Here come the attacks. The Establishment has finally realized what a threat Ted Cruz is to their new backup candidate, Marco Rubio. With Jeb crashing, the GOP elites are retreating to Rubio as their hope for a RINO candidate to scoop the nomination.
The flavor of the day? Ted Cruz is the same as Marco Rubio on immigration. Ted Cruz says he laughed out loud when he heard Rubio claimed their immigration views were similar. He went on to comment:
Marco had a fairly remarkable comment in that he suggested that my record was exactly like his on immigration, and I have to admit I laughed out loud at that. Marco’s a friend, but that statement was truly stunning. I mean that’s like Obama saying my position is the same is his on Obamacare.
Rubio's team is feverishly working to cast Cruz's efforts to torpedo the Gang of 8 Immigration Bill, which Rubio co-sponsored, as a serious effort to establish an immigration policy. Posts like the one below are being disseminated on Twitter and Facebook all day today, with comments claiming that this is Ted Cruz's immigration position.
What they fail to mention, however, is that this quote is taken completely out of context. His comments were in an interview specifically about the Gang of 8 bill which Cruz opposed from the start. He explained that his amendment to strip any citizenship provisions from the bill would leave it with a possibility for legal status for illegals but NEVER citizenship. Why would Cruz advocate such a thing?
Well, kids, he didn't. In 2013, when Marco Rubio betrayed the Tea Party and Conservative voters that helped him win election to the US Senate by siding with John McCain and Chuck Schemer to sponsor the Gang of 8 Immigration Bill (read: amnesty bill), Ted Cruz opposed them vociferously. When he saw that he would not be able to kill the bill outright, he proposed a series of amendments to the bill with two goals in mind:
1. To place on display the disingenuous efforts of the bill's sponsors to improve immigration and reveal their hypocrisy.
2. To load the bill with poison pill amendments to make it completely impassible in the House.
The quote above was from Cruz's amendment to show the lie that the bill was only trying to "bring illegals out of the shadows" and give them some sort of legal status. Knowing the bill was designed to make illegals into US citizens eventually, Ted Cruz offered an amendment that ONLY stripped citizenship, but left intact the legal status provisions, knowing that the Democrats would vote against it, because their goal was citizenship, not just legal status. They did, and Cruz was right.
The bill's sponsors also said that a main goal was to increase legal immigration, and bring skilled workers who would contribute to the economy into the country with this bill. Again, Ted Cruz called their bluff by introducing an amendment to increase the H1B Visa program by 500%!!! He gave a long-winded introduction using the stats and arguments cited by his opponents as to why this would be a benefit to the US economy. Cruz knew the Dems and the bill's supporters would vote against his amendment, and again, he was right.
Ted Cruz needled Marco Rubio and the bill's supporters in this manner throughout the process, until the bill collapsed with insufficient support to pass. Ted Cruz, allied with Sen. Jeff Sessions and Sen. Mike Lee, fought the most visibly and forcefully against the bill as a whole. Those of us who were watching during the ordeal understood exactly what Cruz was doing, and where his immigration views were.
Amanda Carpenter, a former Communications Director for Ted Cruz's senate campaign, explained in a series of tweets yesterday what the strategy was at the time.
Cruz's work was essential in proving that the Gang bill was only about path to citizenship. He was successful!
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) November 13, 2015
So the stellar work that Cruz did to torpedo Marco Rubio's amnesty bill is now being spun to make him look like a supporter of amnesty and illegal immigrants. A flurry of articles today hammered Cruz on immigration, calling into question his motives and his stance on immigration. 'Conservative' opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin breathlessly spun the story that Ted Cruz is 'trapped' on immigration because of his fight on Rubio's bill. Rubio spun Cruz's work against his amnesty bill as 'bragging' about work cards, rather than the truth of Ted Cruz's amendment showing Rubio's support on citizenship for illegals. Rick Santorum is still trying to fundraise by claiming that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both support amnesty for illegals. What is left out of all this frenzy of attacks on Ted Cruz are his well-known stances against amnesty and illegal immigration, consistent throughout his career, and reinforced in the Fox Business/WSJ debate this week when he proclaimed clearly that we ought to enforce our nations laws - Read: deport illegals and secure the border. His effectiveness on this point without the bombast of Donald Trump has his opponents panicked, which is why there is a full-court press in action to smear his immigration views and his consistency. Don't fall for the semantic arguments, and the sound-bite spin of political action committees and Establishment presidential candidates. Ted Cruz has been consistent and believable throughout his career, and there is more than enough evidence to disprove his critic's lies. The ones who supported amnesty and providing U.S. Citizenship to illegal immigrants?
No member of this list is conservative. Marco Rubio was cast as a Tea Party candidate during his hard-fought election in Florida, and many of his conservative supporters felt betrayed by his advocacy of this bill. When they called him on it, rather than hearing their concerns and taking it to heart, he was intransigent. Even National Review editorialized on Rubio breaking the trust of his supporters with an article titled 'Rubio's Folly'. In it, they made the following observation:
But it is worth noting that the two sides in this immigration debate are being led by Hispanic Republican senators: Marco Rubio for the Gang of Eight, Ted Cruz for the opposition. One of them, needless to say, is making more sense than the other.
Perhaps, if the Rubio campaign could take a break from stealing wifi internet from pizza joints, and look at the actual history, they would see that they are once again on the opposite side from the truth.