Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)¬†offered criticism Thursday morning of President Obama’s recent executive action dealing with illegal immigrants beyond the oft-heard Republican point that it was ‚??extra-constitutional.‚?Ě In Rubio‚??s words, ‚??we don‚??t know how many will be affected by it, whether kids will come up and identify themselves as illegal‚?Ě and that the president‚??s order was in no way bipartisan.
‚??There are many unanswered questions. How many does it affect? Are kids going to come out and identify themselves?,” Rubio said this morning at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast.
Many felt that President Obama upstaged the Florida senator with the Friday announcement, because it was understood that Rubio was working on his own version of the DREAM Act. Conservatives, especially, asked why Rubio took so long in crafting his own legislation.
“That‚??s why it took so long to come up with the bill. If I wanted to come up with something based on talking points, I would have done it in six months. I just think if you look at it, this White House didn‚??t reach out to anyone. [Obama] never talked to anyone. It‚??s not that I want to talk to these guys. If you are really interested in a bipartisan solution, you reached out to senators from other parties. That never happened. They‚??re interested in a talking point. I hoped for a humanitarian solution.‚?Ě
Regarding the presidential election, Rubio — who is still mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee this year — said ‚??Democrats will do very well among Hispanics for a while. They‚??re liberal Democrats and they are not going to support us. Cuban Americans that moved to Miami are disproportionately Republican. Cuban Americans who moved to New Jersey are disproportionately Democratic.¬†But the Republican Party is doing a much better job of — and Gov. Romney is doing a better job of — explaining why the Republican Party is the pro-legal immigration party.‚?Ě
Rubio also said that he disagrees with his close friend and fellow Florida Republican Jeb Bush on a ‚??grand bargain‚?Ě to deal with the nation’s debt.
‚??I‚??m a great admirer of Gov. Bush,‚?Ě Rubio said. But as for Bush‚??s recent comment on CBS News that the debt crisis would probably be resolved by a ‚??grand bargain‚?Ě between the two parties that includes many spending cuts and some tax hikes, onetime Florida House Speaker Rubio disagrees.
‚??I don‚??t know the context in which [Bush] said it,‚?Ě he told Human Events, ‚??I‚??ve always rejected the concept of higher taxes [to pay down the deficit]. I believe that with more revenue, more taxes, that‚??s how you pay down the debt, do more things. I don‚??t believe raising taxes will generate growth.‚?Ě
He went on to say that he was ‚??not religiously opposed to taxes. I don‚??t believe in ‚??zero taxes.‚?? Getting rid of exemptions, creating fairness and respectability in tax codes — that‚??s what I‚??m in favor of. I‚??m in favor of cutting spending [because] it‚??s important for long term growth. Over-reliance in cuts in discretionary spending won‚??t work — you can‚??t get 100 percent of cuts from 30 percent of budget. And cutting foreign aid will eviscerate the ability of this country to get things done around the world.‚?Ě