April 1st, 2013
03:27 PM ET
2 years ago

White House not concerned by Rubio's immigration warning

(CNN) - President Barack Obama does not appear to be discouraged by Sen. Marco Rubio's Sunday morning statement that it is "premature" to consider a deal on immigration at hand.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney brushed aside questions on Monday about "the comments that individual senators make about possible concerns they have - I would direct you to their offices."

"The president is absolutely serious about this. He has made clear that he is encouraged by the progress that's being made in the Senate and wants to see it continue and to produce a result," Carney said. "But he is absolutely confident that the approach we have taken of having the Senate “Group of Eight” move forward with bi-partisan negotiations and hopefully legislation has been the right approach."

Carney was referring to the “Gang of Eight” senators from both parties who have spent months attempting to negotiate a deal on comprehensive immigration reform.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Sunday they expect to unveil legislation this week.

"It's got to be written up. We haven't signed off," Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." "There are a few details yet, but conceptually - we have an agreement between business and labor, between ourselves. It has to be drafted. It will be rolled out next week."

Graham and Schumer, as well as Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, spoke Sunday after CNN and others reported business and labor groups had resolved their differences over a guest worker program outline, a key part of the final bill, and after Rubio’s statement.

"I'm encouraged by reports of an agreement between business groups and unions on the issue of guest workers. However, reports that the bipartisan group of eight senators have agreed on a legislative proposal are premature," Rubio wrote.

“We have made substantial progress" but the “Gang of Eight” draft "will only be a starting point" that will be considered and modified by the Senate as a whole, he added.

At the White House on Monday, Carney downplayed the role of any one individual, calling it a "cooperative effort" and maintaining the administration is "very much engaged."

He said the process would not have moved forward in the same way without Obama's influence.

"I think that we have chosen a path that makes a lot of sense which is giving room for the Senate to make progress in a bipartisan way on this issue, but I don't think that anybody should be under any illusion that we would not be where we are today making the progress that we have made if it weren't for the fact that the president has made clear consistently and very publicly as well as privately in conversation with rank and file members and leaders in Congress that this is a top priority for the country," Carney said.

Rubio, Graham, Schumer, and Flake are joined in the “Gang of Eight” by Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado; Dick Durbin, D-Illinois; John McCain, R-Arizona; and Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey.


Filed under: Immigration • Marco Rubio • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "First, we have to secure the borders." Which actually means, "Let's not change anything. We like it the way it is."

    Most especially when you consider that they say "No" without presenting an alternative solution. Oops, almost forgot. Let's build a fence along the border. A week or so ago, some Republican in the House suggested that building a 2000 mile fence is not impossible to do, and compared it to The Great Wall of China, which took centuries to build.

    April 1, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Possibly Rubio is fighting for a provision in the bill to require everybody to first "get an anchor baby"...

    April 1, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. James Bond

    Trying to make himself important, he looks thirsty,ha. repubs prance these latinos out acting like the public is so stupid as to vote for his party, the latino citizens are not stupid,just another wolf in sheeps clothing, nothing new here folks

    April 1, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Hammerer

    What ever happened to the rule of law and America is a nation of laws?
    America has become a nation of mob rules!

    April 1, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Thoughtful Resistense

    I'm glad that I don't consider myself to be a republican. Too much rehashing of old outdated ideas to suit me. They just don't seem to be on the same page as the majority of voters, and they are in danger of being left behind. Many of them like to thump a bible, while preaching a set of values that's been proven time and again to be elusive to even them. Hypocrites by the score, with no intention of changing.

    April 1, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Andrew

    Rubio is really trying. He wants to be president of the united states for pete sake.

    April 1, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Rubio is all done in his next elections in Florida after all he only represents the rest of the Cuban anchor babies ,what snout the rest of us .teapatty gop out In mid terms !!!!!

    April 1, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Meh. Trojan Token and the other GOPers/teatrolls with ambitions or too ideologically rigid and self-serving are going to howl at the moon no matter what Obama says about immigration reform. The GOP/Teatrolls desperately desperately desperately want to disallow him any credit for immigration reform happening AND to find a way to claim that they are the ones that deserve all the credit, in hopes it magically fixes their demographich problems. Meanwhile, bigot GOPers/teatrolls run rampant and say things about minorities and gay people all day long every day...from the wetback comment last week from Young to the myriad anti-gay bigot comments being made by people like MI RNC committeeman Agema, who has been all over Facebook trying to "prove" that being gay is a "dangerous lifestyle", to the idiot chairwoman of the GA republican party, who just claimed that legalizing gay marriage will lead to straight peopel faking it and getting gay married just to get the benefits. Immigration reform = Obama's and the Dems' credit...and no amount of maneuvering by the GOP/Teatrolls will change that overall effect. When that truth of the matter finally really sets in for people like the Trojan Token, they will drop out the escape hatch and scuttle the legislation.

    April 1, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Just another kid. Knows nothing.

    April 1, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "America has become a nation of mob rules!"

    I'm gonna go ahead and assume you truly don't understand how dumb that sounds in the context of the majority voting for things that protect minority groups.

    April 1, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Len

    If the Repulicans refuse to pass immigration reform....they will become nonexistent in 2014 and 2016.

    April 1, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. 2012liberal

    Immature 2 say premature!

    April 1, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Donna

    I have absolutely no doubt that Obama and the Democrats will sabotage ANY effort at real immigration reform. A real solution would NOT benefit the Democrats politically. They will use this as long as they can to con hispanics into thinking they are trying to help them. Political pawns, just like the black vote, just like the gay vote. Obama didn't give a hoot about gays until they withheld their campaign contributions. Then Obama suddenly and miraculously "evolved" to see the money, I mean light.

    April 1, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Rob

    "Pleased an agreement has been reached among business and unions." Since when do unions and business make law in this country. Oh Yeah, forgot, once they bought Washington. The traitors have totally forgotten the are SUPPOSED to be working for the people, ie Citizens, not the illegal aliens, the business or the unions but then who are we? Just tax paying voters

    April 1, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. jonnyg

    Here's the Democrat deal (it hasn't changed since 2002) open borders remain and 12 million get amnesty with Democrat voting registration included in their welcome packets. What do the unemployed citizens get? Another empty promise of future border enforcement

    April 1, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Nobody with half a brain is concerned about the cuban anchor baby. Can that guy give a speech without the need for extra saliva?
    What's up with that?

    April 1, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. ghostriter

    I was gonna say that I cannot believe that we still have conservatives screaming that this is some sort of Obama generated scheme to corner the market on the hispanic vote.

    Excluding the rather racist belief that all hispanics will simply vote democrat just because, despite that Obama can just sit back and let republicans get their culos kicked yet again without having to lift a finger.....Republicans made it a point to jump on the bandwagon, suggest everything that they have been screaming against the past 5 years and publicly said they were doing this to get votes.

    I was gonna say that. But then I remembered that these are conservatives we are talking bout. Most of these guys have flown over the cuckoos nest years ago.

    April 1, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We Latinos are not concerned with what comes out of Rubio's mouth in regards to ANYTHING.
    The White House should not be concerned with what comes out of Rubio's mouth in regards to ANYTHING.
    Doesn't anybody else remember Rubio's mother saying "Leave them alone my son. Theya re people just like us".
    Helloooo?
    Rubio doesn't consider himself an immigrant, and neither, evidently, does his immigrant mother, regardless of what he writes in his bio.
    The Latino community does NOT consider Rubio one of their own.
    The GOP needs a new Latino puppet and as usual it is too cluelessly stupid to realize it.
    Good luck with bobble-head Rubio.

    April 1, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. john

    donna your 100% right. there have been a lot of dem's "evolving " it just depends which way the wind blow's that particular day.

    April 1, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Ed1

    Jay,

    You sound like the same person who didn't worry about the budget cuts you might want to listen this time.

    April 1, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Bob

    Why doesn't Rubio just shut his freshman-know-nothing yap and allow the adults to work?

    April 1, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "I have absolutely no doubt that Obama and the Democrats will sabotage ANY effort at real immigration reform. A real solution would NOT benefit the Democrats politically. "

    I have absolutely no doubt that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. I may disagree with GOPers/Teatrolls that lament that the only reason Obama and Dems want immigration is to snag 12M new voters likely to vote Dem, but there's not denying that even if it is all done for right and noble reasons, not just self-interest, a whole lot more Dem voters is the likely result. Besides, the GOP/Teatrolls are 100% in control over whether "keeping the issue alive" would work for the Dems: stop talking and behaving in such a bigotted, offensive, derogatory manner about immigrants and minorities and maybe, just maybe, they'll let the healing begin. Problem is, you guys just can't help yourselves. You GOPers/Teatrolls are trapped...darned if you do, darned if you don't....and there's no gnawing your legs off to escape this one. Enjoy.

    April 1, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |