The PJ Tatler

Rubio: 'Political Calculus' Didn't Figure Into Work on Immigration Bill

When asked on Meet the Press Sunday whether his work on a comprehensive immigration bill made him “damaged goods” as a 2016 GOP contender, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he “never made that political calculus.”

“I certainly knew going into immigration reform that’s not exactly the kind of issue you take on with regard to becoming politically popular among some segments. But I would say the concerns that conservatives have about immigration reform are legitimate ones,” Rubio responded.

“What I endeavor to do is try to find a solution to a real problem the country is confronting. And I understand it’s a difficult one. I knew that going in. I’ll continue to do what’s right for the country, what I believe to be right on issue after issue and where that leads me politically, that’s what elections are for and campaigns are for,” he continued. “But I’m not going to let the future of political considerations stop me from doing what I believe is right for the country or doing my job during my time in the Senate.”

Rubio said he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll seek the presidency, but noted that the natural expiration of his term makes the timing convenient.

“I will say that that something I’ll consider later in this year, next year. As you know in 2016, my term in the Senate expires,” he said. “I’ll have a decision to make either way. I think our country’s at an important crossroads on the international front and a domestic front. I’ll have to think about whether from that role in the presidency I would be able to influence that in a more positive way.”

Rubio has been heavily blasting the administration on foreign policy, backing the pro-democracy activists in Venezuela and Ukraine.

When asked whether the crux of the Arizona bill vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer, which allowed people and organizations to deny services based on their religious beliefs, will be a key issue in the months ahead, Rubio said two issues are at play.

“I don’t believe that gay Americans should be denied services at a restaurant or hotel or anything of that nature,” he said. “I also don’t believe, however, that a caterer or photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs. We’ve got to figure out a way to protect that, as well.”