What is it about this Tea Party crowd and their embarrassing commentary? We have Michele Bachmann who wants to be president yet doesn’t know where the American Revolution began. Then there’s Sarah Palin for whom misstatements are a staple regardless of the topic. We had two contenders for the U.S. Senate, Sharron Angle and Joe Miller who basically talked their way out of winning with comments about “Second Amendment Solutions”, confusing Asians for Latinos, calling unemployment compensation unconstitutional, and lying about using coworkers computers to unfairly influence GOP polling. We’ve had Christine O’Donnell talking about witchcraft and Rick Perry accusing Ben Bernake of treason and suggesting Texas might just leave the union. Does this sort of thing run in the family so to speak?
Well now we have one of the few remaining Tea Party supported stars apparently fudging the facts as to how his family “escaped” from the clutches of Fidel Castro and his Communists. According to Marco Rubio’s onetime official Senate biography: “In 1971, Marco was born in Miami to Cuban-born parents who came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover” However, the official account seems to be sorely at variance with the facts. Rubio’s family actually came to the United States in May of 1956. However, Castro’s revolution was nothing but a Communist hope and dream at the time when the Rubio family headed for Florida. In fact in May of 1956 Castro and his cadre of revolutionaries were still in exile in Mexico and they would not return to Cuba until December of 1956, seven months after the departure of the Rubio’s. Thus there was no way anyone could predict the success or failure of a future Communist revolution in Cuba or if one would even take place. That said Rubio has clearly embellished his family history for political ends and as such his personal honesty is now highly suspect.
The questions surrounding Rubio’s honesty are even more pronounced when you consider that: “In various television interviews over the years, Mr. Rubio gave various dates for his parents’ arrival, 1957, ’58 or ’59.” Quoting University of Miami Cuban-American political science professor George Gonzalez: “Every Cuban-American knows when their parents arrived and the circumstances under which they arrived… That’s part of the Cuban exile experience, the political and psychological trauma of it. So the idea that he was murky on those does not cut ice… To my father and grandparents, if you came before the revolution, it puts you in a different category.”
Responding to articles in the St. Petersburg Times and the Washington Post which underscore the discrepancy between Rubio’s official statements and his family history Rubio said: “essential facts of my family’s story are completely accurate.” Clearly they are not, in fact the history shows that Rubio is both on the wrong side of the facts and is guilty of public dishonesty. Marco Rubio would seek to defuse the controversy by suggesting that “the dates he had referred to in the past were based on his parents’ recollection of events and were told to him two decades later.” Well believing that a young man who came from a family that had left Cuba in the 1950s would not be aware of the circumstances surrounding their emigration is just too far fetched to be credible. Moreover, to think that a candidate for the U.S. Senate and possible 2012 Vice Presidential candidate wouldn’t spend the requisite time on his own official biography to insure its accuracy is even less believable. In fact Senator Rubio had the phrase “Cuban-born parents came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover” removed from his official senate biography after the abovementioned news articles came to light. In the end it all amounts to sad commentary on the career of a guy who had so much to offer in the way of hope for the future of the Tea Party movement as an agent of change inside the Washington Beltway and nationally on the political stage.
Steven J. Gulitti
Florida Senator Denies Claim He Gilded His Family History; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/us/politics/marco-rubio-denies-claim-he-exaggerated-his-biography.html?emc=eta1
Senator Lashes Out at Critics Who Say He Embellished His Family’s Story; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/22/us/politics/rubio-lashes-out-at-critics-of-his-biography.html?emc=eta1
1959 The Cuban Revolution; http://library.thinkquest.org/18355/the_cuban_revolution_-_1959.html