Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has caused an international furor, but it's not his fault.
An Argentine newspaper incorrectly quoted the Florida GOP senator comparing the country to North Korea, but the AP reports that Rubio never said any such thing.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate's quote quickly spread, though, drawing denunciations from high-ranking Argentine politicians.
The false report in the newspaper La Nacion on Friday was due to a “transcription error,” the newspaper’s Washington correspondent later said.
The newspaper incorrectly quoted Rubio as saying Argentina “does things that not even North Korea” does, when in fact the senator never mentioned North Korea in his remarks during a confirmation hearing for President Barack Obama’s nominee for ambassador in Buenos Aires.
Other newspapers and the Argentine state-run Telam news agency, apparently following La Nacion’s lead, reported the remark as well with some changes and embellishments. The Buenos Aires Herald’s story, for instance, reported Rubio as saying that “not even North Korea has dared to mock us in this manner.”
The erroneous reports brought another low point in relations between Buenos Aires and Washington.
Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said comparing his government to North Korea’s was “foolishness, of which one could laugh if in Argentina it hadn’t been made a front-page newspaper headline.” House leader Julian Dominguez said the comments “lack the truth without even bothering to check the facts.”
Update 10:41 a.m.: The Buenos Aires Herald offers this correction and an apology to Rubio: