(CNN) – Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on Sunday predicted that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will receive more support from Hispanics in his state than Republicans garnered in the 2008 presidential election.
The Romney backer and son of Cuban immigrants said Americans of Hispanic descent, especially in Florida, are focused on the economy.
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"They're willing to vote for Republicans or Democrats on an election-by-election cycle," Rubio said in an interview set to air on CNN's "State of the Union." "The No. 1 issue in the Hispanic community, let's be clear, is economic empowerment."
Former President George W. Bush in 2004 won the Hispanic vote in the Sunshine State with 56% support. Then-candidate Barack Obama captured the voting bloc with 57% support in 2008.
Rubio, who is often mentioned as a potential vice-presidential pick, also pushed back against the suggestion his new immigration proposals are at odds with those of Romney.
Rubio is crafting what he calls a conservative alternative to the DREAM Act that would enable the children of illegal immigrants, brought to the U.S. illegally, to achieve legal status if they graduate from a university or vocational school. Once they are granted a visa they could stay in the country while waiting for nonimmigrant status and U.S. citizenship.
The DREAM Act, which failed in Congress, would have granted citizenship to the same group of individuals.
On the campaign stump Romney has said he would veto legislation that grants permanent residency to people who are in the U.S. illegally.
But Rubio said his proposals are in line with the former Massachusetts governor's because his suggestions would work in tandem with the existing immigration system, whereas the DREAM Act would not.
"All this does is award a non-immigrant visa to these kids who find themselves in this very difficult circumstance," Rubio told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "At some point in the future they would have no more or no less rights than anybody else in the world. They wouldn't be getting any preferential treatment; they'd be just like any other nonimmigrant visa holder who may decide to access the legal immigration system."
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Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
So let me get this straight. Immigrants can live and work here, pay taxes and NOT vote. Yeah! Second Class citizen all the way. Rubio's family moved here on the government dime...my dime. Enough! Florida the new South. I thought it was bad in Texas and then I moved here.
i don't see this guy working out. we, as americans are shoved out of our own schools in favor of illegal immigrants. sorry, i don't see it. are they given tuition also?
Make the corporations that brought them here accountable, fine them, and use the money to help the kids they messed up.
Dubious and the tea bagged railed for the past 3 years about Obama and his imogtlration policies, now all of sudden dubious want to bring up this ranting dream act which the bagged will never go for, not after 3 years of relentful demogog of this president dream act, this will be hyprocricy unfounded, just like they demogog the Obama care then chose the architech to be their presidential candidate.
They were brought here to bust unions. Why are they allowed to privatize profits and socialize losses. They knew they were messing up families. on both sides. No. Throw the corporations out. Send them to whatever country and lock the door behind them.
Wow, so great to start my Sunday with something funny. Hispanics will be wiling to vote for Romney, ha. If Romney should choose Rubio as his VP running mate, he'll actually turn off not just Hispanics but women as well. Americans of Cuban descent look down on Hispanics who aren't Cuban (and they know it) and women will remember the Blunt-Rubio anti-women birth control amendment.
More republican BS.
Sure Castro! they will increase after this " For Gods sake Im running for the office I can't have illegals here" There are not people they are just a thing called "illegal". I senor Pedro will stand with Obama!! take your trickle up economic lies some where else!!
Rubio's conservatie alternative to the Dream Act still needs the support and blessings from the Tea Party faction and conservative talk show entertainers like LImbaugh. Sounds like flip flopping since all the presidential candidates, including Romney, rejected similar ideas during the debates.
Rubio's own Hispanic support is declining! People everywhere are realizing the Cuban American issues are not the issues of the Hispanic Community. Rubio is a long, long way from being ready to hold office at the national level.
GOP is full of idiots. America, you can not get anymore better. Send all these idiots, nasty thugs home, let all these animals unemployed. God bless.
A lying Cuban backing a lying Mormon. What has happened to the GOP?
"Rmoney will go down in history as the most predictable presidential candidate given that his shameless flip-flops are always mirror images of his previous positions on issues.
Watch out for Rmoney Part II on illegal immigrants, abortion, Planned Parenthood, Afghanistan, tax-cuts, dept of education, healthcare, bail-outs, safety nets, earmarks, cookies, etc.
Oops, I forgot that the SEVERELY MODERATE guy has already taken opposite positions on most of these issues"
Rubio and the miami Mafia can not come up with enough votes outside of THEIR Dade County area to even get Rubio elected much less a Bush candidate.When Rubio starts getting coverage outside of the Miami Mafia it won't be very big. the countriy has had enough of his LYING about him and his family PHONEY Exhile status to use exhile benefits to further his own political causes. That is over now.
caught between a tea-bagger and a Latino vote... there's no winning for Republicans on this one. LOVE it.
Serve in the military and be given citizenship. This shows you're willing to fight for the country you want to be a part of. graduate college after paying subsidized in-state tuition and being given aid because you're a minority? Sorry, you can;'t become a citizen because you took a lot of handouts.
Ah, yes. Marco Rubio...
Let's see: "black vs black", "white vs black"'; men vs women; women vs women; poor vs poor; middle class vs middle class; private sector vs public sector....
Have to give TeamRomney credit ... when it comes to dividing the country, he shows a "no bars hold" class act.
And here is Marco Rubio, jumping through the Romney hoops to get the Latino vote all locked up for Mitt. TeamRomney's newest game plan? "Latino vs Latino". Too bad Rubio doesn't understand that as he is being called up to "serve" Romney, Romney is himself holding back door meetings with the architect of Arizona's anti-immigration law Jan Brewer loves to flaunt as her baby.
The illegal alien is "NOT" the problem in the USA ! They come because there are jobs here. What would happen if the corporations CEO's that offered these jobs, were thrown into jails, made to do the perp walk for knowingly hiring (& they know) illegal aliens . How fast would jobs for illegal aliens dry up?
After watching today’s interview NO, Hispanic supports will decrease
He was explaining his immigration plan then he was defending what Romney said in SC debate, his plan was just opposite of what Romney said
Rubio is dreaming. Their is no way Romney will get more Hispanic support in Florida. Romney has nothing good for Hispanics and Hispanics are smart enough not to vote for this joker. Romney has no agenda for our country and if Hispanics think he will help do not hold to your dreams. Rubio better be thankful to the Tea Party other wise he will no be where he is today. Obama all the way.
yeah Marco sure it will and I guess Allen West will come out next and say that Romney will get the black vote as well.
Rubio/Romney= Disaster to America
I hope all Hispanics will wise up and see that a person like Rubio, what he is trying to do is just only to hook up their votes. Where was he all these times when Hispanics have been living with all kinds of uncertainties?
People especially in Florida see Rubio for the person he is ,a liar and a immigrant living a tale of deceit.His support is dwindling because of his teabaggin relationship and his empty promises politically.He hasn't done anything for this state but obstruct with his buddy Rick Scott ,a political ally that's out there to only futher their political agendas,at the state and citizens cost...
I think that the more Latinos hear about the Romney/republican stance on immigrations, the less likely it will be that they'll side with the Romney camp. I don't think there's enough self-loathing Latinos to vote republican and sway the election.