The Corner

Politics & Policy

Rubio: Sneakier Than Your Average Bear

Eagle Forum has published a memo detailing Marco Rubio’s lies to conservatives in his effort to get Chuck Schumer’s immigration bill passed. “Lies” is a strong word, but it’s the only word that fits. This wasn’t the natural trimming of politicians, like Rubio’s justification of sugar subsidies in the service of his financial patrons the Fanjul brothers. From Cicero to Reagan, all successful politicians engage in misdirection or exploit ambiguity (including all the other current Republican hopefuls). In this case, though, Rubio led a Clintonian campaign of calculated falsehoods designed to sell Schumer’s Gang of Eight bill to conservatives.

Those falsehoods are too numerous to list in a blog post – read the whole paper. But some examples regarding just one part of the bill: As Rubio himself was forced to admit eventually, Schumer’s bill granted work permits and Social Security numbers to illegals up front, and promised the enforcement targets would be met in future years – just like the failed 1986 amnesty. And yet, here’s what he told conservative media:

To Limbaugh: “if there is not language in this bill that guarantees that nothing else will happen unless these enforcement mechanisms are in place, I won’t support it.” 

To Hannity: “I don’t think any of that [amnesty] begins until we certify that the border security progress has been real. That a workplace enforcement mechanism is in place. That we are tracking visitors to our country, especially when they exit.”

Bill O’Reilly said: “Senator Rubio told me on the phone today that it would be at least 13 years, 13, before people in the country illegally right now could gain full legal working status and even longer to achieve citizenship.”

Rubio also lied about the size of the bill’s unprecedented increase in legal immigration, he lied about the scope of waivers, he lied about welfare eligibility, he lied to law enforcement about amnesty for gang members.

Disagreement over policy is one thing; Jeb’s immigration views, for instance, are not shared by most of the people whose votes he’s seeking, but he’s honorably forthright about what he believes. Rubio, on the other hand, tried to trick his own partisans. I had actually forgotten the scope of his dishonesty in pushing Schumer’s bill; Eagle Forum has done a service by collecting it all in one place. And Rubio has never apologized for it. Maybe someone will bring it up at tonight’s debate.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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