Patterico's Pontifications


Flashback: Rubio in 2009: Reagan Was Wrong to Grant Amnesty

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

November 17, 2009:

Here’s something you seldom hear in a Republican primary: a candidate taking issue with Ronald Reagan.

It happened this afternoon when former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who’s running in the GOP Senate primary against Gov. Charlie Crist, answered a question on immigration at a Martin County Republican Womens Federated meeting that drew more than 100 attendees.

Rubio delivered a six-minute discourse on immigration policy in which he brought up The Gipper’s support for the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which granted amnesty to most undocumented workers who could prove they had been in the country continuously for the previous five years.

“In 1986 Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million people,” Rubio said. “You know what happened, in addition to becoming 11 million a decade later? There were people trying to enter the country legally, who had done the paperwork, who were here legally, who were going through the process, who claimed, all of a sudden, ‘No, no no no , I’m illegal.’ Because it was easier to do the amnesty program than it was to do the legal process.”

“If you grant amnesty, the message that you’re sending is that if you come in this country and stay here long enough, we will let you stay. And no one will ever come through the legal process if you do that.”

There is a Twitter debate this morning about how Republicans watch folks like Rubio lie and then forgive them. Makes us look like chumps. How can we ever vote for such a person again?

But there is a difference between primary challenges and general elections.

As for me, I will now oppose Rubio strongly in the presidential primaries, but his support for amnesty would not cause me to sit home and let Hillary win in a Rubio-Clinton general election. Any more than I would have sat home in 1980 if you looked into your crystal ball and told me Reagan would grant amnesty to illegals, or nominate Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court. Reagan was better than Carter and Mondale. Kennedy, as much as I despise him, is better than Stephen Reinhardt, who is the sort of judge Jimmy Carter liked to nominate.

But for now? Rubio has to pay a price. That price should be that he is out of the running in 2016. Let’s see if we can find someone who won’t blatantly lie to get elected.

Ted Cruz, anyone?

37 Responses to “Flashback: Rubio in 2009: Reagan Was Wrong to Grant Amnesty”

  1. Patterico 2016!

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  2. The 1986 amnesty was accompanied by a promise to close the border. That promise was never kept but the Congress that Reagan had to deal with was dominated by Democrats. That’s one reason why I can’t get too excited about Reagan deficits.

    Bush II had a Republican Congress and spent us into the hole. He did have a war on his hands, similar to the one we will face after Obama does another Clinton or worse on us.

    Now we have people like Rove telling us we have to woo Hispanics. And we have GOP Senators voting for amnesty. I heard Hoeven interviewed on Hugh Hewitt the other day. He does not understand the amendment he sponsored with Corker in the Senate. Neither are lawyers and were taken to the cleaners by Schumer’s staff who wrote the bill.

    Hewitt does environmental law and the transcript should be a graduate course on what is the matter with that bill, at least about the fence.

    If the House should pass that bill, or even any bill to go to conference, I’m done with these guys. The Republicans will become a permanent minority, which is the point. They seem more concerned about their own careers and I don’t mean votes. Corker and Hoeven were rich men before they ran for office. They are not out for graft, like Dodd.

    Mike K (dc6ffe)

  3. smarmy smarmy rubio el cubano mas authentico can suck it I think

    what a wad

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. I don’t think Rubio was exactly lying.

    He was taking positions without thinking and/or letting other people do the thinking for him.

    That is, he didn’t care about the truth or what was right or wrong, good or bad.

    But that’s true of very many politicians. The real question is, on how many issues is the politician like that.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  5. Ted Cruz would be good, but he does not appeal to non-conservatives. I don’t know what it is–lack of charm? Rand Paul, OTOH, is warm and does have charm. I think to frightened liberals that makes a difference in voting. You have to realize, they are afraid of social cons. They really are.

    Patricia (be0117)

  6. rubio is toast in my book. If he’s against hrc in a presidential election in 2016, I will sit home. No sense in putting a republican in place to blame for democrat policies. Let the dems do what they want and shoulder the blame.

    But, wjc successfully manipulated the stock market which enabled me to retire early. Apparently crooks are better than socialists. We will see what a socialist crook can do if hrc wins. Hopefully, hrc would do the same if elected.

    Jim (823b10)

  7. Rubio has just “evolved”. People can evolve from more primitive opinions to enlightened ones can’t they? Shouldn’t all fair minded, non-haters celebrate Marco’s ability to embrace justice and fairness and everything warm and fuzzy? Heck, more than half the Senate are patting him on the back – why aren’t we? He is the most popular prospective Republican candidate for President in 2016 [among Democrat voters] after all.

    More evidence that conservatives need to develop a political farm league that identifies young candidates and tests their ideological bona fides
    well before they hit the big leagues.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  8. Not Cruz. 1) Born in Canada; 2) No executive experience; 3) Too valuable where he is. He should stay in the senate for a term or two, and then get nominated to the DC circuit, with a view to the Supreme Court.

    It’s very early days to be picking candidates for 2016, but for now I’m putting Scott Walker on the straw polls, with Bobby Jindal as my second choice. But that’s very tentative. Time will tell.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  9. #8 Milhouse: YES to all your points. Gov Scott Walker of Wisconsin is #1 on my list. He has a proven record of standing against the left when they are at their absolute worst — and winning every time. We need someone like him in Washington. We need a lot of someone’s like that, at every level of government all over America, but I doubt we’ll find many.

    pa (4f643b)

  10. Would love Scott Walker. Good temperament and a solid record.

    Less excitement than O, more stability too.

    Patricia (be0117)

  11. I finally figured out why the Republicans atleast the old guard think this amnesty bill is such a good idea. They watched the Dems create a Manchurian like candidate with no credentials win the white house by bringing out the black vote. They think if they pass this bill and put Rubio(hispanic) up against Hillary they will win because all the hispanic vote will go to Rubio. Talk about being out of touch with reality.

    TomK (760d73)

  12. Agree w/Jim (#6) and must therefore respectfully part company w/Patterico on this. The point is, if slick little liars like Rubio, and before him Romney, and before him McCain, and before him Dole, and before him befuddled and wimpy ole Pappy Bush ’41….this endless line of RINO squishes who stand for absolutely nothing….if these spineless frauds can feign conservatism when it suits them, only to abandon us when it counts, and yet suffer no loss of our support in a general election, then what a pathetic and self-defeating message we’ll be sending. The message will be, “Hey, just give us rousing CPAC speeches, then feel free to abandon us in the foxhole, no sweat.” I suggest, with a bow to Sean Connery’s speech in “The Untouchables,” that a more effective message might be: “Screw us once, lose us forever.” Thus, voluble little Marco is now dead to me. If he were the Republican nominee against Hillary Clinton or for that matter Maxine Waters, and exit polls showed that mine was shaping up to be the deciding vote, I would jump in my car and head straight for the beach. A couple of cold Sam Adams Summer Ales. A copy of Mamet’s latest tract on conservatism. Lots of sunscreen of course….

    Kevin Stafford (1d1b9e)

  13. And as to Milhouse (#8) and the Ted Cruz Canadian conundrum, I too thought that it would be an obstacle to his eligibility, but I’ve seen election law attys make a convincing case to the contrary. They point out: (1) That Cruz had an American parent (mother, I think); (2) That the term “natural born American” has commonly been interpreted to reference parentage and not place of birth; and that (3) As shown in previous legal challenges to the birth places of Goldwater (AZ territory before statehood), McCain (Panama Canal), and Obama (pick ’em), courts have been historically averse to granting judicial review in birthplace eligibility cases. So it looks like smooth sailing for Cruz ’16.

    Kevin Stafford (1d1b9e)

  14. Kevin

    Cruz is eligible.

    E.PWJ (c3dbb4)

  15. Cruz 2016.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  16. Cruz is popular in Texas.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. I don’t know about anywhere else, but we love him here.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  18. This is why legislators without executive experience make bad presidents. Rubio’s problem isn’t just that he voted for the Crist immigration plan, it’s that he championed it while denying it says what it says. He’s just another well-spoken wooden puppet who wants to be a real …

    crazy (d60cb0)

  19. Methinks a red hot poker up his rectum might get him to spin around and head the other way.

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  20. I’ve been a big fan of Cruz every since the Senatorial primary.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  21. Kevin, courts may be historically averse to enforcing the Natural Born Citizen clause, but that’s no excuse for ignoring it. He wasn’t born in the USA, and as far as I’m concerned that’s a good reason not to vote for him. Besides the fact that I’d rather see him on the Supreme Court.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  22. Patrick, I would not vote for Rubio in the general. Not for nuthin’.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  23. Milhouse (21):

    Alas, guys like Cruz don’t get appointed to the Court these days–paper trail issues. Meanwhile, we need a rock-solid candidate in ’16. Christie, Rubio, Jeb–all RINOs. Rand Paul made of sterner stuff….but is he maybe 12% nuts around the edges? Respectfully suggest that Cruz might be our best hope.

    Kevin Stafford (1d1b9e)

  24. Milhouse (21):

    And I forgot to add: I’m not saying we ignore the Natural Born Citizen clause, I’m saying that even in the unlikely event that a court engages on that issue, Cruz prevails.

    Kevin Stafford (1d1b9e)

  25. Ted Cruz for president; John Bolton for VP and also concurrently as SoS. I wrote Rubio and told him his support of this bill was disgusting.

    amr (cd6372)

  26. Problem with Walker is the antiunion thing takes out a whole host of Reagan Democrats who otherwise might vote for the GOP. There are fewer of them, but they’re still there. Teachers, cops, firefighters and whole host of blue collar government professionals and unionn hardhats are natural conservative constituents. I’ll grant you there are abuses and the back office DMV government workers are a problem, as are many of the contracts. But those contracts were collectively bargained. Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Long Island, NY have police unions that simply has been given everything forever by pols of both parties that saw it as an easy way to be “tough on crime”. Is it a union’s fault voters install idiot executives?

    Craxy idea-before you come for the pensions and benefits of cops and firemen(those people who get shot at, run into burning buildings and work weekends nights and holidays), are we EVER going to end the entitlement fest? There is a whole underclass that thinks a productive day is waking and baking to “Jerry” at 11AM nin Section 8 housing with food stamps and Obamaphones, and nobody seems inclined to stop that gravy train. Medicare fraud is rampant. We have immigrants working the system at every turn. Instead the GOP has “Entrepenuer Fest” every convention with the big idea being badmouthing all public servants.Simple math; there are a lot more conservative blue collar voters than there are Tony Robbins and Zig Ziegler. And not to knock such enterprise, merely to point out that’s not very effective to attract such voters. And certainly not if your candidate doesn’t explain why business is a good thing for everyone.

    Bugg (b32862)

  27. Makes us look like chumps.

    Sort of like Jeb Bush, who will be giving a wonderful award to fabulous Hillary “What-difference-does-it-make?!” Clinton, the woman so versatile that as First Lady she was able to evade sniper fire on an airport tarmac in Bosnia.

    I’ve read that countries through history of high achievement and special privilege tend to have life spans of around 200 years. The USA turns 237 years old in a few days, and it regrettably is getting long in the tooth., June 27: Jeb Bush will present Hillary Clinton with the 2013 Liberty Medal this fall in Philadelphia. Bush, the former Republican governor of Florida, is chairman of the National Constitution Center, which is giving Clinton the award in honor of her career in public service and her advocacy efforts on behalf of women.

    He praised Clinton on Thursday for her service.

    “Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,” Bush said in a statement announcing the award. “These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.”

    As for amnesty, if it’s good enough for Mexico (our future staring at us in the face), it’s good enough for America.

    Mark (67e579)

  28. As for me, I will now oppose Rubio strongly in the presidential primaries, but his support for amnesty would not cause me to sit home and let Hillary win in a Rubio-Clinton general election.
    THe problem with this is that while you may go on and vote for the nominee, Mike and Jim here won’t. We JUST LOST an election because we couldn’t hold the tent together and this group or that group was slow to the polls. ANd so we have Obama again.

    And we will continue to lose so long as we go negative on each other at the drop of a hat. Talk about why your guy is great not why my guy is bad, and you might convince me to support your guy when mine is out. But if all I hear before then is slam after slam, why should I give you the time of day. And yet here we are again throwing down the litmus tests.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  29. Kevin, courts may be historically averse to enforcing the Natural Born Citizen clause, but that’s no excuse for ignoring it.

    Nor is it an excuse for misinterpreting it. All it means is that the candidate was a citizen by reason of birth, under the law that existed at that time. In other words, not naturalized.

    Your interpretation would have someone excluded who was the child of a sitting US President, if that child was born overseas, and while still having eligible a child born in El Paso of a mother just over the border for the day from Mexico. Which would be silly.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  30. Flip

    Icy (9edb97)

  31. Cruz’s experience in government is mostly executive, I thought. But yeah, he’s ineligible–he was indeed born in Canada.

    Alan (098693)

  32. Cruz’s experience in government is mostly executive, I thought. But yeah, he’s ineligible–he was indeed born in Canada.

    There is no basis for this, otherwise McCain would not have been eligible.

    JD (46092c)

  33. cruz can’t get the nomination at this point much less beat hillary

    so that’s two considerations what are sort of key maybe

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  34. Cruz IS eligible

    We’ll see if Hillary is the Dem nominee

    Icy (9edb97)

  35. Reagan was a RINO!

    I love you guys and girls. You make me smile.

    Ian G. (b2d693)

  36. Ted Cruz’ mother was born in Delaware and thus has always been an American citizen. Under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1401(g), a child of a U.S. citizen and a foreign national, born abroad, is a U.S. citizen provided that the citizen-parent spent at least five years in America, at least two of which were beyond the age of 14. (I am reading the latter part to mean refer to satisfy the “physical presence” requirement, not to add an additional requirement).

    So under our own laws, Cruz is a “national and citizen of the United States at birth”. How is he not eligible?

    bridget (84c06f)

  37. Because “natural born citizen” is not a synonym for “national and citizen of the United States at birth”. Kevin M, you will not find any 18th-century support for that definition, or indeed anything from before quite recently. The term derives from the earlier term “natural born subject”, which Blackstone explains clearly. An Englishman’s child born overseas is not the king’s natural born subject, except the children of “the king’s embassadors”.

    What defines the status is whose laws protected the child at birth. Whose laws prevented anyone from strangling him in the cradle. In most cases it’s the local law, so according to 18th-century thinking he owes a natural loyalty to that sovereign. In the case of diplomats they’re still under their own law and protected by their own security, so they’re NBS. This is the concept that the USA’s founders adopted and turned into the NBC clause. It may seem quaint and incredible to us, but it was accepted in those days as natural and obvious. It’s just how people thought then.

    McCain is a NBC because he was born on a US military base, to a military family. The child of a sitting US president born abroad would probably be a NBC because of her parents’ diplomatic status and secret service protection.

    If it were up to me I’d get rid of the clause altogether, and replace it with a requirement that a president have spent at least 10 of the years between 3 and 16 in the USA. In my opinon growing up American is a better proxy for absorbing American values than being born here. This would include Cruz and exclude 0bama. But so long as the constitution still has the NBC clause I don’t believe it would be proper to elect Cruz, even if the courts go along with it.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

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