Rubio favors House approach over immigration bill he helped author
October 28th, 2013
02:05 PM ET
10 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. Wake up People!

    I'm always reminded when I see the likes of Rubio, Paul and Cruz, of a 3rd grade girl in a new dress. Look at me! Look at me!! I'm so pretty!!

    They're saying, look at me, look at me! I can be President!! No I can! No I can!!

    October 28, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ---------------------
    It's the amnesia that you should be worried about. Most have forgotten what Republicans ran on in 2010. Immigration reform will be dead before the end of the year because Republicans know that it will be forgotten by most Americans by Nov. 2014.

    Most people think they ran against Obamacare. Actually, they ran on jobs, but pivoted to cutting spending in late Sept. 2010 when they rolled some sort of " no new spending" pledge that most of them had signed. Boehner introduced it.

    October 28, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    Rudy, joking aside:

    I do see your point about the media helping the GOPhers with the "amnesty" meme. It's a totally legitimate concern ... trumped, I think, by the rewards to the political party that makes a real effort on immigration. There are a lot of districts in border states, and they're not all gerrymandered.

    If the Dems make 2014 about immigration at least in part, one of us will be proven right. I hope it's put to the test!

    October 28, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    -------------------------------------------------
    You're flipping the script on me my friend.
    I said nothing about you being against immigration reform, so might I urge you to think again
    My point was and is that you've referenced several times immigration reform as part of the President's "personal agenda".
    I, and others on this thread have tried to point out to you that it is not his "personal agenda" it is the agenda of the people that voted for him to see him bring about immigration reform.
    In particular the huge percentage of Latinos that voted for him.
    "Personal agenda" versus "the voter's agenda" is where I'm coming from.
    Semantics....perhaps....
    Houston, we have a disconnect...albeit not one that will trash our relationship I'm sure.

    October 28, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Rubio is so confused. If he says anything that will help Americans, the baggers jump on him. When he votes to shut down the government and default, the whole world jumps on him.

    October 28, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Nobody hooked up with the teaparty IDIOTS is going to be realect to any goverment post after costing the taxpayer 24 billion dallars in two weeks that could have paid for a jobs bill. By the way Rubio , where's the jobs bill that you GOP morons ran on.your history in your next election along with all your GOP teaparty buddies. It's really funny and shows that your in the GOP party of stupid that you chase after the teaparty that only represents 20% or LESS of voters while the rest of us vote AGAINEST you Rubio!!!!

    October 28, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. anonymous

    Sorry but Obama and the Democrats already brought us the disaster known as Obamacare masquerading it as some sort of great reform and cost savings and it all turned out to be a pack of LIES and csoting us our healthcare in the case of millions of Americans. Million smore paying through the nose than we were before. All so the Democrats can give free healthcare to the people that vote for them.

    If they even TRY to suggest the same thing with immigration "reform" you know the American people and our jobs and economy are going to be asked to bend over and take it yet again.

    NO THANK YOU!!

    October 28, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. johnsnow82013

    I just don't know what happen with the Republican Party. I'm confuse; America was built on compromise so what wrong with compromising?? And I learn that in 6th grade

    October 28, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    It's the amnesia that you should be worried about. Most have forgotten what Republicans ran on in 2010. Immigration reform will be dead before the end of the year because Republicans know that it will be forgotten by most Americans by Nov. 2014.

    Most people think they ran against Obamacare. Actually, they ran on jobs, but pivoted to cutting spending in late Sept. 2010 when they rolled some sort of " no new spending" pledge that most of them had signed. Boehner introduced it
    -------------------------------------------------
    There is a HUGE difference between 2014 and 2010 Rudy.
    Back in 2010 the Republicans were still trying to keep up the pretense. The hoods were still on. The Tea Party had not assumed control of the House, their intentions towards the middle class, the country and the President had not fully manifested itself.
    Since 2010 the GOPeeing Teatards have gone wild.
    You keep better track of all of their outrageous shenanigans than I do, the latest being Turd Cruz and his 24 BILLION DOLLAR temper tantrum.
    The incidences of complete disrespect for this President from said brigade are too numerous to mention.
    There is absolutely NO DOUBT in anyone's mind that the GOP has willfully obstructed and or blocked any progress that could've been made all in a kamikazee attempt to demean, diminish, and derail the President at the expense of the country.
    No Rudy.
    This is not 2010. The blinders have fallen off many a voter's eyes. Many that were politically apathetic realize that in order for our country to strive, indeed to survive we're going to have to give THIS President a Congress he can work with.
    Many previoulsy apathetic voters cannot wait until 2014.
    That's how rogue and how far off the reservation the Republican led by the Teatards have gone.

    October 28, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. deee510

    These republicans play more games then xbox.theyre getting paid well to get nothing done but stress out americans and insult our intellegence over and over.2014 they must be replaced.

    October 28, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Ooops another Obama failure, time to change the subject

    Obama trillion dollar 'stimulus' package... supposed to bring unemployment down below 6%. Still at record high levels. Highest and longest since the great depression.

    Obamacare, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your health plan, you'll save $2500 a year. Truth, you will ose your doctor, healthcare plans for millions are being cancelled, we will all pay $7500 more per year. All in order for millions of Democrat voters to get free healthcare.

    OK, now let's "fix" immigration".... WHY isn't being shafted TWICE now by Obama and the Democrats enough?!!

    October 28, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. BoughtandPaid4

    Rubio is a joke. What kind of person would turn on his own people after he co-authored the bill. Bought and Paid for ladies and gentlemen. Sorry Mr. Rubio.....you'll never be President!

    October 28, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Rudy

    When do you think it will be a good idea if ever for party members to run on immigration reform and then actually produce immigration reform legislation?

    October 28, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Don't Blacktrack Marco. Immigration reform is your baby. You must be losing Tea Queda support. So where do you actually stand? You can't play both sides of the fence. Not on this issue. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    October 28, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. clownboyobama

    Obama is a illegal immigrant

    October 28, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Name

    Such a hippocriate "typical republican"

    October 28, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. clownboyobama

    Ive never seen so many people passionately hate someone as much as they hate this wacko hussein islamabama, hehehehahahalol poor sillyboy islamabama

    October 28, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. dave

    Now Rubio...the former golden boy and now out flanked by Cruz looks like a fool. LOL

    October 28, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Lynda/Minnesota

    @Rudy

    When do you think it will be a good idea if ever for party members to run on immigration reform and then actually produce immigration reform legislation?
    -----------------------
    Immediately after the next shutdown/debt debacle, that's when. The Tea Party wants some more rope, so give it to them. I don't think the President has "an agenda" at all, at least not in the way that the right wing thinks of it. Remember, people tend to judge others by how they would act in the other person's position, which is human nature, but totally wrong.

    I think there should be a never ending focus on jobs, the budget, and the economy. The budget is what is foremost in the minds of most Americans. Address it, now, instead of acting out the right wing's narrative of ignoring it. We have the sequester cuts to deal with. We have infrastructure that needs repair. We have a new five-year Farms Bill before the Congress right now.

    Immigration has a better chance of passing the closer we get to the 2014 elections. Right now, it will most likely be dead before the end of the year, and completely forgotten about come next November. The President needs to get out in front of the issues, instead of returning serves all of the time.

    October 28, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Thomas

    @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.
    =====

    Did you help write Michele Bachmann's End Of Times Speech ?

    Great job incentive , very motivating , ,Should I buy gold , will the world end on a weekend ?

    October 28, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Ooops another Obama failure, time to change the subject

    Obama trillion dollar 'stimulus' package... supposed to bring unemployment down below 6%. Still at record high levels. Highest and longest since the great depression.
    -------------------------
    Oops, the number cited in early December 2008 was 8%.

    That was before the economy lost 1.25 million jobs over the next six weeks. Before the Obama administration got a look at the real jobs numbers. Before the auto industry was told by the Bush administration, "you're on your own", and they began closing dealerships left and right, up and down.

    "Nice try, but we gotcha."

    October 28, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    Actually, I don't mind all these repubs sucking up to the tea bags (the visual pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?), because then whoever ends up being the repub presidential nominee in 2016 will be that much easier to beat (and not just because they'll be suffering from the whiplash they'll befall from trying to "tack to the middle" in an effort to win over the general electorate).

    October 28, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @Wake up People!: "I'm always reminded when I see the likes of Rubio, Paul and Cruz, of a 3rd grade girl in a new dress. Look at me! Look at me!! I'm so pretty!!"

    Or a 3rd grade boy with a new, flat-brimmed baseball cap (worn backwards): "I'm so cool! I'm so cool!"

    October 28, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. ghostwriter

    Oops, there's a reason republicans stopped talking about the stimulus. Mostly because stories of republicans taking stimulus money came out. Remember Paul Ryan studdering when Biden brought up Ryan's request for stimulus money? Probably not. But they do. Oh, and having the unemployment rate drop over 2% points isn't all bad. Especially when you consider Obama couldn't pass much since 2010 with a filibustering group of senate republicans and a republican controlled House that wouldn't allow anything that did make it thru the senate to even come up for a vote.

    October 28, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Jules

    Remember the GOP song for the 2010 and 2012 elections? It was called "Jobs Jobs Jobs". Ever hear anything about it since then? Nope – they don't stand for jobs, they stand for taking care of the wealthy – that is the only thing they have tried to do. They are hopeless on anything else, well except bringing Obamacare up for a vote 40+ times. If I'm running the Dems campaign in 2014, I'm playing all those jobs jobs jobs spots in my campaign ads – and how many jobs bills did they bring for a vote? 0

    October 28, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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