• Therein Lies The Rub For Rubio.

    It's not uncommon for someone to embellish a few minor details to make themselves look good. It happens on resumes, dating profiles, applications, etc. People have a natural tendency to make themselves look bigger and better than they actually are. Rappers do it to add faux street cred, gain fans and make the albums sell better. Politicians do it for the votes.

    Which brings us to Marco Rubio, possible GOP VP shoe-in for 2012 and could-be presidential candidate for 2016. This guy's got the perfect backstory for a Cuban-American politician: he's the son of Cuban exiles who fled Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution. It definitely gets the attention of his fellow right-leaning and anti-Castro Cuban-Americans.

    As it turns out, that backstory may have been embellished just a wee bit:

    Multiple documents signed by Rubio’s parents, including their petitions for naturalization, show that Mario and Oriales Rubio arrived in the United States on May 27, 1956, with their son Mario, 6. Maternal grandfather Pedro Victor Garcia also came to the United States around the same time.

    The Social Security numbers for Rubio’s father and grandfather suggest that Mario Rubio received his Social Security number in Florida in 1956 and that Garcia received his in New York in 1956-57.

    Tsk, tsk. But not to worry -- Rubio's fighting back.

    To suggest my family’s story is embellished for political gain is outrageous. 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. I was not made aware of the exact dates until very recently.
    What’s important is that the essential facts of my family’s story are completely accurate. My parents are from Cuba. After arriving in the United States, they had always hoped to one day return to Cuba if things improved and traveled there several times. In 1961, my mother and older siblings did in fact return to Cuba while my father stayed behind wrapping up the family’s matters in the U.S. After just a few weeks living there, she fully realized the true nature of the direction Castro was taking Cuba and returned to the United States one month later, never to return.
    They were exiled from the home country they tried to return to because they did not want to live under communism. That is an undisputed fact and to suggest otherwise is outrageous.

    The following comes from a 2006 address at the Florida House of Representatives:

    “In January of 1959 a thug named Fidel Castro took power in Cuba and countless Cubans were forced to flee. . . . Today your children and grandchildren are the secretary of commerce of the United States and multiple members of Congress . . . and soon, even speaker of the Florida House.”

    In this address, he's not directly referring to himself as one of those descendants of exiles, just mentioning others while also saying he could be, which is interesting. If he knew for a fact his parents fled specifically because of Castro, you'd think he'd trumpet that fact every chance he could get instead of being so obtuse about it in this particular address.

    Well, an embellishment that can be easily explained away as an act of innocent misinterpretation or misappropriation is much better for a politician to handle than an outright lie.

    P.S.: I find it interesting how most Cubans are dead-silent on Fulgencio Batista, who was just as much of a capricious thug as Castro was. But then again, he was one of our thugs. As long as you're willing to play ball for Uncle Sam's team, you can do pretty much whatever you want to your own people. Uncle Sam didn't like Batista's declining batting average and had him permanently benched for that Castro feller. Too bad Castro didn't want to play for our team.