[Ed. – He was taunted by other 7-year-olds during the Mariel boat lift in the 1970s. That was back before bullying was homicidal and demonic — and most of us from that era can remember being taunted for one silly reason or another. So it’s a little hard to go to GQ over this.]
CNN moderator Anderson Cooper, who oozed praise for Rubio throughout tonight’s townhall, followed up, asking Rubio: “If I could– just a quick follow up: on a personal basis, have you ever felt the sting of racism?”
Instead of demurring and noting that he is currently a U.S. Senator and presidential candidate who has cozy relationships with some of the most powerful and influential billionaires in the country, Rubio instead reached back to “recall” a memory from when he was seven-years-old in which he was forced to endure the sting of racism. Rubio said:
I do recall as a child, during the Mariel Boatlift growing up in Las Vegas that some of the neighborhood kids– older kids– one day were taunting my family saying, ‘Why don’t you go back on your boat. Why don’t you go back to your country. Why don’t you leave here.’ I didn’t know what they were talking about. I was 7 years old, I was like, ‘what boat? My mom doesn’t even swim…’ And my parents had to sit me down and explain: ‘the Mariel Boat lift is going on. People are really upset about it and they’re hearing this stuff, and don’t blame the kids– they must be hearing it from somebody, that’s why they’re repeating it.’ So that disturbed me as a young child.
Rubio continued, “What I give my parents a lot of credit for is that they never raised us to feel like we were victims… that doesn’t mean I don’t deny that there are people in this country that have had a different experience and we need to recognize that. …”