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And When The Birthers Came for Marco Rubio I Wrote This Blog Post

The Rubio family on the day Marco Rubio was sworn into office by Vice President Joe Biden. (Via Marco Rubio's Senate web site)Cuban American Senator and rumored potential Mitt Romney running mate Marco Rubio found himself in the clutches of "birthers" this week, who claim Rubio's family immigration story doesn't make sense. Their accusation is, that Rubio -- who has repeatedly stated his parents came to America after Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba -- isn't a "Natural Born Citizen." Hence, he's ineligible for higher office. Unlike with the birther's case against President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother hence (duh) making him American, Rubio's "status" as a natural born citizen is up for (mis) interpretation: "Rubio was born in 1971 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, his office said, but his parents did not become citizens until 1975."

Of course, that's not the only thing raising eyebrows. As the serious "vetting" begins, The Washington Post discovered a bevy of holes and exaggerations in Rubio's story of when his parents came to the United States. Namely, that they arrived here more than two years before Castro came to power in 1959 and they likely moved to the US for a better life, maybe/maybe not to flee Communism.

Immigration records say Rubio's parents came to the United States in 1956. In 1958, city directory's reveal his father was employed by Roney Plaza Hotel in Miami.

From The Washington Post:

In one 2010 interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Marco Rubio seemed uncertain about the date of his parents’ arrival, saying, “My parents and grandparents came here from Cuba in ’58, ’59.” None of the public statements reviewed by The Washington Post gave 1956 as their arrival date.

The senator’s office tried to clarify the facts in its statement Thursday. After coming to the United States in 1956, Rubio’s parents visited Cuba after Castro’s takeover. In 1961, Oriales Rubio took her two children to Cuba “with the intention of remaining permanently.” Mario remained in Florida “wrapping up the family’s matters.” But within weeks of arriving, “it because clear that Cuba was headed full speed toward Communism and they decided to return to the U.S,” the statement said.

As for the "birther" accusation that Rubio doesn't count as a "natural born citizen," there's not much argument about where Rubio was born -- in Miami -- but they're arguing that he wasn't born to US citizens at the time, hence he's not "natural born" by their slippery slope definition.

Marco Rubio was born 10 years later in Miami. The next year, his older brother, Mario, petitioned for naturalization. The document, signed by their father, says Mario Rubio was “lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence on May 27, 1956.” The entry date coincides with a notarized “Declaration of Domicile” — filed in Dade County Circuit Court by their father in 1974 . It states that “I . . . am and have been a bona fide resident of the state of Florida since the 27th day of May, 1956.”

On Sept. 9, 1975, Marco Rubio’s parents also petitioned for naturalization. Their petitions list the same date of admission to the United States as the petition of Rubio’s brother. It is unclear why Rubio’s parents waited 15 years to seek naturalization.

In the comments of The Washington Post article a debate has broken out as to whether or not Rubio is a dreaded "anchor baby" or if this story is much-ado-about-nothing. But reality is, if you're going to be considered for the big show, you have to clean up your family folklore. Someone will check you out and see if your stories are true. Case in point: During the 2008 Republican primary, Mitt Romney (hilariously) claimed he saw his father march with Martin Luther King, Jr. He had to walk that one back a bit after challenges in the press. Or, the time Hillary Clinton claimed she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire. She, ahem, misspoke. Then there's every bragging statement former Vice President Al Gore ever made. Gore, when running for president in 2000, was a gaffe machine, often exaggerating his role or influence in a multitude of easy debunked things.

So it's highly likely Rubio was just repeating some exaggerated family folklore and the tall tale just kept getting bigger with each passing.

Rubio isn't alone in misspeaking, sharing tall tales, exaggerating or maybe not knowing the full facts of what he's talking about. Resume padding and exaggeration have been part of politics since tall tales about Cherry tree choppin'. He's likely to survive this, as long as it doesn't become part of a larger lie narrative, as it was for Gore, and to a lesser extent, Clinton.

But as for the birthers? Welcome to the big show, Rubio. You're no one until someone makes up an elaborate conspiracy about you.

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Reader Comments (8)

he's a grifting Anchor Baby

and before folks go in on me calling him Senator Anchor Baby:

1. he is, by definition that the right -wing, which tried to push this clown, while at the same time, talking birtherism bullshyt about the President - an ANCHOR BABY

2. not only is he an Anchor Baby, but he has the NERVE to NOT be the sponsor of the DREAM ACT in the Senate. ...go so far as to say ' it doesn't concern him.'


for me, as a Black person, looking at this clown, the equivalent would be to have a Black Senator during the time of the VOting RIghts Act and Civil Rights Act, telling Black folks that ' it wasn't his concern'.

Black folk would have been, ' Nigra, what the ---- are you talking about?'

maybe he has it today, but until recently Senator Anchor Baby Rubio didn't even have a section on his website for IMMIGRATION.

I'll say it again: he's nothing but a grifting (check the stories in the Florida press about how me made money while in public officr) Anchor Baby

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrikyrah

Well said, Danielle. Well said!

Maybell Marquina

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaybell Marquina

So are the birthers' chickens coming home to roost? LOL

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandy


That's pretty much all.

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJem

It seems the requirements for the Republican Party now are ignorance, lying and, making up stuff.and plotting to continue to steal. When will it end?

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkhrish

So, does this mean that since my ancestors lied to the German government in the 1850's to come to the US so they could "go to school" and then died decades later in Oregon, I cannot be president? Questionable immigration practices are inherited? I wonder if just given those facts about my ancestory could construe some gobltygook about how they were sent as undercover spies to set up sleeper cells for the Nazis? Hmmm.....

October 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I believe that Rubio is a citizen, but it's not about citzenship, it's about the narrative that Rubio would rather have about his faimily history and how it plays in the GOP.

If Rubio's family came before Castro overthrew the gov't, then like million of immigrants stories in America, the family prob came to America in hopes of having a better life for their family and themselves, yes to be free of Communism, but that makes it no different than immigrants from other communist nations. But this is NOT the narrative Rubio wants, cause that narrative would make him no better than the million of "anchor baby" immigrants that the GOP like to rant against and that Rubio always seem to get out of talking about. The narrative that his parents left Cuba because of Castro makes his story one of political persecution and is a more "accepting" view of immigration for
GOP (I'll add though, that this narrative didn't/doesn't apply to Haitian immigrants, but whatevs).

October 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlamh34

Check your history. If Rubio's parents came to the U.S. BEFORE Castro came to power, then they didn't come to escape Communism. Cuba wasn't a communist country before Castro came to power.
What it was, like most of Latin America, was a country were a handful of people (mostly white, although the dictator in power at the time of the overthrow was part black), owned everything. If you were not rich and were not already connected to Fulgencio Batista, then you were going to stay with exactly what you had.

What a lot of Americans are unaware of is that Castro's proposition to the underclass on Cuba, made up largely of descendants of Africans who had been brought over as a slaves (a practice that continued in Cuba long after it ended in the U.S.), was pretty attractive. They had access to education and other basic privileges that they had ALWAYS been denied.

At any rate, even though Rubio's family is "white" they were probably poor and unconnected, so coming to the U.S. was a much better deal, but wealthy Cubans sent their children to the U.S. to be educated and Cuba was a popular vacation destination for well-heeled Americans so the "exchange" of people and goods and services was running full tilt in the pre-Castro era.

I'm wondering how or if this will affect the Republican decision to view Rubio as a serious candidate. B/c they insist on viewing Latinos as a monolith, even though the differences between a black Dominican in NYC, a white Cuban in Miami, and a Chicano in California are vast, they were hoping to use him as their great Latino hope. They'd love to take the "anchor babies'" votes as they cast out their relatives.

I'm so tired of people who know less about the law than a 7th grader even entertaining these stupid notions, whether the target is a Republican or a Democrat. B/c first we had to deal with Obama, born in the U.S. to an American mom being questioned as if he wasn't a "natural" citizen, and now we have an American born Republican facing the same stupid accusations. You know, if Rubio's dad was Castro and he was born in Miami, he'd be a U.S. citizen. Not to mention the fact that unlike anyone else in the world, post Castro, any Cuban who reaches land here is given legal status.

Since this isn't Germany, then if you are born here, you are a natural U.S. citizen. And if a citizen has kids outside the U.S., they are citizens too. It's all stupid and perhaps pointless since Republicans will sweep even legitimate scandals (married men using hookers or soliciting sex in public bathrooms) under the rug.

October 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternicthommi
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