Marco Rubio’s recently released memoir, An American Son, gives us insight into his life and beginnings. The Republican Vice President hopeful talks about his Cuban family, coming to grips with his heritage and parlaying that into a successful political career. But there were a few things that we didn’t know about Rubio (or at least, not in his words). Here are our top 5 takeaways:
He suffered from a medical complication as a child that could have killed him.
As a young child, Rubio had severe stomach issues. After his father took him to the hospital, the doctor could find nothing wrong, and suggested Rubio might be “faking it.” Rubio’s father drove him to another hospital, and he was diagnosed with intestinal intussusception – a serious but treatable condition. “If left untreated, it could cause severe complications, even death.” Surgery was needed, and Rubio was fed through a tube for three days. And, as we all know now, he lived.
He dealt with racial prejudice growing up in Vegas.
Rubio recalls befriending many African American kids and Mexican American kids in his time growing up in Vegas. When he invited his friends to his party, along with some white classmates, his white classmates were no longer allowed to play with him, as parents were upset at the integration. “They didn’t want their kids making friends with them. I was mystified and irritated.”
He teared-up when Obama won the presidency, but not for the reason you think.
“I was so proud to be an American, and so moved by the powerful symbolism of the moment, I couldn’t stop myself from tearing up…that night was a night to be proud of our country and grateful for the blessing of citizenship.”
He sees immigration as a complicated issue, with a middle ground.
“The anti-illegal-immigration side often loses perspective on the issue. But the pro-immigration crowd is also guilty of a maximalist approach. They ignore how illegal immigration unfairly affects immigrants who live here legally or are trying to immigrate here legally.”
He would come illegally to the United States if he had to.
“I understand it is a difficult issue. It’s a law-and-order issue. But it’s also an issue about human dignity and common decency…Many people who come here illegally are doing exactly what we would do if we lived in a country where we couldn’t feed our families. If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn’t give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn’t a law, no matter how restrictive that would prevent me from coming here. We should debate our differences on immigration with regard to all the issues that deserve our respect and attention.”
Marco Rubio’s memoir, An American Son, is available on Amazon.