Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Marco Rubio, We Hardly Knew Ye

In the early months of his campaign, the situation was so dire that Rubio became “depressed” and contemplated dropping out of the race, according to his autobiography, An American Son. If it weren’t for the support of conservatives nationally — including a National Review cover story in August 2009 — Rubio might well have lost the campaign, potentially ending his political career.

Other than his national name recognition, another thing that has changed since those rocky early days is Rubio’s position on immigration.

“We’ve got to secure the borders in our existing system first before we can even begin to have a conversation about the other elements of immigration,” he said then, adding in a debate that “earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty.”

Rubio’s political migration on this issue has garnered support, or at least acquiescence, from a surprising number of conservatives and Republicans. Some people, though, are experiencing a bit of whiplash, including some of those who helped Rubio at his moment of greatest political peril.

“It was a pivotal issue in the campaign,” said a former Senate aide who supported Rubio back then. “I can’t tell you how excited people were — conservatives on the Hill — to have a conservative Hispanic person running for the Senate who not only stood up for their values, but was willing to do that passionately and eloquently in the most daunting of venues.”

Speaking of Rubio’s new stance on immigration, the aide adds: “I honestly don’t know how to explain it. I’ve never seen anybody so passionately argue against amnesty and then completely flip in two years. It’s just mind-boggling.”

Erick Erickson, whose RedState.com organized “money bombs” to help Rubio in his campaign for the Senate, seconds this view. “I think he has completely reversed himself on the position,” he says. “It’s somewhat bothersome that he refuses to admit a reversal or even an evolution. Somehow trying to reconcile his former opposition to now, it cheapens his image, and I don’t know that he understands that.”

Full article: http://www.nationalr … w-ye-jonathan-strong

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