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During US Senate debates in Nevada and Florida this week, Republican candidates scrambled to hide their trumped-up records on immigration and support for their party’s nominee for President, Donald Trump.
In Nevada, former State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto went “on the offensive over Republican [Joe] Heck’s prior support of Trump,” according to the AP, “saying his decision last week to revoke his endorsement after lewd Trump comments came to light was a political maneuver designed to save himself because ‘Donald Trump’s ship is sinking.’”
Heck stood by Trump during months of racist and offensive statements and comments, including his attacks on a Gold Star family and a US-born federal judge due to his Mexican heritage.
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While Heck talked about “the need need to fix the current legal immigration system”, Heck continually failed to stand up for the people of Nevada when House Republicans blocked immigration reform.
Heck voted three times to scrap DACA and put 13,000 Nevada DREAMers — including one present at the debate as a guest of Cortez Masto — at risk of deportation. Trump has pledged to undo DACA on Day One of his Presidency, which would put some 750,000 DREAMers nationwide at risk of deportation.
A recent PPP poll has Cortez Masto leading Heck in the race for the US Senate seat from Nevada, 43% to 39%.
In Florida’s debate last night, Marco Rubio “carefully rehearsed several phrases to express disagreement and unease with Donald Trump,” noted the Washington Post, “while simultaneously explaining why he continues to support him for president.”
“Rubio debated last night like a guy who believes he really could lose. He projected more nervousness than confidence,” noted the Post. During the Republican primary, Rubio declared Trump a “con man” and “wholly unprepared to be President of the United States,” yet said he’s still going to vote for him anyway.
On immigration, Rubio stuck to his now-robotic talking point about coming from an immigrant family, despite turning his back on his own immigration bill and supporting the most anti-immigrant Presidential nominee in modern American history.
“You’ve doubled down on your endorsement of Donald Trump,” Rep. Patrick Murphy, Rubio’s Democratic opponent, ripped. “The man who wants to build a wall, who thinks that Mexicans are rapists and criminals and who wants to deport 11 to 12 million people.”
Like Heck, Rubio shares Trump’s vision for ending DACA, and during his own failed Presidential run also pledged to end DACA on his “first day in office”.