Sen. Marco Rubio recalled the racism he faced as a child as Cubans immigrated to the U.S. during the Mariel boat-lift of 1980.
"Some of the kids, the older kids, were taunting my family: 'Why don't you go back on your boat?'" Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said during a GOP candidates forum Wednesday in South Carolina. "I said, 'What boat? My mom doesn't even swim.'"
Rubio said he was a 7-year-old living in Las Vegas when the Mariel boat-lift took place during an economic downturn in Cuba. As many as 125,000 Cubans in six months made the journey from Mariel Harbor in Cuba to Florida.