Talk show host Andrea Tantaros had a very pointed and uncomfortable question for Sen. Marco Rubio today. She interviewed the Florida Republican about his support for the Gang of Eight’s “comprehensive” immigration reform bill, which puts legalization for millions of illegal aliens ahead of the border security that a majority of American voters want.
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“People are saying, Senator, that [the immigration bill] is just like ObamaCare, just like McCain-Feingold. It will be an albatross around your neck and Democrats are pleading with Obama to stay on the sidelines,” Tantaros said. “What would you say to conservatives? What if I said, ‘Senator Rubio, we need you. You are our best hope. You are an unscathed Republican senator. We have to win back the White House. Isn’t the future of the Republican Party, isn’t the success of Marco Rubio, more important than immigration reform?’ Would you walk away?”
Rubio deflected, saying “It’s not the success of Marco Rubio, it’s the success of the United States of America,” adding that he didn’t come to Washington to “aggrandize myself.”
“Senator, we need you,” Tantaros fired back. ” Senator you know how I admire you, I am behind you, my father was an immigrant. But I’m telling you what conservatives are saying. I worry about your future, Senator, because, really, you are the future of the Republican Party. And I have to say, this party needs an undamaged Marco Rubio. What do you say to that concern?”
Rubio answered that he’s “trying to fix something that’s very bad for America.” He then resorted to a straw man argument, that “if nothing happens, we are left with de facto amnesty. We are left with 11 million people that are never going to be deported, aren’t paying taxes, are living among us now, we’re left with no border security, no e-Verify, no entry-exit tracking system, and a broken legal immigration system that doesn’t help us and in fact is hurting us. So standing by and saying let’s not do anything is simply not an option.”
The trouble with that formulation is that hardly anyone is saying that nothing at all should be done. The majority of Americans want border security before legalization, both for the sake of national security and so that any future waves of illegal immigration are headed off before they begin. Rubio and his fellow gang members are adamant that the majority of Americans will not get security first. As it is presently written, the bill creates steps to legalization immediately, in exchange for a promise of security down the road. If the 1986 amnesty is any guide, the majority will never get border security no matter how loudly we demand it. Security was promised in the 1986 amnesty, and never delivered.
Tantaros asked Rubio if there is any point at which he would walk away from the gang’s effort.
“Oh, yeah,” Rubio answered. “Number one, I think if the border situation is not improved in this bill, this bill won’t pass. It won’t pass the Senate and it has no chance in the House,” he said. “But beyond that, if this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill,” he said. Rubio added that there are “a number of things that can’t happen in order for this thing to even have a chance of being successful, or to have my support.” He said that the bill needs a “specific border security plan.”
Earlier today the Senate shot down just such a plan, which was offered as an amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Rubio voted against adding that plan to the immigration bill.
The Andrea Tantaros Show is produced by the Fox and Rice Experience for Talk Radio Network.