One of the most common arguments made by Marco Rubio and his supporters when addressing illegal immigration is that he sounds much more conservative than he did when he was part of the Gang of Eight. The problem with the argument is that in 2013, when an organization working to push the bill spent 7-digits to advertise it, Rubio made the amnesty plan sound even more conservative than he sounds today.
I like Marco Rubio. He’s an acceptable candidate when compared to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but his history of wavering on conservative principles for the sake of political expediency makes him nearly impossible to fully trust. Particularly for those who oppose amnesty, there’s really no way to know whether or not he’ll make it happen during his Presidency because he swore that he would never support it a year before he supported it. He broke his promise when running for the Senate. There’s no reason to believe him now if he were to disavow comprehensive immigration reform.
To make it worse, he technically hasn’t disavowed it. He’s an incredibly slick talker and he’s been able to sidestep the issue every time it comes up without categorically denouncing the possibility of a path to citizenship or a desire to secure the borders with a wall. For a wall, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz stand alone, though Trump is basing his plan on touchback amnesty, but that’s a whole other issue.
Amnesty, citizenship, and legalization are all liberal to moderate paths with the same end goal – keeping illegal immigrants in the country indefinitely. If you think border security is hard now, imagine what it will be like with a Rubio Presidency.
Here’s his ad on amnesty from 2013. Note how precisely he’s able to position it as if it were a conservative principle. He should not be the GOP nominee.