Marco Rubio responds to Washington Post story about his family’s immigration history
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pushed back Friday against The Post’s front-page story that details how the Florida senator confused key dates in his family history, saying that “if The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that.” Lynne Sladky AP
“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,” he wrote in an op-ed published by POLITICO
“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.”
The Post story reports that Rubio got his parents’ story wrong, saying for instance, on his Web site that his parents “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.” Yet documents reveal that Rubio’s parents were admitted as lawful residents on May 27, 1956, a date of which Rubio was apparently unaware.
“My parents and grandparents came here from Cuba in ’58, ’59,” Rubio said in a 2010 interview with Sean Hannity.
It was on New Year’s Day in 1959, that Castro’s forces came to power, a date that marks a bright line in Cuba’s history, and as The Post reports, provides a dividing line between the post-revolution exile community and the pre-Castro community.
Yet Rubio contends that “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,” he writes. “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.”
Rubio’s office also sent out an e-mail round-up of talking heads and reporters criticizing the Post story.
“Ultimately what The Post writes is not that important to me. I am the son of exiles,” he writes. “I inherited two generations of unfulfilled dreams. This is a story that needs no embellishing.”
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