Rubio’s Risk

Marco Rubio Official SC Rubios Risk

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 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.”

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 particularly 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. 

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  2. Tennesseejoe says:

    First of all, Marco Rubio is no more eligible to be President of the United States than Barack Hussein Obama. He is not a natural born citizen because both of his parents are not natural born citizens. They started out a Cubans and emigrated here. This alone disqualifies Rubio and we have already allowed an unqualified person to be President why would we do it a second time?

    Second this is NOT reform! This is amnesty. Do you realize that Native Americans gave amnesty to the Europeans and they lost their country! I am a descendant of those Europeans and do not wish to be deported but I also do not wish for my country to be lost to a new group of law breakers.

    I, like many others, am willing to welcome almost anyone of high moral character to these United States. But I truly believe that those who come here should renounce all allegiance to their former country and become Americans. I could care less about a person's skin color or heritage but I do believe if you wish to be an American then you should be an American, not a _____-American.

    Let Rubio, McCain and their ilk rant on about reform but we must demand that those who come here do so according to the rules because if we let them break the rules why should you, I or anyone else follow the rules set down for us?

    • Edwardkoziol says:

      He was born in the US and that is why we are having all this trouble with anchor babies.We can't deport them like we should.Your right on the indians giving amnesty and now we are screwing them but protecting illegals.I don't give a damn about how smart they are ship them back.if you consider yourself a African American then go back to Africa where you belong.All these politicians do is look for the votes if they put illegals back to where they snuck in from then there would be no voting blocs except for the coloreds.We should send Obuttholes aunt ubangme back along with his uncle bobo.

  3. Edwardkoziol says:

    Rubio has just given another amnesty plan that sounds better then Obuttholes but nothing will be enforced and these illegal aliens will still be ripping off the country.

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