Marco Rubio: Washington Post Story "Misses the Point Completely"

Categories: Politics
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Last week, the Washington Post published its exposé on how Sen. Marco Rubio "embellished" his family history, and after a few days, no one's really sure what the hell happened there.

The Post validates the reasoning behind the article correcting Rubio's family history -- which involves dates before the senator was born -- by saying, "In Florida, being connected to the post-revolution exile community gives a politician cachet that could never be achieved by someone identified with the pre-Castro exodus, a group sometimes viewed with suspicion."

And based on documents very likely obtained by the Post from birther groups attempting to explain that Rubio isn't a "natural-born citizen," the Post implies that Rubio fudged part of his family's story to fit a narrative of Cuban exiles.

Rubio then penned an editorial for Politico to respond to the piece that he sent out in an email to his subscribers.

He seems to accept that his official Senate biography wasn't exactly true, although he says he's been going off of oral history, since he was born more than a decade after the dates in question.

Read Rubio's response to the Post's article (click here for the original article), in which Rubio explains that the changes in dates and visits between Cuba and the United States by his family still fit his story:

Dear Friend,

The Washington Post on Friday accused me of seeking political advantage by embellishing the story of how my parents arrived in the United States.

That is an outrageous allegation that is not only incorrect, but an insult to the sacrifices my parents made to provide a better life for their children. They claim I did this because "being connected to the post-revolution exile community gives a politician cachet that could never be achieved by someone identified with the pre-Castro exodus, a group sometimes viewed with suspicion."

If The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that. But to call into question the central and defining event of my parents' young lives -- the fact that a brutal communist dictator took control of their homeland and they were never able to return -- is something I will not tolerate.

My understanding of my parents' journey has always been based on what they told me about events that took place more than 50 years ago -- more than a decade before I was born. What they described was not a timeline, or specific dates.

They talked about their desire to find a better life, and the pain of being separated from the nation of their birth. What they described was the struggle they faced growing up, and their obsession with giving their children the chance to do the things they never could.

But the Post story misses the point completely. The real essence of my family's story is not about the date my parents first entered the United States. Or whether they travelled back and forth between the two nations. Or even the date they left Fidel Castro's Cuba forever and permanently settled here.

The essence of my family story is why they came to America in the first place; and why they had to stay.

I now know that they entered the U.S. legally on an immigration visa in May of 1956. Not, as some have said before, as part of some special privilege reserved only for Cubans. They came because they wanted to achieve things they could not achieve in their native land.

And they stayed because, after January 1959, the Cuba they knew disappeared. They wanted to go back - and in fact they did. Like many Cubans, they initially held out hope that Castro's revolution would bring about positive change. So after 1959, they traveled back several times - to assess the prospect of returning home.

In February 1961, my mother took my older siblings to Cuba with the intention of moving back. My father was wrapping up family matters in Miami and was set to join them.

But after just a few weeks, it became clear that the change happening in Cuba was not for the better. It was communism. So in late March 1961, just weeks before the Bay of Pigs invasion, my mother and siblings left Cuba and my family settled permanently in the United States.

Soon after, Castro officially declared Cuba a Marxist state. My family has never been able to return.

I am the son of immigrants and exiles, raised by people who know all too well that you can lose your country. By people who know firsthand that America is a very special place.

My father spent the last 50 years of his life separated from the nation of his birth. Separated from his two brothers, who died in Cuba in the 1980s. Unable to show us where he played baseball as a boy. Where he met my mother. Unable to visit his parents' grave.

My mother has spent the last 50 years separated from her native land as well. Unable to take us to her family's farm, to her schools or to the notary office where she married my father.

A few years ago, using Google Earth, I attempted to take my parents back to Cuba. We found the rooftop of the house where my father was born. What I wouldn't give to visit these places where my story really began, before I was born.

One day, when Cuba is free, I will. But I wish I could have done it with my parents.

The Post story misses the entire point about my family and why their story is relevant. People didn't vote for me because they thought my parents came in 1961, or 1956, or any other year. Among others things, they voted for me because, as the son of immigrants, I know how special America really is. As the son of exiles, I know how much it hurts to lose your country.

Ultimately what The Post writes is not that important to me. I am the son of exiles. I inherited two generations of unfulfilled dreams. This is a story that needs no embellishing.

Marco Rubio


Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB. Follow Matthew Hendley on Facebook and on Twitter: @MatthewHendley.
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17 comments
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Woody72
Woody72

One thing the Cuban exile community conveniently forgets is  that when their country needed them to stay and fight for freedom, they chose to run away and protest here in Miami where it’s safe.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

Sort of the way Castro and his force did against Batista's entire army and air force.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Does anyone with moderate brain activity actually believe that Rubio did not know precisely what year his grandparents arrived in this country, or at the very least, knew if they arrived pre or post Castro,and despite that knowledge, lied about the dates to gain an obvious political advantage?

Seriously: Who is willing to admit that they honestly believe the story that he is peddling that he was simply mistaken.?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

I love my older Cuban American friends, but ever try to have a normal conversation with them regarding "today's" events?

Raise the tax 3% on the top rate? They respond:  Communist,Castro, blah, blah, blah

Regulate The Banks?  They respond:  Communist, Castro, blah blah blah

I have a younger Cuban American friend who is politically clueless (And that is putting it mildly) She tells me that she votes Republican solely because her parents vote Republican.

My Cuban American friends: You are beautiful people, very hardworking and great Americans, but it's time to join the rest of us in the 21st century. That Castro story is stale and outdated. No one in this country of any significance is trying to advocate on behalf of a communist system of government. This has been a non-issue now for decades.

And if you think Obama is a communist, you need serious medical attention.

P.S.  And this decades long American policy of sanctions has been an unmitigated failure, one that only emboldened Castro and elongated his tenure. You can't argue with the historical record.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

As part of the settlement of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 10/62, JFK promised Khrushchev and Fidel Castro that the USA would never invade Cuba, once the Soviet missiles were removed. That was done; we verified it, and the USA is bound by this agreement -- unless another Cheney comes along and sees WMD on the island. So it's well past time for Cuban Americans to become just plain Americans and leave the future of Cuba to the real Cubans.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

So Rubio believes fudging the time line is no big deal as long as it portrays a fitting image which he aspires to. Very interesting that well educated individuals somehow have poor mempries when it comes to "embellished facts:. Revisionist History 101. The Post was correct in describing the difference in perception in pre Castro immigrants and post revolucion immigrants. Rubio is an example of "professional" Cubans who use their "history" as the highlight of their resume'. I am sure he learned this embellishment technique from Ileana Ros Lehtinen, the mother of rent a country immigrants in exile. Isn't it interesting, the resident in exile tag? Temporary citizens might be more fitting.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

You would think that, after 50 years, when the people on both sides of the Castro divide are in their 70s and 80s, and the issue of formerly owned property in Cuba is long, long dead, you would think that the Cuban Americans in their 50s and 40s and 30s would just walk away from all these fanatics and vote in the interest of their children's futures -- not in some long-ago fantasy country that never existed in the first place.

For those thinking like Jorge Mas Canosa, that the American army is going to install an exilio or Cuban American in power in Havana, you need to wake up from your dream. The future of Cuba should be decided by the Cubans in Cuba, not the greedy capitalist ex-Cubans in Miami.

fightforamerica
fightforamerica

So let me understand this, Marco Rubio has never announced his intentions to run for vice-president or president but the main stream media has already vetted him more than than the man who currently resides in the white house?

Yea, you dems are right. The MSM is fair (sarcasm evident)!!!

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Could you help us understand how non seekers somehow seem to show up in all of the important places at the right time, yet claim to be not seeking higher office. My money says he will be making a keynote speech at the GOP convention. You know,... the speech that showcases future candidates.  Coincidence?

P. S.  My "like " vote was in error.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

Rubio has always said he just wanted to do his work as a senator and not concern himself with higher office -- which is sensible and conventional. I have seen at least 12-15 mentions of him as a VP prospect on the Internet and in publications, almost all of them from Republican sources. Rubio's vetting is just beginning. Obama has been vetted since he gave the keynote speech at Al Gore's convention in 2004. 

FYI, the word "media" is plural. The singular is "medium". It's Latin, like stratum/strata, bacterium/bacteria, memorandum/memoranda. If you have some disagreement with the mainstream media, then you must be out of the mainstream.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

Would you want someone like him, from a family such as his, as Vice President or President of the United States, with a major impact on the direction of U.S. policy toward Cuba and the Castros? I wouldn't. It would be tantamount to putting all of us the the middle of a Mafia-style vendetta. Putting fanatics of any stripe into positions of power is never a good idea.

fightforamerica
fightforamerica

You are an idiot!!!

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

A shallow insult doesn't make for good debate.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

Anyone whose primary orientation is on Cuba is not a Cuban American. Such a person is a Cuban living in America. We need for our federal policy makers to be Americans with an American orientation, not an outdated, irrational, fanatical anti-communist orientation. Go listen to AM radio in Miami for a few hours. That's not America, and it's not anything we need in Washington.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Sir.

The Communists are our friends.  They helped us finance that war in Iraq.

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