Gang of Eight Critic Tom Cotton Wins Rubio Endorsement

by Andrew Stiles

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has announced his first endorsement of the 2014 cycle: Representative Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), who is challenging incumbent Senator Mark Pryor (D., Ark.).

“Once elected, we can be confident that Tom will be another conservative friend in Washington who will ensure that our children and grandchildren inherit an exceptional America from this generation,” Rubio writes in an email from his leadership PAC. “He won’t stand down when it comes to repealing ObamaCare, fighting to lower our runaway debt, and turning back the tide of big government that has taken over Washington in recent years.”

Notably, Cotton is an outspoken critic of the Gang of Eight immigration bill for which Rubio was the chief GOP salesman. He outlined his criticism of the bill in a July 10 Wall Street Journal op-ed, citing its “irreparably flawed structure, which is best described as: legalization first, enforcement later . . . maybe,” and has pledged to make his opposition to the “amenesty legislation” a “central issue” in his campaign against Pryor, who voted for the bill, along with every other Senate Democrat. 

Rubio, for his part, has sought to mend fences with the conservative base, which remains skeptical of the Gang’s bill, and any efforts to push it through the House. Most recently, he has joined the popular grassroots campaign to defund Obamacare, promising not to vote for a short-term funding resolution “that spends one single cent on ObamaCare.”