Patterico's Pontifications


Getting in the Weeds About Rubio’s Inconsistent Claims About Legalization First, Border Security Second

Filed under: — Patterico @ 2:22 pm

This is a supplement to the main post.

The main argument from the Rubiobots on this topic is laid out in a PolitiFact post on this issue — a PolitiFact entry, I will note, that does not address the Rush Limbaugh interview I quote in the main post (although it does address a different Limbaugh interview). The basic argument of the PolitiFact post is that the process, as described by Rubio in many interviews, consists of a plan to secure the border being submitted along with provisional status for immigrants. After “substantial implementation” of the border security, Rubio would allow them to apply for green cards.

PolitiFact says Rubio tailored his presentation to the audience to emphasize different parts of the plan, depending on the audience, but was always still describing the same plan:

But while Rubio explained the same plan to each interviewer, he also tailored his language to address their concerns.

In interviews with Limbaugh and Fox News host Sean Hannity, he focused on steps that must be achieved before immigrants are eligible to apply for green cards, which grant permanent legal status. On Univision, he focused on the provisional status process that begins at the same time that a plan to secure the border is submitted.

There are a few problems with the PolitiFact piece. First: PolitiFact did not address the Rush Limbaugh interview from January 2013 that I cite in the post. No, they don’t. They cite an April 2013 interview with Limbaugh, but not the January 2013 one. And that is important — because, as I show in the post, the January 2013 interview with Limbaugh is totally inconsistent with what Rubio has said in Spanish on Univision.

PolitiFact also purports to cite and explain an interview with Sean Hannity from January 2013. I say “purports” because they make a complete hash of the analysis — in part because they provide the wrong transcript for the interview they cite. Here’s a radio interview with Sean Hannity from January 17, 2013:

PolitiFact then sets forth a lengthy excerpt from a wholly different interview: a television interview that Hannity did with Rubio on January 29, 2013.

I noticed as I listened to the radio interview that I wasn’t hearing Rubio say anything that was set forth in the transcript. Finally, I did some further research and learned that the transcript was actually from the TV interview, which you can verify for yourself by comparing the transcript from the PolitiFact piece with the transcript or video of the linked TV interview.

What this means is that you cannot rely on the PolitiFact piece for an analysis of the radio interview I am about to describe. You need to listen to it yourself, although I am about to highlight some parts of it for you.

Now, here is an excerpted quote from the radio interview:

Senator Marco Rubio: “I don’t think any of that 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. That, I think, is the reasonable approach to the process that won’t be unfair to the people who have done it the right way and will not incentivize people to do it this way again in the future.”

Sean Hannity: “You know, I am listening very, very closely. The most important thing, Senator, in my mind, is what you’re saying about that we have secured the border. Because otherwise we are going to be dealing with this 20 years down the road, 30 years down the road. It is never going to end. And we have a national security problem. We have enemies that still want to destroy us.”

Now. Let’s look at the phrase “I don’t think any of that begins until we certify that the border security progress has been real.” If you looked only at that statement, what would you think “any of this” means? I think you would conclude that Rubio is referring to any of the steps towards legalization.

In fact, if you listen to the entire interview, it is ambiguous. He could be talking about any legalization steps, including even a provisional status. Or he could be talking about applying for a green card and a subsequent path to citizenship.

So why am I bringing up the excerpted quote above? Because that is exactly the excerpted quote that Rubio gives on his own Senate Web site in a press release. In other words, Rubio issued a press release that gives a truncated version of his quote that suggests nothing will happen before the border is secured.

Look elsewhere in the radio interview, at 9:37:

RUBIO: Our message can’t be “come illegally. It’s cheaper and faster.” All these things have to be worked through. And that’s why Having a trigger, in essence, ensuring that this process that I’ve described does not begin until we’ve certified the border security and the workplace enforcement and so forth is so important.

HANNITY: How firm does this, “the border has to be secured first” — how firm is that in the language of the bill?

RUBIO: Well, we don’t have a bill. These are principles. But I think there — there has to be firm. I mean, we have to be sure that we don’t repeat the errors of the past, where, you know, 2, 3 million people were granted permanent access to the United States, but the enforcement mechanisms never happened.

This is a little different from: “First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border.” Isn’t it?

By the way, my research here was prompted by a Twitter interchange with Rubio supporter AG Conservative who wrote this factually challenged attack on Ted Cruz. AG Conservative purports to set forth “6 Blatant Ted Cruz Lies about Marco Rubio.” Yet the very first one is flat-out wrong:

Rubio said different things about amnesty in Spanish and in English. This is meant to portray as untrustworthy and otherize him because he can speak Spanish.

AG Conservative assured me repeatedly on Twitter that the Cruz campaign’s sole claim that Rubio has said different things in Spanish and English relates to a Rubio statement about DACA. He told me multiple times that this was substantiated by a link in his post. But when I went to his post, I found that the link goes to this tweet:

In case you don’t speak Spanish, fear not! Patterico does! (though not very well). Here is, I warrant, a reasonably accurate translation of that tweet:

We don’t criticize him for speaking Spanish — but for saying one thing in Spanish and another in English!

There is nothing there restricting the accusation to an argument over repudiating DACA, as AG Conservative falsely told me repeatedly on Twitter.

Cruz has indeed, in the debate and in interviews, made the accusation that Rubio said inconsistent things about DACA. And he most certainly has, as Ace shows here and as I plan to document at length in a separate post. But when the very accusation linked by AG Conservative is simply that Rubio has said different things in English and in Spanish, I debunk that in the main post by referring to his inconsistent points about which comes first: border security or legalization.

And by the way, it doesn’t matter that Rubio has, at times, laid out the entire process (even if, as the fact checkers acknowledge, he tailors his presentation to the audience). The point of my post isn’t to argue that Rubio has, always and everywhere, said different things in English and Spanish. The point of the post is to defend against the claim that it is a lie for Cruz to say that Rubio has ever done that. And if I can show one instance where Rubio has — as I do in the post — then Cruz is not “lying.”

This is, by the way, part of the reason it is comical that AG Conservative last night haughtily said that he wasn’t obligated to research all Rubio’s past statements. After I noted that he damned well does need to do so, if he’s going to call Cruz a liar for saying Rubio has said inconsistent things, AG Conservative deleted the tweet.

I am disabling comments to this page. You may comment at the main post here.

UPDATE: So. I wrote the author of the piece to tell her that she provided the wrong link. She responded, saying she would tell PolitiFact.

So now, they have simply replaced the link, with no acknowledgement of error.

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