Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a tea party favorite, embellished the facts surrounding his parent’s emigration from Cuba, according to The Washington Post.
Rubio has been claiming for years that his family joined an exodus from Cuba in 1959 after the revolution led by Fidel Castro. In a 2010 campaign ad, for instance, he referred to himself as the “son of Cuban exiles.”
But naturalization papers and other official records show that his parents arrived in the United States in 1956, well before Castro took power. And they returned to Cuba several times after Castro declared the island a socialist state.
His parents waited 15 years to seek naturalization.
“I’m going off the oral history of my family,” Rubio told the Post. “All of these documents and passports are not things that I carried around with me.”
Rubio burst onto the national political scene in 2009 when he challenged former Florida governor Charlie Crist in the race to become a Florida senator.
In early October, he ruled out the possibility of running as a vice presidential candidate in 2012. But many see him as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore