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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Unlike Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio refrains from criticizing Trump on immigration

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Trump's shifting immigration views: "I've seen the headlines"

Tony Marrero | Tampa Bay Times

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Trump's shifting immigration views: "I've seen the headlines"



If Sen. Marco Rubio is miffed that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has wavered a bit on his hardline immigration status, he's not letting it show.

Rubio, who is expected to win the GOP primary Tuesday in his bid to keep his seat, said Friday he'd "seen the headlines" about Trump's comments that seem to indicate he's softening a bit on immigration and tacking toward the policy proposals that Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush advocated during the presidential race. 

Compare that to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Rubio's fellow failed presidential candidate, who called Trump's shift "abhorrent."

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Rubio is expected to handily win the Republican primary against businessman Carlos Beruff. The Buzz asked Rubio how he’ll explain his support for Trump, however reluctant and lukewarm, to general election voters.

“To me this is a choice. I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton, I can tell you that, and that’s the bottom line.” he said. “I don’t want to see her be the president of the United States. I have a disagreements with Donald Trump on a number of issues. I have disagreements with Hillary Clinton on virtually every issue. But ultimately I’m running for U.S. Senate, which is a co-equal branch of government, and I’m running on the things I believe in and my own agenda. I think voters are going to make up their minds based on what I stand for and what I’ve done and what I’m going to do, not some other candidate on the ballot.”

"I actually don't follow very closely," Rubio said after a meet-and-greet, get-out-the-vote event in Plant City. "I've seen the headlines but you'll have to ask his campaign."

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Rubio reiterated his support for a three-step process that begins with securing the borders, which includes "not just a wall but an exit-entry tracking system to prevent visa overstays."

"I think once we do that the American people will support modernizing our legal immigration system and ultimately dealing in reasonable and responsible way with someone who's been here for a long time, someone who's been here 10 years and is not a criminal," Rubio said. "If you're a criminal you're going to get deported. I think that's where the majority of the American people is and that three-step process I think is the only way forward on immigration. Anyone who's advocating anything else is not really being, in my opinion, realistic about what we have a chance to do in this country."

[Last modified: Friday, August 26, 2016 4:17pm]


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