Marco Rubio’s first day as an official candidate didn’t go very well. He’s facing heated criticism for backtracking on his immigration reform bill after tying his political fortune to its success. Rubio is stuck between a rock and a hard place with two constituencies he needs to support him: Latinos and tea party conservatives.
Tea Partiers are unhappy with Rubio’s key role in immigration reform and will never forgive him. At the same time, four out of five Latino voters oppose Rubio’s immigration stance, as American Bridge pointed out this weekend, and they’re feeling abandoned by the senator.
Mark Murray from NBC has it right: Immigration is “toxic” for the Rubio campaign. This is one issue that isn’t going away.
Benjy Sarlin on The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart: “[Immigration reform] ignited a lot of conservative opposition which killed it in the House and he’s never quite recovered but it didn’t do him any favors on the other side as well. If you talk to the major latino organizations… his name is mud right now. They feel very betrayed.”
Mark Murray on News Nation: “No issue is more toxic than immigration reform or quote-unquote ‘amnesty.”
Lauren Fox on The Cycle: “Some of the very Tea Party conservatives who supported him early on turned on him because they thought what he was proposing was amnesty. That is one of his own proposals that he has walked considerably away from.”
Steve Deace on News Nation: “[Immigration]’s why.. he’s not going to outflank Ted Cruz in this primary. It’s frankly why Ted Cruz has a shot at the nomination.”
Now with Alex Wagner: “It is stunning how badly Marco Rubio is doing in key states, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, among Latino voters.”
Al Hunt on With All Due Respect: “On the one issue he got deeply involved with, which was immigration, I think he ended up with the worst of all worlds. He got into it, you know he did a fair job and then he backed away. I don’t think that’s the way big league politicians act.”
CBS News Affiliate in Miami: “The majority of the protesters over there are there for one thing. They are protesting Marco Rubio’s stance on immigration, saying that when it comes to immigration he is a flip-flopper.”
Shepard Smith: “I mean he was there [on immigration reform] and then he wasn’t there and I don’t know where he is now.”
Published: Apr 14, 2015