The Washington Post is known for its hard-hitting journalism against Democratic politicians. Who could forget, for instance, its first story on the Jeremiah Wright scandal, headlined "Congregation Defends Obama's Ex-Pastor; Criticism Seen as Attempt to Silence Voice of Black Church"? By comparison, the Post seems almost afraid to even talk about Republicans, as evidenced by the paltry 30-odd stories it ran when Virginia gubernatorial candidate George Allen invented a word that the Post just knew must be racist ... somehow.
And now, this. Post slugger Manuel Roig-Franzia has a story alleging that Florida junior Senator Marco Rubio has “embellished” the story of how his family left Cuba upon the dawn of Castro’s regime. You remember all those hard-hitting stories about Illinois' junior senator back in 2001, right? Right?
In any case, the story has already been debunked by the Miami Herald's Tallahassee bureau chief. He says that the Post fails to back up its assertions of embellishment with any facts:
But the top of the story suggests Rubio himself has given this "dramatic account:" that "he was the son of exiles, he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after 'a thug,' Fidel Castro, took power."
However, the story doesn't cite one speech where Rubio actually said that.
To back up the lead, the Washington Post excerpts from a 2006 address in the Florida House where Rubio said “in January of 1959 a thug named Fidel Castro took power in Cuba and countless Cubans were forced to flee... Today your children and grandchildren are the secretary of commerce of the United States and multiple members of Congress...and soon, even speaker of the Florida House.”
The catch: If you listen to the speech, Rubio isn't just talking about those who specifically fled Cuba after Castro took power. He doesn't say that his parents fled Cuba. Instead, he was talking about "a community of exiles." That is: He was talking about all the Cubans who live in Miami.
But other than that, the story was accurate, I guess. And it's good to know that folks are very, very scared of Rubio, eh?