From the Daily Caller: Bill Kristol to Marco Rubio: ‘Walk away’ on immigration; ‘Jeff Sessions is winning the debate’ [AUDIO] 4:21 PM
“He should walk away from it,” Kristol said. “He should say, ‘I made a good-faith effort, but you know what, this is not a piece of legislation …’ You just got to judge on the substance, and I don’t believe honestly — I follow this one kind of as an outsider without much of a stake one way or the other. I care about it … but the public policy actual argument, the critics of the bill are winning over and over. I’m a better friend of Marco Rubio than Jeff Sessions. I know him much better, but Jeff Sessions is winning the debate. I just don’t think you can deny that.”
Kristol realizes that this issue is riling up the base, and will damage his conservative credentials, such as they are. He thinks they should try more gradually, or stealthily, depending on whether he said "discrete" or "discreet" pieces of legislation, (the Daily Caller has "discreet" but it's a transcript). But either way, he doesn't want to get caught with his base down.
In fact, he's hoping, he says, to "come back in 2015 when there are more Republicans in Congress, come back in 2017 when perhaps there is a Republican president and address these issues,” which is only going to happen if Rubio and the Republicans don't anger the voters.
This combines two political memes we've touched on before:
Kristol is for Amnesty—he wrote a Tancredo-bashing piece called Y is For Yahoo in the Weekly Standard in 2006—but he doesn't think that the GOP can get away with it just now. So he's walking away, bailing out, scuttling, deserting the sinking ship.