Rubio Says ‘I Do’ About Having Enough Experience to Become President, but Still Must Make The Case

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is at least six months away from saying whether he’ll run for president in 2016, but last week the Senate freshman made clear that he thinks he’s ready.

The 42-year-old Rubio on Friday visited the key, early-voting state of New Hampshire for the first time since the 2012 presidential elections.

“I do” think I have the political experience to become president, Rubio told ABC’s “This Week,” while in New Hampshire, in an interview aired Sunday.

Rubio, a dynamic Tea Party candidate swept into the Senate during the 2010 midterm elections, has quickly emerged as a leading GOP voice in Congress and was even considered a viable, potential presidential candidate in 2012.

He is among several potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates at the top of early polls with New Jersey Gov. Christ Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and fellow freshman Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky.

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Rubio Now Opposes Going to Conference with Senate Immigration Bill

Photo Credit: Reuters A spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight,” told Breitbart News exclusively on Saturday that the House should not pass individual piecemeal immigration bills in a “ruse” to get to a conference committee that would result in a comprehensive immigration bill.

“At this point, the most realistic way to make progress on immigration would be through a series of individual bills,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said in an email. “Any effort to use a limited bill as a ruse to trigger a conference that would then produce a comprehensive bill would be counterproductive. Furthermore, any such effort would fail, because any single senator can and will block conference unless such conference is specifically instructed to limit the conference to only the issue dealt with in the underlying bill.”

In taking such a stance, Rubio has now publicly opposed the procedural mechanism through which House GOP leadership and Senate Democratic leadership had planned to try to slip a backdoor amnesty through Congress and save the Senate bill.

Technically speaking, the House could pass any bill or group of bills related to immigration to move to conference. Several immigration bills are ready to be taken up on the House floor, having already made it through their respective committees. If such an immigration bill, or group of bills, passes the House, the Republican leadership could take the bill or group of bills to the Senate and open a conference committee. A conference committee is a formal negotiating body where the House and the Senate will each send key negotiators, or conferees, to argue with each other about both the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill and whatever bill or bills the House brings to the table.

As Breitbart News first reported in July, conservatives have expressed worry about such a committee. Endorsing the House’s piecemeal approach is not enough to stop the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill as congressional leaders in both parties and both chambers of Congress could slip the comprehensive Senate bill past everyone through procedural trickery.

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The Great Eclipse: Rubio or Cruz?

Photo Credit: National Review Senator Marco Rubio began this year amid buzz that he was the logical choice to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. He is likely to finish it on a decidedly lower note, partly removed from the national spotlight, eclipsed by the rising star from Texas, Ted Cruz.

Last week, attendees at the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., overwhelmingly chose Cruz as their preferred GOP candidate for 2016. The freshman senator blew away the competition with 42 percent of the vote. Rubio, meanwhile, placed fifth, behind Senator Rand Paul, political novice Dr. Ben Carson, and unsuccessful 2012 candidate Rick Santorum. Granted, fewer than 1,000 people took part in the survey, but the results reinforce what has become obvious to political observers: Ted Cruz is the undisputed darling of the Right, and Rubio’s stock has fallen considerably.

Rubio had been making all the moves one might expect of a leading 2016 candidate. He delivered a major speech in Iowa just days after the 2012 election, accepted the Jack Kemp Foundation’s Leadership Award in December, and gave the Republican response to the State of the Union address in February.

“Everyone wants to see him succeed,” a senior GOP aide told National Review Online in January, which was right around the time that Rubio joined the so-called Gang of Eight, which led the effort in the Senate to pass a comprehensive immigration-reform bill.

Rubio’s credibility with the conservative base proved critical to the legislation’s eventual passage. His status as a rising star within the GOP — and conventional wisdom about the GOP’s demoralizing defeat in the 2012 presidential race — earned the Gang of Eight a fair hearing from right-wing heavyweights such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity. Rubio’s “ideological pause,” in the words of one aide, helped the bill gather steam by blunting the early opposition from the right.

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After Being Deceived by Rubio on Amnesty, Conservatives Say it Won’t Happen Again

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Many conservatives gave Sen. Marco Rubio the benefit of the doubt when he said securing the border first was a top priority for the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform effort. Later, when those conservatives realized that Rubio’s plan would first legalize the country’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, and only then put new border security measures in place, they expressed deep disappointment and disillusionment.

Now the Gang bill has passed the Senate and immigration is the work of the House, where former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is a leading reform advocate. Ryan favors the same legalization-first sequence for immigration reform that Rubio and the Gang did. The difference is that now, more conservatives are aware of the basics of reform proposals. And that means Ryan might be in for a rougher ride with the conservative base than Rubio experienced.

That, at least, is one conclusion to take from Ryan’s appearance last Wednesday on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. Hannity interviewed Rubio several times during the Gang of Eight deliberations. In later interviews, Hannity became more skeptical and questioning, and in the last such interview expressed surprise that Rubio had declared legalization would come before border security. With Ryan in the interview chair, the first thing Hannity wanted to know was when securing the border would come in the sequence of immigration reform.

“I’m sure you are aware, a lot of conservatives including myself are angry,” Hannity told Ryan. “No border security first. How do you feel about it?”

Ryan stressed that the House would not take up the Senate Gang of Eight bill. “We want to have real triggers on the border, real triggers on what we call the E-Verify,” Ryan said. But Hannity wanted to know if that meant border security would come first: “Is securing the border first a top priority for you?” he asked.

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Rubio Hires Democrat Immigration Lawyer Who Imports Workers For Companies

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s top lawyer in the closed-door effort to draft a new immigration bill is a Democratic donor who earns his living by bringing foreign workers into the country on behalf of corporations and universities.

The lawyer, Enrique Gonzalez, is a partner at the nation’s largest immigration firm, whose future depends on the outcome of Gonzalez’s closed-door work.

Rubio hired Gonzalez in January, when he was a partner at the Coral Gables, Fla., office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy.

Gonzales’ LinkedIn profile describes his “skills & expertise” as “immigration law, H-1B, naturalization, citizenship appeals … [and] international law visas.”

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Rubio Sellout to Establishment

A friend of mine, Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak, tweeted on Tuesday night that if immigration reform goes through Congress this year “it will almost solely be due to” Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

To which I replied: “you break it, you buy it.”

There are two different conservative narratives about Rubio’s dalliance with John McAmnesty and the other bi-partisan group of senators on board with his plan. The first is the glowing words coming from Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and now Rush Limbaugh. Just one day after Limbaugh made national news by trashing Rubio’s plan, he praised the senator effusively when Rubio appeared on his show to defend himself. That’s a big win for Rubio. Going on offense to defend himself is a much better approach to this scalding hot issue than Monday’s photo op with McAmnesty, Charles “we don’t need no stinking Constitution” Schumer, and Bob “where the underage hookers are” Menendez that I was critical of in my latest Business Insider column.

But while winning the support of three of the biggest name conservatives when it comes to the air war is important, perhaps even more crucial is winning the support of organizations that actually put conservative boots on the ground. And Rubio still has a ways to go where that’s concerned.

For example, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, one of the largest grassroots conservative organizations in the country, said that Rubio has essentially “kneecapped himself for 2016” (referencing the senator’s presumed presidential ambitions). In a column titled “Rubio Amnesty Plan Way Worse than I Thought,” AFA’s policy director referred to Rubio’s plan “as the same old bait and switch” conservatives have fallen for in the past.

Fischer adds “the solution Rubio is offering is the same one that created the mess we’re trying to clean up right now. It’s impossible not to think of the reigning definition of insanity as you listen to Republicans gamely expect magical results to come from ‘solutions’ that have never worked in the past and will never work in the future.”

Fischer points out that it’s impossible to deal with the issue of illegal immigration until you first realize that “illegals are not here for the citizenship, they are here for the benefits. The illegals who come here from Mexico come from a socialist state, where they are accustomed to thinking that it’s the government’s job to hand out goodies, and since America is richer than Mexico, they can get more goodies here, so here they come. They could care less about citizenship.”

Erick Erickson of Red State, who just signed on to become a Fox News contributor, says “I don’t like Marco Rubio’s plan.” What’s particular interesting about that is Erickson admits immigration is one issue where he leans to the left of most of his readers, and even he says “I think this plan is warmed over McCain-Kennedy and will do nothing to solve the problem.”

Specifically, Erickson says the Rubio plan “is clearly written by a group of men who seemingly love government, but do not love free markets, small businesses, or individuals. It is a plan based on faith in government, not free enterprise or the American people. It does nothing to actually solve our immigration problems, but hides behind the construct of ‘comprehensive’ reform. Along the way, it potentially adds more people to already overwhelmed entitlement programs, but then that too is another kicked can.”

It appears to me the GOP is split into three, evenly divided camps on the issue. To be the GOP presidential nominee in 2016, Rubio needs to win two out of three.

The first camp is comprised of party establishment people and libertarians like Judge Andrew Napolitano. Those two camps want Rubio’s plan to happen for different reasons. Pandering is in the bloodstream of the feckless Republican Party establishment. On the other hand, Napolitano and other libertarians are philosophically for open borders. Remember when Ron Paul said during the last presidential campaign he was against a border fence because he’s more concerned about a government trying to keep people from getting out more than letting people in? Although Rubio has won over these people this is not an issue that drives them to the polls in a primary.

This next third does get out and vote on this issue, and this third is against anything that even sniffs of amnesty. As Congressman Steve King said on Twitter Monday morning, they don’t want to “pardon lawbreakers.” They not only think mass deportation is feasible, they think it’s a must. If getting something passed that a leftist President of the United States was willing to sign into law is Rubio’s goal, then he was never going to win over these people no matter how he approached the issue from there.

The jury is still out on the third and final group, and this is the group Rubio cannot afford to lose if he has any hopes of being the 2016 nominee. These people are mostly principled conservatives who believe in the rule of law, as well as national security/sovereignty. At the same time, they either don’t think mass deportations are feasible and/or moral given how entrenched some of the families in question are. They’re also concerned about the GOP’s much-discussed Hispanic problem, but they also vehemently opposed McCain-Kennedy in 2007. Therefore, the main reason these people would be willing to go along with Rubio’s risky gambit here is their belief in Rubio himself.

This is why I’ve been following how he’s approaching the issue so closely, because for this third and decisive group the issue isn’t the issue at this point. The issue is Rubio, and the question is do you really believe he’s the transformative leader you’ve been told that he is, or are we falling yet again for another amnesty banana in the tailpipe?

Put it all together and it’s clear this will either make Rubio a future President of the United States, or yet another tombstone in the graveyard of lost conservatives hoodwinked by the beltway culture.

You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.

Marco Rubio flays ‘incompetent’ Obama

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., believes Barack Obama is an incompetent president leading America into a “significantly worse” situation in every measurable regard.

Making an appearance this afternoon on Rush Limbaugh’s top-rated radio program, Rubio flayed Obama’s quest for another term after a dismal performance thus far.

“He wants a four-year extension to his contract to be president of the United States. So we have to measure him,” Rubio explained.

“And how do we measure him? Unemployment is significantly higher than when he took over. What about the value of people’s homes? The value of people’s homes are down. How about the national debt? The national debt is up, significantly higher with no solution in sight and none offered by him. By every measure that you can measure a president by, things have gotten worse, and significantly worse.”

Rubio indicated Obama and members of his administration have a flawed ideology “that takes us away from the things that have made America exceptional.”

Read More at WND by Joe Kovacs, WorldNetDaily