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Marco Rubio fibs, the media goes bonkers and does it really matter

RubiofinWho do we blame for the current controversy about Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio?

By now you know the story. The St. Petersburg Times published a story last week about nut-case birthers questioning whether Rubio could legally become vice president or president.

A day later, The Washington Post ran a story suggesting that Rubio lied about his family history by claiming that his parents had fled Fidel Castro's Cuba when in fact they did not.

Rubio easily dismissed the birther question. But he has been in full campaign mode trying to explain why his statements over the years about his parents have been, at best, muddled.

Thousands of words have been written. Prominent Republicans have jumped to Rubio's defense. There has been quibbling over the word "exile." And of course it is all a plot by the evil, liberal media.

Rubiofin1All the noise drowns out a very simple fact - at times, Rubio fibbed about his parents. They did not come to the United State after Castro took over Cuba on New Year's Day 1959.  Rubio's parents came here in 1956.

Fibbed. Crowley Political Report uses the word very deliberately.  A fib is defined as a "small or trivial lie; a minor falsehood."

There is no need to waste a lot of time reading everything Rubio ever said about his parents. All we need to do is visit his U.S. Senate website where his official biography stated:  "In 1971 Marco Rubio was born in Miami to Cuban born parents who came to America following Fidel Castro's takeover" 

It is certainly fair to believe that Rubio knew what was on his own website. And the fact is that it was not changed until after the Washington Post report.

Rubio fibbed. And more than once.

Was Rubio's fib worthy of a 1,600 word, frontpage story in the Post?


Post reporter Manuel Roig Franzia wrote, The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity...


Rubio frequently talks about his exile parents. And, yes, most people hearing the words Cuban exile assume that means someone who fled Castro. Rubio certainly understands that.

Supporters of Rubio argue that his parents are exiles because they cannot go back to Cuba. And Rubio has from time-to-time suggested that his parents came here before Castro took power.

But "the supposed flight" is not the core of Rubio's political identity. What Rubio talks about is his parents struggle after they arrive in this country. He talks about their hard work, their determination, and their success raising a family.

The Post suggested the reason for its story was the potential of Rubio being on a national ticket in 2012 or someday running for president himself.


But 1,600 words? The frontpage? Really?

Finally, does any of this matter?

Yes. Rubio has long been suspected of being a little too ready to fib. If he learns anything from this it should be that as his stature rises so will the scrutiny.

And the Washington Post editors clearly thought they had a great gotcha story.  This is not Watergate. The story was legitimate but overplayed and 1,000 words too long.

One more question - why did Florida reporters learn the details about Rubio's fib in the Washington Post?

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Art by Patrick Crowley


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