June 20th, 2013
01:25 PM ET
1 year ago

Rubio: ‘I understand why people are frustrated’

(CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, defended immigration reform efforts Thursday, even though some in his party are upset that he and other Republican senators are attempting to find a legal pathway for undocumented immigrants.

"I understand why people are frustrated. I do," he told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.

"I can tell you politically this is as much a negative as it is a positive. People are really upset. I respect it, and I understand it. By the other token, though, this is hurting America."

Rubio, who joined three Republicans and four Democrats in drafting the Senate immigration bill, said there are people that are "mad at us" for getting involved in the issue.

"Certainly there are people that are upset," he said. "Primarily, they're just distrustful the government will do its part."

In order to quell those concerns, Rubio said the government must ensure that it will carry out proposals in the bill that boost border security. Those provisions include doubling the number of agents, completing a 700 mile fence, and spending $3.2 million on technology upgrades.

The first-term senator, who's widely considered a potential 2016 contender for the Republican presidential nomination, argued he's not concerned about the political risk of tying his name so closely to the controversial bill.

"I have not analyzed it that way. If I wanted to do something political, the easiest thing to do politically is just not deal with the issue. You know, give a couple speeches, and not play and get involved and try to solve it," he said. "I'm dealing with this because this is hurting our country badly."


Filed under: Immigration • Marco Rubio • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Rogelio

    #ineligible4POTUS @marcorubio understands his worthlessness, but enjoys the attention.

    June 20, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. anonoymous

    Rubio is finally realizing he's a token. He will never be president the gop only want him for his minority voters. Kids of illegal immigrants like Rubio shouldnt have a probelm with immigration reform. Why is this so hard?

    June 20, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. NameFrank Deery

    We also need to Stop coddling Mexico's elitist political classes, who, even with their thriving economy, ignore their own poor, who are mainly the ones flocking to the US. No hope for them there! I cannot blame them, but we are also, in Calif, Are getting their criminal
    element, which liberal Mayors coddle by declaring their cities "sanctuary zones". Crime and prison rate rising, especially in Northern
    Ca!

    Obama, "Mr. Change" has done the same dodging of Mexico's corrupt leadership as other Presidents-for trade. Meanwhile, while
    he preens in Berlin, of all places, calling for more disarmament, as Iran inches closer to going nuclear, this border issue and it's impact on our way of life, festers without a strong President, which Obama IS NOT.

    Republicans are not perfect, but we are trying to save US all from becoming a second rate nation. Like Nero, Obama fiddles
    and flip-flops(and fundraises) while our
    communities whether rising crime, mainly from his base, not Republicans or responsible Democrats!

    Carter2/ Watergate 2

    June 20, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    Despite intense political differences, I feel for Rubio. Republican leaders sent this kid, this former "tea party" darling, out there to convince the Base that immigration reform was needed, if only to ensure the future viability of the Party itself. Rubio has discovered just how intense the latent racism within the Base actually is. When his name is brought up at the Base's hysterical rallies, he's booed. These people have very little interest in the GOP's future; they just don't like Latinos very much (including Rubio), and that's that.

    And where are those Republican leaders who threw him to the wolves? The Roves, the McConnells, the Grahams? Couldn't tell you, but they sure aren't standing beside him at press conferences.

    No President Rubio in our future ...

    June 20, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I can care less about immigration reform. I'm more concerned about JOBS as are most Americans and the unwillingness of republicans in Congress to do something about that rather than continue their onslaught on women and their wombs. WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

    June 20, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    This gop teabag loser will be kicked to the curb in the 2014 mid terms . We don't need an anchors baby that only looks at for the cubans in Florida, what about the rest of us voters,Rubio sucks along with the rest of the gop garbage party in Florida . Time for a change !!!!!! Scott the bum will be leaving too .

    June 20, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Denise

    The GOP car keeps driving up, but more clowns keep getting out!

    June 20, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    In order to quell those concerns, Rubio said the government must ensure that it will carry out proposals in the bill that boost border security, including doubling the number of agents, completing a 700 mile fence, and spending $3.2 million on technology upgrades.
    ------------------–
    Even all of that is not enough to quell those concerns. The sad part is that they can only tell you in the most abstract terms what needs to be done. "Secure our borders."

    June 20, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    so I'd love to hear where the GOP wants to get the $ for more agents, a fence, etc. Wait.....I know!! Defund planned parenthood! Close the NEA! Dept of Education..gone! Environmental Protection Agency....gone! Taxes raised/loopholes closed?? No way!! Haven't we heard this drivel countless times before?

    June 20, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. teaparty days are numbered

    so frank deery its only low income democrats that are the criminal base?

    June 20, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. wild man

    i wonder why people are upset? maybe because there are public servants wanting to let people who have no respect for our country's law become legal citizens. when i break the law i in to jail why are illegal immigrants any different why do non citizens have more rights than me, it's a load of horse poo that there are elected officials being paid with our tax dollars who want to ignore people breaking the law infact not just ignore them but reward them with citizenship. what kind of message does that send to the rest of the world

    June 20, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Al-NY,NY

    so I'd love to hear where the GOP wants to get the $ for more agents, a fence, etc. Wait.....I know!! Defund planned parenthood! Close the NEA! Dept of Education..gone! Environmental Protection Agency....gone! Taxes raised/loopholes closed?? No way!! Haven't we heard this drivel countless times before?
    -----------------------–
    They plan to cut tens of billions from SNAP and other programs that help the poor, the elderly, and the sick.

    June 20, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Wyatt

    I've been insulted before, but not like right now. My intelligence tells me that this cretin, as well as all the other elected do-nothings, are not doing the bidding of the people that elected them to begin with. Then they've got the colossal ego, to stand up in front of a camera, and mic to state that they understand the frustration of the people. Well here's a person that just doesn't buy it anymore. As long as they fill their pockets, they could care less about us. Believe it.

    June 20, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. NameTodd A

    I trust rubio about as much as I trust islamabama Mohammed Barack, get rid of rubio he's a traitor just like idiot cristie

    June 20, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |