This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 5th, 2013:
When the Public Policy Polling results for 2016 were announced on July 25th, suffering the biggest drop was Marco Rubio, falling from a commanding lead of 21 and 22 in January and March all the way to a dismal 10, behind wafflers and RINOs such as Chris Christie and Paul Ryan who now lead the pack of “contenders” for the Republican nomination for president.
Rubio’s problem appears to be the change in his stance on immigration. Said D. A. King, head of the Dustin Inman Society:
In his race for the Senate, Rubio said he would never support any amnesty.
There’s the betrayal factor [showing up in the polls]. It’s a mystery to us why he’s still considered a conservative.
Part of the problem is that Rubio is part of the “Gang of Eight” which has crafted the immigration bill which grants a green card (permanent legal status in the country) to anyone already in the country after a waiting period, and after they’ve paid their taxes and some fines for being here illegally. It also provides, later (some say much later, if ever), stiffened border protections against future waves of illegals pouring into the country.
So where does Rubio stand? He was asked that question, point-blank, by TV host Maria Elena Salinas back in June:
Salinas: You said this week that you would be inclined to vote against the legislation that you yourself helped to write unless there were some amendments that would strengthen even more the security of the border. Would you be willing to throw everything overboard?
Rubio: No … I simply think that if we achieve a reasonable means … to secure the border and prevent any kind of other wave of illegal immigration in the future, we will have more than enough votes [to pass the bill]….
The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border….
What we’re talking about here is the system of permanent residence.
As for the legalization, the enormous majority of my colleagues have accepted that it has to happen and that
Put another way, Rubio supports unconditional legalization, a gift to the Democrats who have been pushing for this for years. It doesn’t matter what he said when he was running for office.
There are those who are saying that such unconditional surrender is inevitable and that Rubio, recognizing reality, is playing his cards in such a way as to appear to be “electable” in 2016 to people beyond unhappy tea partiers. He can claim that, as part of the Gang of Eight, he can be reasonable, bipartisan, and therefore electable. He’d also like to siphon off some of the votes from those illegals who are otherwise likely to vote Democratic. He’s hoping that the tea party will forgive and forget. After all, 2016 is a long way away and this immigration bill will long have been history by then.