June 21st, 2012
04:39 PM ET
10 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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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. Gurgyl

    This puerto rican dude is an idiot...

    June 21, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Ryan

    He should have just said "President Obama actually taking action and doing something is making it harder for us to just sit around and talk about doing something."

    June 21, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. 2012liberal

    Just another excuse 2 not get anything done!

    June 21, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. MaryM

    Mitt the flip flopper did ANOTHER flip Flop, this time on immigration. surprise, surprise

    June 21, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. justaminit

    Just because his last name is Hispanic means nothing. As a matter of fact, it makes him (and Romney) panderers. All Latinos have to do is look at their income and they know who cares and who does not. I'm sure Romney knows mega farmers who use illegal workers. Hypocrites.

    June 21, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Kenny K

    Rubio has spent almost two years in senate without concern for humanitarian issue of immigration.

    June 21, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina passed tough immigrations law against Latinos
    Senate republicans blocked Dream act in 2010
    Obama didn’t have choice

    June 21, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Phil Thomas

    You have to love this guy sit on a bill for a few years and then cry you were working on one, no names and specifics just that you had something in the pipeline. The caveat after sitting on your duff you where close. Then critique some that does something and quit on your plan, I guess the dog eat your bill buddy. If people fall for this than we have no hope, in any other school or job he would be a quitter and failure in government he is propped to be VP. Mr Rubio excuses are the tools of the incompetent Sir

    June 21, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Thomas

    He's Cuban . His ethnic background is not important. He is however an idiot pawn !

    Romney / Rice

    We will find those WMDs this time around 2012.

    June 21, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. Andreaq

    Latinos are not buying anything Romney is promising. We heard loud and clear what he said during the primaries and will not be forgotten.

    June 21, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. CanadaONE

    If I were you I would kick out the GOP and welcome immigrants
    The GOP is so anti America – I would deport them to Iran and welcome people that want to live in America

    love Canada PS GOP not wanted in Canada – we will catch you at the boarder

    June 21, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. Doc_Hollywood

    Rubio is upset because he didn't get a chance to play politics first. Doesn't he realize that if just 5 republicans had voted to end cloture in the Senate the dream act would have passed? So who started playing politics with immigration first? I'm beginning to think that republicans and amnesia have the same meaning. When congress votes for the bogus "contempt" for AG Holder next week, they should vote a "contempt of congress" on congress itself. Why do we continually elect children?

    June 21, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Are you kidding me?

    Then make a stand and outline a plan for all to read. Preferably not written by the tea party or anyone from Arizona.

    June 21, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Stu Nahan

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250000Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the sh samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    June 21, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. kelyledwater

    Romney is a joke like most politicians AND so is Rubio. Guess what the REAL natives of this land don't want him or anyone else that is not a native person here! Immigrants took my ancestors land, killed and threw them and still are like trash. Mexicans are more native to "america" than any race in the US. I'm so tired of you people arguing over something that was NEVER yours to begin with!

    June 21, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Dick Hertz

    Pass E-Verify today for a brighter America tomorrow. Throw their employers in jail. No exceptions.

    June 21, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |

    President Obama exposed two unhinged GOBP empty suits,Mitt McCain and Rubio. They are like deer caught in the headlights now.

    June 22, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  18. cigarman

    We would rather Rubio do things OUTSIDE of Politics. Rubio was not born in the United States. He is our Senator in Florida. He has been asked many times to produce and publish his Birth Certificate, he has refused. He knows that he cannot run for President or Vice President. Rubio is one of the biggest Liars and crooks in our Political System. We know a few things about him. Rubio walked away from a Mortgage when the housing boom busted, not very American. Rubio charged more than one- hundred thousand dollars on his Republican credit card, a lot of it was for personal uses. Rubio Lied about his parents fleeing Cuba for fear of there lives. The truth is, they went back and forth and ubfortunately,decided to stay in America after Rubio was born in Cuba. Rubio is a proven Liar and thief, just what America needs.

    June 22, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
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