Ames, Iowa – Bob Vander Plaats, a top evangelical leader in Iowa, says that Marco Rubio’s decision to team up with moderates and liberals on immigration reform has likely hurt him in the Hawkeye State.
Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader, which is sponsoring a political summit in Iowa today, explains that Rubio should have stayed apart from the Gang in the Senate and simply proposed his own legislation on immigration reform. “He’s on stage with [Chuck] Schumer, [John] McCain,” he says of what he thinks conservatives who championed Rubio against Charlie Crist are thinking. “It’s kind of like you can measure somebody by who they associate themselves with.”
Some in Iowa, he adds, are saying, “’2016’s out for Rubio, there’s no way.’”
“But they don’t consider him done,” Vander Plaats continues. “’16’s going to be awfully tough for him. ’20, if he wanted to run, might be a better opportunity.”
Still, Vander Plaats predicts that Iowans will be willing to listen to Rubio’s explanation for his decisions on immigration reform.