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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rush Limbaugh says Rubio doing 'admirable' job on immigration but questions outcomes



Rush Limbaugh moments ago praised Sen. Marco Rubio's work on immigration as "admirable and noteworthy," but suggested President Obama does not really support reform and is only interested in painting the GOP as "racist."

Rubio seemed eager to play Obama as a foil, suggesting he was not serious in pursuing enforcement. But Rubio also noted that the framework he signed onto, along with three other Republicans and four Democrats, has a heavy focus on enforcement.

"The first question I have for you is, why are we doing this?" Limbaugh said. "It seems like Washington has a pattern and that is when the Democrats want to do something, the media gets behind it, the Democrats get behind it and it has to become something that has to be done. "

"You're absolutely right," Rubio said. "But the key is this was going to be an issue" with Obama and Democrats pushing. "I thought it was critically important that we outline the principles about what reform was about. I think there's this false argument that's been advanced by the left that conservatism and Republicans are anti-immigrant and anti-immigration ... we are pro-legal immigration."

Rubio said that if enforcement measures are not strong enough he would not support the bill.

Limbaugh suggested the GOP is not reaching immigrants, saying they are attracted to government "as the source of prosperity." Said Rubio, "It's easier to sell cotton candy than it is to sell broccoli to somebody but the broccoli's better for you. ... It is a challenge."

The interview seemed like it could be tough for Rubio, given Limbaugh's ranting about amnesty. But like he has time and again over the past couple weeks, he largely silenced a conservative media voice.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:15pm]


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