June 21st, 2012
04:39 PM ET
2 years ago

Rubio predicts 'political ping-pong' after immigration change

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's change in immigration policy, unveiled last week, will only heighten the political gamesmanship surrounding the issue, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday.

Speaking on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Rubio said he and his colleagues in the U.S. Senate would have a harder time pushing through longer-term solutions after Obama's move.

The full interview airs on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.

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"What I first encountered when I came to the Senate was no one wanted to talk about immigration. There were too many scars, people had gone through too much in years past, it was a very highly charged, very politicized issue," Rubio said, saying he had worked hard to frame immigration as a humanitarian, rather than political, issue.

Last Friday, Obama announced a change to the U.S. immigration policy that would allow people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat and were successful students or served in the military to receive a two-year deferral from deportation.

Obama's move, Rubio said, put a stop to the progress he and his colleagues had achieved.

"Then comes the president, without talking to anybody and basically does it by executive order, five months before the election, in a blatant effort to try to win Hispanic votes, or at least energize the Hispanic vote, and to turn it against Republicans, he's politicized it," Rubio said.

The Florida Republican continued: "If it's going to be political ping-pong, and a political talking point, it's going to be very difficult to come up with the measured, responsible approach we've been working on."

Addressing Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder, Rubio said Congress had lost all confidence in the government's top lawyer. Earlier Thursday, Rubio said Holder should resign ahead of a possible U.S. House vote next week on citing him for contempt of Congress. Republicans claim Holder is restricting their oversight responsibilities by limiting access to documents related to the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting.

"I've think we've reached the point of no return," Rubio said Thursday. "I think [Holder] has increasingly lost the confidence of people here in Congress. I think Darryl Issa and the folks over at the House have given him multiple opportunities to address these concerns, to answer some of these questions, and they've refused to do it."

"You start to wonder well what is it they don't want us to know?" Rubio said.

Asked about Mitt Romney's announcement Tuesday that he is vetting Rubio as a potential running mate, the Florida senator reverted to his standard language.

"I don't pay a lot of attention to the back and forth," Rubio said. "It's like a sport up here, that stuff. But I made a decision a couple months ago to not comment on the vice presidential process anymore, out of respect for Gov. Romney and the work he's putting into that."

Rubio did say he was looking forward to a bright future in politics.

"I think if I do a good job in the Senate, and continue to do a good job, the people look at me and say, 'Hey this is someone who is serious about the issues, I may not agree with him on everything, but I know where he stands and he works hard on behalf of what he stands,' I think if I do that I'll have plenty of opportunities to do things inside and outside of politics, so that's what I'm focused on."

Also see:

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Pro-Obama super PAC raises $4 million in May

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Marco Rubio • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Core republican Values

    Rubio makes a terrific rhetoric and propaganda sewer.

    June 21, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Ozzie

    Your party blocks every initiative, Mario. Time for you to go home and realize that your party has no time for people of color – illegal or legal. Make sure that you clear any of your initiatives with Hannity, Trump, Rove, Rush, and the Tea Party – the voice and conscience of the Republican Party.

    June 21, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. California

    Without fixing the actual problem immigration reform is anything but.

    June 21, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. switters

    Marco Rubio is not a good 'national candidate'.

    He won his race in Florida with only 48% of the vote.

    He lied for years about his parents escaping Castro's Cuba. Actually, they left several years before Castro took power. They came to the United States for the economic opportunities that are here – just like all the Hispanic economic refugees that Marco works every day to help 'keep out'.

    He was born in the U.S. while his parents only held 'temporary visas' – he is the prototype 'anchor baby'.

    He walked away from a home he was buying in Florida when the value went 'underwater'.

    He was a Mormon – then a Catholic – now he takes his family to a 'Southern Baptist' church.

    Tales from his college days have him 'in the closet'.

    Not so good a VP choice.................

    June 21, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. GL

    Why is this fool still talking? He is not relvent on the issue any more. He got beated bad by Obama on this issue and he needs to shut up and go away.

    June 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. stars

    Rubio you had plenty of time. You dont give a damn about us. And for that we will vote you out. Jerk!!!

    June 21, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. GL

    Obama's move, Rubio said, put a stop to the progress he and his colleagues had achieved.

    "Then comes the president, without talking to anybody and basically does it by executive order, five months before the election, in a blatant effort to try to win Hispanic votes, or at least energize the Hispanic vote, and to turn it against Republicans, he's politicized it," Rubio said

    After today I will not be coming back to CNN site. They just let this liar get away with lying about no body was talking about immigration when in 2010 he voted the Dream Act down.

    CNN you wonder why you are losing viewers because you give the tea baggers a platform to spear their lies.

    June 21, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. arale norimaki

    Sen. Rubio's grand father was an illegal immigrant. The Republicans not only don't have problem with that but call anyone who questions it names. If a Mexican was here illegally these same people would be screaming to kick him out of the country. other vs. Cubans: Is There A Double Standard On Illegal Aliens?

    June 21, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. GL

    "Then comes the president, without talking to anybody and basically does it by executive order, five months before the election, in a blatant effort to try to win Hispanic votes, or at least energize the Hispanic vote, and to turn it against Republicans, he's politicized it," Rubio said

    Hey cry baby you are not read for Prime time.

    June 21, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. arale norimaki

    The same Marco Rubio? That Talks Big but Fails to Deliver?

    Why keep trotting out this Marco Rubio=Anchor Baby character? He has
    nothing to say and basically no one gives =Running on Empty aka joke

    Rubio= support illegal immigrant but only for cubans=wet foot dry foot

    June 21, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    The DREAM Act has already been put forward to Congress. If there is any ping pong going on, it's because republicans are doing it. Gosh you guys are lme.

    June 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. montanaDem

    Please explain, Seantor Rubio, what progress exactly are you referring to that you and your colleagues have achieved? Obama's move stops the progress? What progress? Please show me one thing that Republican leadership has done to improve the immigration issue from a Latino's perspective? What progress have you made on that front? I'm looking for anything, large or small, besides the phrase "work toward a long-term solution". Saying that is not progress. Nor is racial profiling. What a joke.

    June 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Lola, Washington DC

    It is interesting how much we see of Rubio lately–maybe even more of him than Romney. I give him this much: he's very, very smart and seems to understand politics. He is handling Obama's stealing of his thunder on the immigration issue well, in fact better than Romney is. Although I am not sure I'm ready to support him for VP, I am impressed by him.

    June 21, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    Too bad that if they couldn't find those ping pong balls that they can't use yours because you teapublikkkans haven't got any.

    June 21, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. arale norimaki

    The same Marco Rubio? That Talks Big but Fails to Deliver?

    A Cuban on the ballot means nothing to the general population of the
    Hispanic community. Most Latin Americans don't like Cubans

    Cubans have enjoyed a status not accorded to any other immigrant group over time. In this work,Illegal Immigrants from Cuba: Preferential Treatment to get Green Card

    Of course no republican will say anything about this as most cubans tend to vote republican

    June 21, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. chilly g

    this is what i hope happen,the president is relected,the demoncrats increase they numbers in the senate, and win
    back the house, then i will go celebrate.

    June 21, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. cali girl

    Rubio is their golden boy, he can roll with this to get points.
    Problem is, the President came out with a better plan, which tags on to the Dream Act. And the fact that 60 sum odd percent are in favor of those provisions leaves you in a bad spot.
    Quit being a sore loser Rubes and grow up. Your just mad because your answer wasn't going to be as good.

    June 21, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Tom

    Rubio is simply not being honest....anyone who can lie so easily about a subject on which he is closer to Obama's position than that of Romney should not be considered for the VP slot. His only "value" as VP would have been the hope of delivering Hispanic voters in general and Hispanic Florida voters in particular. He has lost all credibility by repeating Romney's weak response to Obama's action. Romney doesn't agree with Obama's directive but is afraid to call it amnesty for fear of losing even more Hispanic voters. Different story than during the GOP debates, huh Mitt?

    June 21, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. n

    Lola, who cares what you think? You are walking around with blinders on . . . look out for that, to late.

    June 21, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Maxx

    Too funny Rubio, you were trying to politicize immigration with your whittled down dream act in an effort to build your VP cred and Obama made you irrelevant. Silly man. And now you complain. Why is it any harder to get to a long term solution? Obama made it easier. Wah.

    June 21, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Get real, Republicans aren't going to do anything because they want to save their "Red States" , like Arizona, that are leaning "Blue". Rubio's B.S. doesn't pass the smell test and don't play Hispanics for stupid.

    June 21, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rubio is an embarrassment to Florida. We really screwed up by not electing Crist.

    June 21, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Mike

    Obama takes their proposals puts them out first, and then instead of being happy the president wants to do the same thing as them, the GOP freaks out and says his proposal is not only wrong but he should be impeached. God forbid Obama lets out a stinky fart, the GOP will try for capital punishment.

    June 21, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. rmatten

    Anybody who suggests that Obama should have talked with the Republicans before announcing the policy is being very dishonest. It was the Republicans who prevented the Dream Act being enacted and who has opposed every immigration reform proposal made in this Congress.

    June 21, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Rubio is blowing a smoke screen to provide cover for Romney. Comprehensive immigration reform failed under the former Bush administration because of a lack of support from his own party. Didn't Rubio watch the primary debates? GOP Tea Party and anit-immigration conservatives oppose any pathway to citizenship as amnesty. Romney is trying very hard to flip flop on this one with little success.

    June 21, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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