By Marc Caputo
The Miami Herald
April 8, 2013
Liberals and left-leaning immigration groups have increasingly grown concerned with Rubio over the past few weeks. The Republican has enjoyed favorable coverage on TV and magazines like Time. And he looks like he’s getting his way.
Activists buzzed with alarm on Easter Sunday when Rubio issued a press statement noting there’s “no agreement on immigration legislation yet.’’
It was perhaps the most common-sense statement of the day. But it became the grist of news stories, blogs and misrepresentations.
Rubio also called for a deliberate and open hearing process in the Senate.
That understandably riled advocates. When a politician calls for a deliberate and open debate in a do-nothing Senate after months of secret meetings, it’s going to raise hackles.
His statement therefore ran head-first into an emerging narrative in the DC press and blogosphere. The questions about Rubio building himself “exit ramps” and ways out of the deal boiled over.
The reports gave short shrift to the fact that Rubio built in those exits from the start. He has said from the beginning that he wouldn’t back final legislation that failed to adequately address border-security, a guest-worker permit program and the future flow of immigrants.
When he was Florida House speaker, Rubio repeatedly showed he was willing to buck the common wisdom and walk away from major deals — notably property-tax cuts — if they didn’t meet his standards.
There’s also a belief that Rubio is skittish and scared of the right wing. That’s tough to see. He has a hard right voting record in Congress (He was one of seven senators to get a perfect score in 2012 from the American Conservative Union). And the 2016 presidential campaign is many political lifetimes away, and there’s no guarantee Rubio will run for the White House.
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