His return to the political fray puts him back on the list for Sunday shows, as the consequential hispanic Republican who conveniently is critical of the nominee Trump, which pleases the networks. Senator Rubio appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday to discuss the issues of the day.
Interestingly, when asked about how he would envision his next Senate term, Rubio declared that “the Senate needs to fulfill its role as a check and balance on the president” and he would focus on that. It’s curious that he hopes to improve the Senate’s proper functioning within our Constitutional system when he dropped out for a year to pursue his campaign for President.
Below, Senator Rubio appears with other Gang of Eight members when the group worked to pass a terrible amnesty bill for millions of illegal alien foreigners. His amnesty activities as a freshman senator helped him get a lot of attention in the press.
Naturally, the topic of immigration came up during the interview, since Rubio is an “expert” in the minds of the media. He still wants the big amnesty reward for the intruders, although he framed the idea in a roundabout way: “I argue for a piecemeal step-by-step approach that begins with enforcement and I think leads to the confidence we need from the American people to do something reasonable.”
Little Marco was quite firm in his objection to Trump’s Muslim immigration ban, because refusing immigration admittance to anyone (including historic enemies) is not something Rubio can stand.
“You see our best allies in Jordan. Our allies in that reach that are working to us to defeat ISIS, theyre Muslims. You look at communities in America who are reporting to the FBI, we have got a radical here in our midst, theyre Muslims. And so its just thats not a real proposal. Its not something thats going to happen. . . I think its bad policy for the country to say youre going to have a religious exclusion. And I think you have heard from multiple leaders in our party say that. And, by the way, I believe or I would hope that we would have the opportunity to encourage him, if hes elected president, in a different direction about how to deal with the problem hes trying to deal with, is radical Islamic terror.”
So America can have friendly relations only with nations from whom we accept immigrants? That’s the underlying supposition, and it’s strange when you think about it.
Anyway, Temple University Law Professor Jan Ting has said the president has the power to block whatever group he wants: “There’s clear statutory authority in the laws [outlined by] Congress … delegating to the president” the power to impose an immigration ban “whenever the president finds that such admission would be detrimental to the United States.”
On another front, political newcomer Carlos Beruff is challenging Rubio in the primary from the right, asking, “Do you want a Senator who puts politics and their own ambition first?”
So Little Marco is not getting a free ride back to the Senate. We can dream.
The following transcript is from CBS NEWS June 26, 2016:
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: In terms of the politics of this, do you see any parallels between the Brexit push and whats happening in American politics?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I think globalization, the kind of move of the economy to this global economy, is having an impact in multiple countries around the world.
I think the reality that we have a new economy and the new economy is creating a lot of new jobs, that the people hired for the new jobs are not the same people that are losing jobs under the old economy. In essence, the people losing their jobs are the not the ones people being hired by the new economy. All of this has created an incredible amount of strain and friction all over the world.
And so theres a sense in many countries around the world that this is because were too engaged with this global economy, were too engaged with world. I think you see it manifested here in America. I think you saw it in that vote there. I think theres other places where you may see that pop up as well.
DICKERSON: Do you see it manifested in America in the support for Donald Trump?
Its one of the fundamental arguments hes made, is that the U.S. needs to isolate itself a little bit more from some of the other things that are going on around the world and focus on America first. And there are some elements of truth to that argument, but ultimately, again not entirely, because, given the dynamics that we now live in today, we cannot isolate ourselves from global events. We are the United States of America.
Were not a small, irrelevant country. We are directly and immediately impacted by global events, whether we want to be or not, whether theyre national security ones or economic ones. Were 5 percent of the worlds population. If all we do is sell things to each other, theres only so much growth we can create. We need to be able to engage with economies all over the world.
DICKERSON: Do you have any concern about a kind of burn the system down mentality that some people have seen in the Brexit vote and that they see in American politics today? The elites are wrong. The fancy economists are wrong. The members of Congress are wrong.
Do you see that?
RUBIO: Well, I think its good to hold the elites and the fancy economists and the Congress accountable for the decisions they make.
And I do not believe its an illegitimate argument for someone who works in manufacturing to argue, for example, dont do this, because it will cost us jobs at the expense of them going to another country. I dont think thats an illegitimate argument for them to make.
I think it challenges policy-makers to figure out how it is we can embrace a new economy we cannot avoid. The future cannot be stopped. Its going to happen. Whether we like it or not, automations going to happen. The nature of the economy is going to continue to change. You couldnt stop the Industrial Revolution. Youre not going to be able to stop the 21st century economy.
But we have to figure out how to benefit from it not, just be hurt by it.
DICKERSON: You said you didnt trust Donald Trump with the nuclear codes. Do you trust Hillary Clinton with the nuclear codes?
RUBIO: You know, I think the argument goes deeper than that when it comes to her. And that is, what kind of foreign policy will she pursue and where will it lead us ultimately to make decisions like that dramatic as the one you just outlined?
This is a person who has generally supported virtually all of the Obama agenda, whether it was the reset with Russia, which has blown up in our face, whether it was the pivot to Asia, which was largely rhetorical, but sent the message to Europe that we were disengaging from them, whether it was the Iran nuclear deal, which I believe will one day will come to haunt us, whether its the release of prisoners from Guantanamo, one of whom was sent to Uruguay, and has now Uruguay, headed to Brazil, and on his way back to Syria.
And hes not going back to Syria to open up a chain of car washes. I mean, this is the things shes supporting.
DICKERSON: But do you trust her with the codes?
RUBIO: Well, look, I think theres a process for the presidency.
And once you assume the office, no matter who holds that office, I think that the reality and gravity of it always weighs on these people. Its a very difficult issue to face. So, I would hope that I can trust no matter who wins with the nuclear codes.
But heres a better approach, and that is ensuring that we have a foreign policy to ensure that we never reach a point where something that could actually happen, where nuclear weapons would have to be used, which in my mind obviously is the worst and most apocalyptic scenario possible.
DICKERSON: Let me try it another way.
The presidency on national security issues sometimes comes down to one person by themselves in a room alone, no matter how much advice they have gotten. On those tough decisions, whether its about the nuclear codes or about the other kinds of decisions a single president can make, do you think that Donald Trump has better character and judgment in those alone situations than Hillary Clinton?
RUBIO: So, thats the challenge Donald has over the next two, three months.
DICKERSON: Well, what does Senator Rubio think?
RUBIO: Well, but theres a campaign. So, thats what Im going to watch now.
I know Donald as a primary candidate trying to stand out in a field of 17 people. He is now the Republican nominee. And hes going to have the next three months to go out and make the argument to the American people and help us envision him as president. And these are the kinds of issues that hes going to have to earn peoples trust. Thats part of the process for anyone who runs.
DICKERSON: I know you want to stay on the legislative, but there was a poll recently that has you as the most popular choice for vice president.
RUBIO: Yes, well, its too late for that. Im running for the United States Senate from Florida, and you cant run for two offices at once, so
DICKERSON: Even if you were asked to not run for
RUBIO: No, I thats not for me a viable option.
And I said that months ago, that the differences in policies that me and Donald have had are too big for something like that to work. It would be a distraction, quite frankly, to his campaign.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about some of those policies. The Supreme Court ruled that the president overreached on his authority in terms of deferring deportation.
If a person is in the country illegally, maybe the children who have been born here, if theyre here and they have broken no other law other than the immigration law, if Donald Trump is president, should they worry theyre going to be deported?
RUBIO: Well, I have said this before. Donalds argument is that hes going to create this program. And the reality of it is, he cant do it. You cant round up and deport 11 million people. There are people that need to be deported. Criminals need to be deported.
But you cant round up and deport 11, 10, nine million people. The American people wouldnt stand for it once they saw what it would take to make that happen. And whats why I argue for a piecemeal step-by-step approach that begins with enforcement and I think leads to the confidence we need from the American people to do something reasonable, but responsible about people facing these circumstances.
DICKERSON: Heres a challenge reelected Senator Marco Rubio will face in 2017. If Donald Trump is elected, there will be an effort to deport 11 million. If Hillary Clinton is elected, she said she will present comprehensive immigration reform to the Congress.
Which one is the better starting point to get to what you want?
RUBIO: Neither. Neither will happen. In that sense, Donald is not going hes already kind of even backtracked from that a little bit and said that theres flexibility here about how this is dealt with.
People do need to be deported.
DICKERSON: When I talk to him about it, he sure seems like he wants to deport those 11 million.
RUBIO: Well, again, I think that there are people that need to be deported, criminals, people that are dangerous, quite frankly, people that havent been here very long.
There has to be a cutoff point. Cant just be anyone who comes and gets to stay. So, I dont think thats whats going to happen, no matter what he says on the campaign. And on the other side, shes wasting first of all, I would ask her, why didnt the Democrats do that eight years ago when they controlled the House, the Senate and the presidency?
Instead, they focused on Obamacare. Second, the votes arent there. Theres less votes today for comprehensive reform than there was two years ago, four years ago.
DICKERSON: Another scenario for the newly elected senator, if that happens, Donald Trump is president. He says he will have this temporary ban, which he has he believes he has the authority do. What does Senator Rubio do when the executive does that?
RUBIO: Temporary ban on?
DICKERSON: Muslim immigration.
RUBIO: Thats also not going to happen. And theres two reasons why.
We have we for example, we talk about ISIS and the need to defend ISIS. And one of our great partners in defeating ISIS are Kurds in Kurdistan, who I visited a few weeks ago. Theyre Muslims. You go and see some of our troops embedded around the world that many times are in the front line of going into communities and working alongside these communities to defeat ISIS. Theyre Muslim. You see our best allies in Jordan. Our allies in that reach that are working to us to defeat ISIS, theyre Muslims. You look at communities in America who are reporting to the FBI, we have got a radical here in our midst, theyre Muslims. And so its just thats not a real proposal. Its not something thats going to happen.
DICKERSON: But he thinks he has executive authority do that. If he did, would Senator Rubio do something to undo that or thwart it?
I think its bad policy for the country to say youre going to have a religious exclusion. And I think you have heard from multiple leaders in our party say that. And, by the way, I believe or I would hope that we would have the opportunity to encourage him, if hes elected president, in a different direction about how to deal with the problem hes trying to deal with, is radical Islamic terror.
And I believe we will be able or I hope we will be able to encourage him in a different direction from that.
DICKERSON: When youre if youre reelected to the Senate, what do you want to do?
RUBIO: Theres a lot of things I think are important.
The first, of course, is I think the Senate needs to fulfill its role as a check and balance on the president, no matter who it is, and that means a president of our own party. And if we agree on something, we need to work together with that president. And if we disagree on it, we need to be willing to stand up to the presidency, even if theyre of your own parry.
I think, from a personal perspective, I remain, on a macro scale, obviously, I think its really important for America to fully benefit from this transition to a new economy. We cant stop the pace of progress. We either benefit from it, or were left behind by it. But we recognize people are being hurt by it.
DICKERSON: Can those things that you want to do, other than being a check on a president, can any of those things happen in a Senate that you described as a presidential candidate as a place where things go to die?
RUBIO: I hope so. Its hard.
DICKERSON: You were pretty tough on the Senate.
RUBIO: And I continue to be.
DICKERSON: Why would you go back? Seventeen percent public approval rating.
RUBIO: Well, thats a good question.
I think, for me, it came down to, it wasnt my plan to run again. But I think it came down to whether or not you just give up on it. Do you give up or do you say, Im going to take one more crack at really hoping that this place gets better?
Im frustrated. As you said, Im not alone. A lot of Americans are frustrated. Look at Zika, an issue thats impacting Florida. It took us forever to get anything. And even what we got is not enough. Its extremely frustrating.
But ultimately its the process we have. And we need people working within that process to make things happen as long as and as hard as it may be.
DICKERSON: All right. Marco Rubio, thanks so much.
RUBIO: Thank you.