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 21 / 2 years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.
This is the equivalent of having bragged about military service and never serving in the military. He is finished as a candidate for president or vice president. The worst part for Rubio is that his anti-Castro base will be the most upset with him. His claim that he relied on family oral history is laughable. The fact that his parents went along with this fraud is shameful. The Rubios were economic immigrants to the U.S. not exiles fleeing a dictatorship. There is a big difference.
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.Marco Rubio is finished. Not only for future presidential ambitions but he will never be able to run for Senate in Florida. He should resign. This is not some sin of the flesh that befalls good men, no, this is an orchestrated lie to deceive voters throughout his entire political life. Good thing for Marco that Gadaffi went down today. As the son of Cuban exiles myself, people who came here after having their hopes for a democratic revolution betrayed by Fidel Castro and his allies, Rubio's fraud is particularly galling.