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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio on Cantor loss and what it means for immigration reform



Eric Cantor's stunning defeat last night made emphatically clear what was already known: Immigration reform is dead, for the foreseeable future.

It also raises questions about the long-term viability of the GOP and potential presidential candidates such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, both whom have championed reform and experienced the backlash.

Rubio today did not back away but also echoed his latest posture, which is to blame the Obama administration for inaction.

"The status quo we have isn't good for American and needs to be fixed," Rubio told reporters this morning. "But I've been saying now for over a year and a half, getting the votes to move forward on any immigration reform is going to be impossible until serious steps are taken to secure the border, prevent visa overstays and requires employers to verify the status of the people they are hiring. That was true before last night; that's especially true now."

A reporter asked if presidential candidates might be "spooked" by what happened to Cantor. "Immigration has never been an issue that is a politically popular one," Rubio replied. "There is legitimate concerns about rule of law. I think those have only been exacerbated by this administration's unwillingness to enforce the law. ... I just legitimately feel like this is an issue that is hurting America and needs to be addressed."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 11:10am]


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