Recent articles published in the Washington Post and the St. Petersburg Times delve into the family story of Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior senator, implying that he’s embellished it for dramatic effect. It’s no surprise that Rubio is the subject of increasing amounts of scrutiny from the mainstream media these days, as he’s rapidly become one of the most articulate voices for conservatism in America.
Rubio’s rise to national prominence began when he challenged Florida’s Republican governor, Charlie Crist, in the GOP primary in 2010. Although he had been speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives, Rubio was virtually unknown outside of Miami. He ran a perfect campaign, with support from the Tea Party: they saw Crist as a “RINO” who embraced President Obama (literally and figuratively). Rubio drove the once extremely popular Crist out of the Republican Party — he is now a pitchman for ambulance-chasing attorneys.
After being inaugurated in January, Rubio waited until June to give his “maiden speech” on the Senate floor, the last of the freshmen senators to do so. Since then he’s been actively attacking President Obama and his policies, on everything from the debt to foreign policy. He’s been a frequent guest on the conservative talk radio circuit, as well as on Fox News.
So compelling is Rubio’s rhetoric that he has been speculated about for the number two spot on his party’s ticket before the top slot is even filled. Though most of the talk has been about Rubio as a running mate, many conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, have openly asked why Senator Rubio isn’t running for president.
That speculation about a potential President Marco Rubio has resulted in a high degree of scrutiny among the mainstream media performed with a fervor they never had when it came to investigating the junior senator from Illinois in 2008.
First, Univision ran a piece about Rubio’s brother in-law, who was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the 1980s when Rubio was a teenager. The piece backfired when Rubio staffers alleged that Univision offered to spike the story if the senator would agree to appear on one of its shows. As a result, several of the GOP’s candidates for president said they would boycott any debate hosted by Univision.
Undeterred, the Marco Rubio inquisition continued. A contingent claims that Rubio is not eligible to be president because his parents, who are from Cuba, were not American citizens at the time of his birth. However, Marco Rubio was born in the United States, both of his parents were here legally, he is a citizen of the United States, he has never been a citizen of any other country, and he never had to be naturalized.
In attaining records about the residency status of Rubio’s parents at the time of his birth, reporters have discovered that they migrated to the United States legally in 1956, a couple of years before Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. That’s only significant inasmuch as Rubio has portrayed himself as the child of exiles from Castro’s Cuba. The Washington Post and the St. Petersburg Times have now accused Rubio of distorting his family’s history to make it more compelling.