What’s worse? A politician who ditches an issue (and his mom) after he got blow back, or a politician who hasn’t always been perfect, but keeps moving in the right direction on an issue?
In our view, the politician who flips is far worse, showing no character or commitment. And, that’s what was on full display this week, courtesy of GOP Presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
During a Fox News interview earlier this week, Marco Rubio claimed Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has “never done anything of meaning” on immigration.
“She was a US Senator, and she’s never done anything on it of meaning,” Rubio claimed. “It’s interesting, a couple of months ago, she talked about how she’s in favor of all citizenship, just a few years ago, she wasn’t even in favor of giving them driver’s licenses.”
Well, this is rich.
After all, this is the same Marco Rubio who once co-sponsored an immigration bill giving millions a chance to finally come out of the shadows — and then disowned it in favor of a vacuous “border security first” soundbite.
This is the same Marco Rubio who once revealed how his immigrant mom pleaded with him to not mess with immigrants — “los pobrecitos” she called them, or “the little poor things” — and then attacked the immigration actions protecting millions of moms and dads from deportation.
And this is the same Marco Rubio who, after flirting with the idea of introducing his own version of the DREAM Act, cynically killed it after the introduction of DACA and then instead resorted to mocking DREAMers at his public events.
Clinton, on the other hand, voted for the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform in 2006 and 2007 as Senator. And, unlike Rubio, she’s stuck by those votes.
Clinton’s conflicting views on driver’s licenses obviously still haunt her. But while she’s come to recognize the nation’s rapidly-changing demographics and has leaned in hard to immigration, Rubio has cut-and-run on his own record, de-evolving on immigration in a cruel ploy to win primary voters at the cost of immigrant families.
Sure, TIME magazine once declared him “The GOP Savior,” but now Rubio has resorted to rubbing elbows with the most extreme immigration hardliner in Congress, Iowa’s Steve King, who once publicly pondered why a young immigrant guest of the First Lady at the State of the Union hadn’t been deported yet.
If Rubio thinks those kinds of associations will help him win the White House, he should ask Mitt Romney how that worked out for him.
Assuming Rubio does manage to squeak through a GOP primary to a general election, there’s no doubt he’ll be touting his immigration champion credentials and lifting up the immigration bill he doesn’t dare touch now in front of Steve King’s audiences.
As AV’s Frank Sharry once said, Rubio has “gone from being a profile in courage on immigration, to being another crass politician.”
If Marco doesn’t believe us, he should just look out his window. Just yesterday, dozens of activists showed up outside his Florida event to present him with a symbolic, “most anti-immigrant” trophy. Rubio should take that warning to heart that the immigrant community won’t easily forget his betrayal and political double-speak come election time.