I use the term ‘mess’ since that is essentially what happened when Florida Senator Marco Rubio, champion of the Tea Party and a potential 2016 contender, pushed a hard sell on immigration reform to conservatives in 2013. Rubio’s version of reform included a pathway to citizenship which quickly became synonymous with amnesty and the Senator was no longer in the good graces of the GOP conservative base. As of today, the legislation Rubio was pushing went nowhere and the issue still looms despite his strident and vocal support for it in the past twelve to twenty-four months.
However, it now appears that Rubio is working on rehabbing his conservative credentials and beginning his push for launching a campaign in 2016.
Report from ABC News:
He’s a 42-year-old freshman senator, but when asked by Jonathan Karl on “This Week” if he’s ready to be president, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida answered without hesitation.
“I do … but I think that’s true for multiple other people that would want to run … I mean, I’ll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don’t realize, I’ve served now in public office for the better part of 14 years,” said Rubio. “Most importantly, I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there and I think we’re very blessed in our party to have a number of people that fit that criteria.”
When asked if he was qualified to run, Rubio reiterated that the Republican Party has several qualified candidates.
“The question is what — who’s vision is the one that our party wants to follow?” he said.
Rubio has held pretty tightly to staunch conservative positions on most issues outside the topic of immigration reform. Has his star power diminished within the party or does he still have room to resurrect his former Tea Party glory from 2010 and become a serious threat in 2016?