The Senate version of an immigration reform bill which was shepherded through the process by Florida Senator Marco Rubio has become a very sharply debated topic on the political right. Texas Senator Ted Cruz took the opportunity this weekend, appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” to launch some jabs at Rubio over shortcomings in the bill.
Report from CBS News:
Cruz even managed to sneak in an underhanded dig at another potential GOP hopeful, staking out a platform as an unapologetic conservative that could serve him well in a presidential primary fight come 2016.
He again voiced his opposition to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, and knocked one of its Republican co-authors, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is also believed to be eyeballing a presidential run in 2016.
“I think [Rubio] believes in the [Senate] bill,” Cruz said. But he added, “If the [Senate] bill became law, in another 10, 20 years, we wouldn’t have 11 million people here illegally, we’d have 20 or 30 million.”
And as Republicans consider 2016, Cruz said, they should seek a candidate who prizes purity over accommodation.
“You know if you look at the last 40 years, a consistent pattern emerges,” he explained. “Republicans nominate a candidate for president who runs as a strong conservative, we win. And we nominate a moderate who doesn’t run as a conservative, we lose.”
Rep. Peter King also got in on the action declaring the he is officially exploring the possibility of a presidential run to counteract what he sees as a rise in the “isolationist” wing of the Republican Party:
On Saturday, King, who has been more frank than most about his presidential designs, again condemned the direction in which Cruz and Paul have steered the GOP’s foreign policy conversation, telling ABC that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would eat them alive in the general election if she secures the Democratic nomination.
“I think she’s very strong on foreign policy, and I think that if we nominate someone from our isolationist wing of the party, she’ll destroy them,” he said.
There is a discernible divergence within the GOP over the direction of foreign policy and national security. No doubt this will play itself out in many ways over the next three years.