Rubio favors House approach over immigration bill he helped author
October 28th, 2013
02:05 PM ET
9 months ago

Rubio favors House approach over immigration bill he helped author

Washington (CNN) -  He was a leading member of a bipartisan "Gang of Eight" Senators who pushed a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the chamber earlier this year.

But with that measure facing little hope of passage in the Republican-controlled House, Sen. Marco Rubio feels Congress should play small ball when it comes to approving any bills on immigration reform.

Alex Conant, spokesman for the first-term Republican from Florida, said Monday  those who favor the comprehensive immigration overhaul passed by the Senate in June need to be "realistic in our expectations" of what the House might embrace.

"An all-or-nothing strategy on immigration reform would result in nothing. What is keeping us from progress on a series of immigration issues on which there is strong consensus is the fear that a conference committee on a limited bill will be used to negotiate a comprehensive one. We should take that option off the table so that we can begin to move on the things we agree on," Conant added in a statement to reporters.

He made similar comments to Breitbart.com over the weekend after Rubio on outlined an such an approach, which is favored by House Republican leaders.

"I still want to solve immigration. I think it's an important issue for the country to deal with. But I don't think that we should not do anything because we can't do everything. That was my original position and continues to be my preferred option because I just think we're going to get a better result that way," Rubio said Friday in an interview on CNN's "New Day."

"I think when you try to do anything big in Washington, it ends up running into headwinds. Now that's the direction the Senate went. I wanted to influence that process so I got involved in it. But I continue to believe that a series of sequential individual bills is the best way, the ideal way, to reform our immigration system," added Rubio in an interview with CNN anchor Kate Bolduan.

At the beginning of the year, Rubio advocated that Congress pass four or five separate bills on immigration reform. But he later became the most high profile member of the "Gang of Eight," which authored a bill that included an eventual pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants.

Although Rubio, who's Cuban-American, made numerous appearances on conservative talk radio in support of the measure, many on the right still oppose the Senate legislation. And Rubio, who is considered a potential candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, may have hurt his standing with conservative voters.

Once considered a rock star among many tea party activists and other grassroots conservatives, Rubio saw his poll numbers drop in a couple of hypothetical GOP nomination polls of Republican voters.

Rubio dramatically cut back the time he spent speaking about the issue of immigration reform following Senate passage. Instead, he highlighted his opposition to the health care law, in what appeared to be an attempt to repair his standing on the right.

He made no references to the immigration bill at the social conservative Value Voters summit earlier this month.


Filed under: Immigration • Marco Rubio
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Perhaps Rubio is realizing, finally, he was led down the primrose path, by the Dems, on immigration.

    He absolutely is not ready for a higher level job.

    October 28, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Keep Fear ALive

    so he helps create a bill .... and leaves it instead, giving DEFERENCE to the Almighty Tea Party ... just like the republicans INSISTED on a Individual Mandate in the ACA .. then voted against it... just like the insisted on PAYGO ... the ubiquitous ' Pay as You Go; regarding spending programs.. and once the 'Black' president said , great Idea!, lets adopt it, then the repuiblicans were against it ... Obama, being Incredibly Clever, knows that he can bring up republicna idea after republican idea.. but the HATE that courses through the Veins of the mailicious phony Christians requires them to abandon all of their own ideas themoment the bLack President agrees with them ... I was told as a kid that conservatives tend to be 'Window Dressing Phonies' and now I know EXACLTY what they were talking about ...

    October 28, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Republicans might act stupid at times, but they do have some sense. They'd rather talk about immigration than jobs and the damage that the Tea Party's government shutdown did to the economy. Democrats should focus on job creation and the economy, in order to keep the $24 billion hit the economy took fresh in people's minds.

    I think that it is a mistake for Pres. Obama to pivot towards immigration at this time. It plays straight into the negative narrative that the right wing paints on him, which is that he is more concerned about his personal agenda than the American people. Jobs now. Immigration can come later, closer to the 2014 election.

    October 28, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    A True Conservative

    Rudy – some day Americans will wake up and realize what is going on. It's starting to happen as the lies of Obamacare come out. Lok at the LA Times – young person was all for Obamacare – until she found out that SEHE had to help foot the bill. Simply proves that the Dems are very good at buying votes.

    That's the problem as Thatcher said, sooner or later you run out of other peoples money.
    -------------–
    Buying votes? George W. Bush gave out tax cuts to the middle class and lower income folks during the summers before both the 2004 and the 2008 elections. You should have told Bush that he ran out of other people's money before he committed us to thie current spending spree that we're on.

    And, what is the right wing solution for what to do when you run out of other people's money? You give them their money back and spend even more. That's the history of the Republican Party when it is in power. Cut and spend.

    October 28, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. gladiatorgrl

    they can't get ANYONE to vote for them except their whack base – it's PATHETIC!!

    October 28, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    Immigration is not just Obama's "personal agenda", Rudy.

    (ducks)

    October 28, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    Rubio realizes he's no longer the "head token" of the T-Publican party anymore so he's all over the place on any issue. Not very bright is he?

    I think Rudy NYC is 1000% correct about jobs v. immigration. The president might want to rethink this one.

    October 28, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Blame me

    These Republicans are confuse bunch. Rubio is one of them.

    October 28, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. ST

    I do not think Rubio knows what he is doing, or what he wants. When he said: " I still want to solve immigration issue, I think it is an important issue for the country to deal with." Then do it little Rubio. If you can't, then you better shut up completely.

    October 28, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. TONE

    Rudy i agree with you one hundred percent jobs first i think he made that mistake pushing for the ACA first instead of jobs in 2010.

    October 28, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Let them hang Mr President. Give them some more rope. Their master, Grover Norquist supports immigration reform.

    October 28, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    TONE

    Rudy i agree with you one hundred percent jobs first i think he made that mistake pushing for the ACA first instead of jobs in 2010.
    ---------------–
    I see that you've been hoodwinked by the misleading information and false history promoted by the right wing. Democrats addressed jobs in early 2009 before they pivoted to healh care reform in June 2009. It was nicknamed "The Stimulus."

    October 28, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. ST

    @Rudy NYC and TONE
    Can you please clarify to us how Pres. Obama can create jobs? Is it going to the Rose Garden and say: " I want 500,000 jobs or more be created this month", or how will he do it? Please enlighten us.

    October 28, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. just asking

    Rudy NYC
    TONE
    Rudy i agree with you one hundred percent jobs first i think he made that mistake pushing for the ACA first instead of jobs in 2010.
    -----–
    I see that you've been hoodwinked by the misleading information and false history promoted by the right wing. Democrats addressed jobs in early 2009 before they pivoted to healh care reform in June 2009. It was nicknamed "The Stimulus."
    ---–

    and wait we still have record unemployment 5 years later. fewest americans working in over 30 years.

    obamacare = failure.
    stimulus = failure.
    democrats = failure.

    October 28, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC wrote
    I think that it is a mistake for Pres. Obama to pivot towards immigration at this time. It plays straight into the negative narrative that the right wing paints on him, which is that he is more concerned about his personal agenda than the American people. Jobs now. Immigration can come later, closer to the 2014 election.
    -------------------------------------------------
    This is very interesting Rudy...
    Many of us, myself included, tried to explain to you that the President ran on immigration in 2012, therefore it is just plain wrong for you to keep calling it "his personal agenda".
    I could understand if you were referring to his green initiative, because let's face it, that wouldn't have drawn in millions of people voting for him necessarily.
    I am quite frankly baffled at your unwillingness to admit that immigration is NOT a personal agenda but part of his re-election platfrom from which he garnered over 80% of the Latino vote.
    So that makes immigration OUR agenda Rudy...with all due respect.

    October 28, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Data Driven

    Immigration is not just Obama's "personal agenda", Rudy.

    (ducks)
    ------------
    (quacks)

    Amnesty is a "personal agenda item" in the false narrative of the extreme right wing's alternate reality.

    October 28, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Vence

    Get ready to lose your seat next election Mr Rubio.

    October 28, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. TONE

    @Rudy
    No i was not hoodwinked by right wingers because they were the ones in congress who blocked the infrastructure bill which is the same as the job's bill, and i remembered the dems addressed jobs in 2009 but that was not good enough to spur robust job growth.

    October 28, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. rs

    Republicans simply aren't going to do anything. They seem to think that builds a better resume to run on than actually accomplishing anything. Well, that and trying to overthrow the government.

    October 28, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    DM4O wrote:

    This is very interesting Rudy... Many of us, myself included, tried to explain to you that the President ran on immigration in 2012, therefore it is just plain wrong for you to keep calling it "his personal agenda". .... ... I am quite frankly baffled at your unwillingness to admit that immigration is NOT a personal agenda but part of his re-election platfrom from which he garnered over 80% of the Latino vote.
    So that makes immigration OUR agenda Rudy...with all due respect.
    -----------------------
    The right wing paints immigration reform as Amnesty, a personal agenda item, not me. If you think I'm against immigration reform, then think again. I don't think it should be the top priority item right now. There is another shutdown showdown coming up after the first of the year.

    The most correct pivot would be to jobs, budget, and the economy. The average voter doesn't make the connection between immigration and jobs. Too many people see it in the dark light cast by the right wing, amnesty.

    October 28, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Insofar as the Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! theme song let the Republicans continue to own that.
    They ran on that lie in 2010 and haven't delivered squat on it.
    The President ran on immigration in 2012, he should at least attempt to deliver on it.
    We all know that if he is for it the Republicans will be against it.
    They can own that too.
    2014 is right around the corner, and while there is the concern that the American electorate suffers from amnesia I assure you as a Latina that we Latinos do not.
    We will remember who tried to help us and what Party, per usual, tried to screw us or ignore us.
    We vote, and we'll remember for a loooong time.

    October 28, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Marco Rubio's speech at the Repo Convention last year , he must have changed his writer since then. .

    Paul , Cruz and Rubio ,

    They are all freshman senators , and all Duds !

    Good luck GOP in 2016 , I's suggest going with a Governor !

    October 28, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    TONE

    @Rudy
    No i was not hoodwinked by right wingers because they were the ones in congress who blocked the infrastructure bill which is the same as the job's bill, and i remembered the dems addressed jobs in 2009 but that was not good enough to spur robust job growth
    ---------------------
    Not enough to spur robust jobs growth? We went from -750,000 jobs per month to +100,000 jobs per month. That's not good enough for you? The economy made a soft landing, instead of a potentially fatal crash landing.

    October 28, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Stuffit

    If the liberal democrats and our very corrupt and lying president named a piece of legislation the affordable care act which turns out not to be affordable or provide care, how do you think they are hong to us about an immigration reform bill. The president and his evil liberal cohorts care only about stealing elections and money from hard working tax payers.

    October 28, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen Rubio is showing a lack of courage and resolve by doing a "Romney style" flip flop. Will he flip flop back the other way if enough House Republicans support the Senate plan?

    October 28, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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