Caitlin Huey-Burns’ article highlights how hard Sen. Rubio is hitting Sen. Cruz on immigration. Ms. Burns’ article also highlights how much difficulty Sen. Cruz is having with Sen. Rubio’s attacks. Earlier this week, Sen. Rubio said that he and Sen. Cruz weren’t that far apart on immigration, which triggered a reaction from Sen. Cruz.
First, Sen. Cruz said that he was the only GOP presidential candidate on stage who has never supported amnesty. Sen. Rubio reminded people that “Ted is a supporter of legalizing people that are in this country illegally. In fact, when the Senate bill was proposed, he proposed giving them work permits. He’s also supported a massive expansion of the green cards. He’s supported a massive expansion of the HB-1 program, a 500% increase.”
At this weekend’s Sunshine Summit, Sen. Cruz tried digging himself out of that hole, saying “In the Senate, from Day One, I led the fight against the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, stood shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Sessions, introduced amendment after amendment after amendment designed to stop [it] and we succeeded.”
Sen. Cruz’s problem is that Sen. Rubio reminded voters that it isn’t that straightforward:
The reality is that months after that amendment was offered, Senator Cruz was still talking about [it]. … He had bragged about the fact that it did not undermine the pathway to legalization for people who are in this country illegally,” Rubio said. “So, if it was a messaging amendment, he was still bragging about his position two months after the debate ended.
If Sen. Cruz insists that he offered the amendment as a poison pill, why was he still talking about how humane his amendment was? If Sen. Cruz changed his mind based on new facts or new insight, he certainly has the right to effectively represent his constituents. However, if he’s trying to have things both ways, then Sen. Rubio has the right to throw this information in Sen. Cruz’s face.
Sen. Cruz tried insisting that he’s always opposed amnesty:
Earlier on Friday, in an interview with the Mike Gallagher radio show, Cruz said he “laughed out loud” when Rubio tried this week to equate their positions on immigration. “It is laughingly, blazingly, on its face false.”
That’s fairly true except for the part where he offered the amendment to dramatically increase H-1B visas, then continued bragging that he’d offered a way for illegal aliens to stay in the United States.
While that might not technically be the definition of amnesty, it isn’t that different than amnesty, either.