Once the darling of the Tea Party, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has faced an intense backlash of criticism from the conservative wing of his party over his support for comprehensive immigration reform.
Rubio, a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight that authored the bill, has furiously tried to blunt the criticism this week, acknowledging concerns that the bill does not go far enough to ensure border security and prevent “amnesty,” an ambiguous but potent fear among opponents of immigration reform.
“I don’t disagree with that being a major problem,” Rubio said in an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio show Wednesday. And I would say that’s the single biggest impediment to getting anything done on this — that people just don’t trust the government.”
“So here’s what I’m hearing from people, to be honest. What I’m hearing from people is, ‘Look, we understand there’s 11 million people here. We’re not going to round them all out and deport them. We understand that, but we’re not going to do anything if we can’t ensure that we don’t have 11 million more right behind them to come illegally.'”
So far, however, Rubio’s charm offensive doesn’t appear to have done much to blunt the backlash. Here’s the new cover of the conservative National Review:
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