Manchester, N.H. - October 22, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is coming to the defense of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who's fighting allegations that he embellished his family's history by saying his parents fled Cuba before Fidel Castro's communist revolution.
Romney says Rubio -- a rising GOP star who's often discussed as a
potential vice presidential pick -- and his family deserve the
highest praise and recognition. Romney calls the recent news
reports an attempt to smear Rubio, and Romney describes the stories as "unfortunate" and "bogus.
Romney made the comments to reporters Saturday in his New
Hampshire campaign headquarters.
MIAMI, FL 10/21/2011 --
Freshman U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is dismissing allegations he embellished his family's history by claiming his parents were exiles.
The Florida political leader has always publicly identified as part of the Cuban exile community. His Senate website says his parents came to America following Fidel Castro's 1959 takeover.
But media reports Thursday revealed they'd emigrated to the U.S. in 1956. Rubio's father was a bartender and came for economic reasons. Castro wasn't even in Cuba when they left.
Rubio is a rising star in the Republican Party. He's viewed as key to boosting the party's Hispanic outreach, despite holding a hard line on immigration.
Rubio says his parents are exiles because they tried to move back to Cuba in 1961 but decided they didn't want to live under communism.