Rubio’s Bizarre Dance on Immigration Reform

Remember when Marco Rubio was seen as a rising star in the GOP and a serious 2016 presidential contender? Part of the reason he’s no longer taken seriously is how he has handled the issue on which he staked his entire political appeal, immigration reform. ThinkProgres has a rundown of how he has flipped and flopped and now opposes the very bill he advocated:

JAN 14: BLASTS OBAMA FOR NOT ADVOCATING IMMIGRATION REFORM.Rubio tells the Wall Street Journal that Obama has “not done a thing” on reform and is likely using the issue to mobilize the Democratic base. During the presidential campaign, Rubio criticized Obama for failing to achieve reform in his first term. “His party controlled Congress for two years,” he told Fox News in October, “and they did absolutely nothing.”

JAN 14: SAYS HE SUPPORTS A PIECEMEAL APPROACH TO REFORM. Rubio says he would like to see “a comprehensive package of bills”—maybe four or five as opposed to one omnibus—move through Congress. “He says other experience with ‘comprehensive’ reform (ObamaCare, the recent debt deal) shows how bad policy easily sneaks into big bills. But adds, “It’s not a line in the sand for me.”

JAN 28: OUTLINES PRINCIPLES FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM. Shorty after joining a “Gang of 8″ senators dedicated to overhauling the immigration system, Rubio toured conservative talk shows advocating his approach to reform. “All we can come up with is a starting point…there are, you know, 94 other senators who have opinions about what this law should look like and there is the American public and there is the House and the Executive Branch so obviously people are going to have some input as to what they want it to look like …this is the first step, this is the architecture,” Rubio tells Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey in January. “We just have to get this thing done for once and for all,” he tells the New York Times.

FEB 17: BLASTS OBAMA FOR DRAFTING IMMIGRATION BILL. After USA Today published a leaked and incomplete draft of President Obama’s immigration reform bill — which resembles 2007′s bipartisan legislation and Rubio’s own principles — Rubio rushes a statement condemning the administration for contributing to the very debate he claimed would be incomplete without its input. Rather than offering a constructive critique of the leaked portions or highlighting areas of similarity, Rubio announced that Obama’s bill is “disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution” and is “dead on arrival in Congress.”

MARCH 31: WARNS SENATORS AGAINST RUSHING IMMIGRATION REFORM.“A rush to legislate, without fully considering all views and input from all senators, would be fatal to the effort of earning the public’s confidence” Rubtiowrites in a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of Senate judiciary committee.

APRIL 14: PREDICTS SENATE BILL WILL WIN ‘BROAD SUPPORT. “And this bill modernizes it in a way that’s going to get broad-based support,” Rubio tells NBC’s Meet The Press. “We also have to be able to enforce our laws. This bill once introduced, as we’ve agreed to, I think, will show that a broad base of enforcement measures, unlike anything this country’s ever seen. And what it does is it creates a way for us to address the millions of people that are here undocumented in a way that’s compassionate, but also, in a way that’s responsible.”

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