city Commissioner in West Miami. He was then elected to the Florida House of Representatives and later served as the Florida Speaker of the House. He wrote a book, 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future, from his touring of Florida to get ideas for change and actually implemented many of the changes in the book.
Marco Rubio was on a roll. And then he bowled over the field in 2010 and was elected to the United Stats Senate.
He was recruited heavily to run for President of the United States by many party leaders who saw this bright star.
And what a personal story too.
And his family fled from the Castro regime and that he was the “son of exiles.” But to our shock, he was not forthcoming. It was not compelling. He lied. Here is the Washington Post report on the lie, as I mentioned in a previous post.
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 now, he is getting himself into deeper political trouble. Yes, he could have been a contender for the national ticket and possibly offset some of President Obama’s Hispanic support. The dispute with Spanish television’s Univision is over the Dream Act which the station supports and Rubio opposes.
According to the Miami Herald, the story began in July when Univision was preparing a story on Rubio’s brother-in-law, who was convicted of drug trafficking 24 years ago — when Rubio was 16.
Rubio’s staff contacted the network to try to convince them not to do the story. It’s old news, they said — nothing to do with Sen. Rubio, but hurtful to his family.
Univision, as the nation’s largest Hispanic network, plays an important role for candidates — giving them unrivalled access to Spanish-speaking voters. One of the network’s anchors, Jorge Ramos, is an outspoken advocate of the federal Dream Act, a bill Rubio opposes. Rubio has turned down requests to appear on the program.
A once bright political future is getting fuzzy and he has only just begun. Maybe in a few years when this all blows over.
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