It started Friday, when President Obama drove another nail in the coffin of the GOP’s future by doing what Republicans have refused to do for years: give kids brought here illegally through no fault of their own a chance to attain legal status. Romney still can’t say whether he’s for it or against it, though he said he’s against it a few months ago. The GOP’s already slim chances with Latino voters this fall go boom.
So today, the Republicans trot out Rubio and various GOP talkers complaining that the President – of the United States – should have deferred to the junior Senator from Florida on immigration (yeah, right). But then Romney sources leak that the very important Marco Rubio is not even being vetted for VP. Then it dawns on someone at Romney HQ; they just dissed the only Latino who’s expressed the slightest interest in the VP nod, right as polls are released showing Obama widening his cavernous lead with Hispanic voters. So Mitt himself announces that yes, of course Rubio is being vetted for VP.
Just like they planned it!
The whole episode is classic Romney. Act as if the internet and recording devices don’t exist; try to solve the problem in front of their nose with no sense of the long-term implications. And you know what? If Mitt wants to make Rubio his VP, fine by me. Go ahead, give America a chance to learn that Rubio is a massive hypocrite:
Despite his reputation as a watchdog over federal spending, Rubio, 40, has had significant financial problems that could keep him from passing any vetting process as a potential vice presidential choice, Republican and Democratic strategists say…
…Rubio owes far more on his $384,000 Miami home than it is worth, and at times has had difficulty paying his mortgage.
He bought the home in 2005 for $550,000 with a $495,000 mortgage. He soon had it appraised for $735,000 and took out a home equity line of credit for $135,000.
In 2008, despite earning a declared $400,000 – including his $300,000 salary from the Miami law firm Broad and Cassel – Rubio failed to pay down the principal on his home for several months, according to Florida campaign finance disclosures.
During the same period he did not make payments on a $100,000-plus student loan from his days at the University of Miami, the disclosures said.
Before joining the Senate last year, he was caught up in an Internal Revenue Service investigation of the Florida Republican Party’s use of party-issued credit cards. He frequently had used his party credit card for personal use, and later reimbursed the card company for about $16,000.
Plus…he offends the hell out of me as a Cuban-American. My dad is a Cuban. His entire family fled in 1963, after years of oppression. They arrived in this country with the clothes on their back; nothing else. So when Marco Rubio mischaracterizes and overstates the facts surrounding his family’s arrival in the U.S., it pisses me off. Big time.
During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.
But a review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than two-and-a-half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.
All of which leads to a basic point that seems to elude Romney. Latinos are not a monolith, and Cuban-Americans have always been seen by other Latinos as having an American experience very distinct from their own (there is no “wet feet, dry feet” policy for Mexicans). So – it’s going to take more than a vowel at the end of a name to convince Latinos they should forget Romney’s lurch to the right on immigration and the GOP’s anti-Latino rhetoric. It’s like thinking Romney could win the black vote by nominating Michael Steele for VP. How do you say in Spanish?