With Congress having finished their (meager amount of) work for the summer, Marco Rubio is wasting no time in perpetuating the idea that he may be running for president in 2016. The Florida Senator is in Iowa this weekend, ostensibly as the draw at a fundraiser for Iowa GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst.
But he had some spare time this morning to appear on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, where the Fox host challenged Rubio's flip on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. A little over a year ago Rubio was the biggest name Republican to co-sponsor a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate, but after his Tea Party base condemned him for that, he turned against it, while his GOP colleagues in the House refused to ever vote on it.
“When I got involved in the issue I knew how difficult is was politically,” Rubio told Wallace when reminded how his poll numbers have dropped in the past year. “But I ran for office to make a difference. …I don’t know what it means politically for me or anybody else, but that’s not my job. I didn’t get elected to maintain good poll numbers nationally.”
“But if it’s not political, why have you flipped?” Wallace asked. But Rubio now says reform should come in three stages, with a path to citizenship coming last.
Rubio responded: "That's not accurate, Chris."
“We’re not debating what to do, we’re debating how to do it,” Rubio added. “I’m just telling you, we will never have the votes necessary to pass, in one bill, all of those things. It just won’t happen. So our choices are, we can either continue to beat our head against the wall and try a process for which we’ll never have support, or we can try another way we can make progress on.”
Rubio was also asked about his recent statement that Hillary Clinton "is a 20th century candidate."
"We are not just suffering from an cyclical downturn in our economy. We are going through the equivalent of an Industrial Revolution every five years," Rubio said. "And I don't think she or her party, and, quite frankly, even some people in my party, have answers to that. And so our challenge for not just Republicans, but for the country, is to apply the time-tested principles of limited government and free enterprise to our modern challenges. She's incapable of doing that, as is most of her party, wedded to outdated and broken institutions."