Someone call Mrs. Rubio–apparently, her son needs to be left another voicemail.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Gang of 8 and supposed Republican rising star who once talked about how his immigrant mother influences him on immigration reform–is now flip-flopping. Despite helping to write the Senate bill that passed with a bipartisan supermajority back in June and being a mascot for Republican reasonableness on immigration reform, Rubio is now essentially saying that he wants the bill he wrote, supported, and voted for to die.
Rubio is now apparently in favor of the House addressing immigration reform through piecemeal bills that would not be conferenced with the Senate legislation–meaning that he wants the bill he wrote to be left behind as a footnote, and not part of any immigration reform that passes this year. As spokesman Alex Conant said over the weekend:
At this point, the most realistic way to make progress on immigration would be through a series of individual bills. Any effort to use a limited bill as a ruse to trigger a conference that would then produce a comprehensive bill would be counterproductive. Furthermore, any such effort would fail, because any single senator can and will block conference unless such conference is specifically instructed to limit the conference to only the issue dealt with in the underlying bill.
Predictably, Rubio’s flip-flop is not winning him any fans, between Tea Partiers who don’t trust him after his earlier support of reform and immigration advocates slamming his spinelessness. Once considered a GOP savior and a future presidential favorite, Rubio is now joining the league of those who smoked but didn’t inhale, who voted for before voting against.
Think Progress, in a play-by-play of Rubio’s positions on immigration this year, wrote that “his decision to abandon the policy comes after months of wavering and careful political calculation,” while Rich Lowry at the conservative National Review noted, “I’m not sure it has ever happened before that an architect of major legislation in the Senate has basically opposed its passage in the House. But that’s where Marco Rubio is.”
Here’s what our own Frank Sharry told MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin:
“[Rubio] gets some heat from the right and, before you know it, the boy wonder retreats and dissembles.”
Here are a few more Twitter reactions from both sides of the aisle: