Skip to comments.Ted Cruz, the Anti-Rubio Who Is Determined to Stop Immigration Reform
Posted on 05/02/2013 11:36:28 AM PDT by AuntB
The Texas freshman has become the face of the GOP opposition to immigration reformand that could boost the senators prospects in 2016, reports David Catanese.
Three weeks after he was elected to the Senate, Ted Cruz delivered a speech in a dimly lit downtown Washington hotel ballroom addressing the thumping his party had sustained at the ballot box, particularly at the hands of Hispanic voters.
The issue is not, as the media would suggest, 100 percent about immigration, the Texas senator told the banquet of conservatives, deriding the press corpss obsessive focus on that issue.
I think Republicans need to remain a party that supports securing the border and stopping illegal immigration and at the same time welcomes and celebrates, champions legal immigration, he continued, to thunderclaps from the favorable audience. It aint the answer just to suddenly talk about immigration and forget everything else. Im going to suggest instead a different path.
Just as the immigration debate is heating upand Cruzs own potential presidential aspirations are coming into sharp focusthe 42-year-old Cuban-American is now looking to make good on his word.
No Republican senator has been a more audacious opponent of the bipartisan approach to immigration than Cruz. And being a freshman who has been a part of the seniority-driven chamber for less than four months makes the play even bolder.
In my view, any bill that insists upon [a pathway to citizenship] jeopardizes the likelihood of passing any immigration-reform bill, Cruz told the Senate Judiciary Committee in no uncertain terms last week.
Of course, thats the central tenet of the legislationpitting him squarely against the bills chief sponsor and fellow Hispanic, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, also a 2016 presidential contender.
If Rubio is set to become the vaunted hero if the compromise holds, Cruz will be remembered, for better or worse, as the wrecking ball if it crumbles.
Even as Rubio has doggedly tried to frame the package as a border security billcomplete with new technology to beef up surveillance of high-risk sections of the 2,000-mile Mexican borderCruz has sliced it up as yet another government boondoggle filled with false promises.
The Tea Party favorite notes that a mere 58 of the bills 844 pages address the border-security component and says the proposed security triggers that will be used to legalize new citizens lack real teeth. There are no objective metrics in place to ensure any triggers in this bill will be meaningful, Cruz said after a hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
One political adviser to Cruz explained that while the senator has refrained from a full-frontal shelling of immigration reform, its highly unlikely hell ever get to a place where he can vote aye.
If Rubio is set to become the vaunted hero if the compromise holds, Cruz will be rememberedfor better or worseas the wrecking ball if it crumbles.
Ted really would like to do some real immigration reform in a way that doesnt alienate Hispanic voters, but the path that theyve gone down is not something hes going to support, said the adviser, who declined to be identified.
It gives too much control to the Obama administration, allowing them to do studies that he doesnt believe they have any good intention of doing. The big picture is not a bad sell, its when you dive in, thats where the devil lies. Youll see Cruz focus on the flaws of the details rather than attacking it on the big picture.
But while the adviser insisted that Cruzs position isnt being calibrated with an eye toward a 2016 White House run, he concedes that being a leader of the opposition to amnesty would be helpful in early primary states like South Carolina, where the senator is scheduled to address a state GOP dinner on Friday. National Review reports that Cruz is seriously considering a presidential bid.
The adviser also points out that other reform advocates include John McCain, as well as prominent liberal Democrats such as Chuck Schumer: I think Marcos kind of hurt himself here, with the Republican base. (A Cruz spokeswoman said the senator was too busy for an interview.)
In other words, Cruz in no way wants to be associated with those he sees as the Senates squishesa term he recently used to slight some of his Republican colleagues who complained about his aggressive posture during the gun-control debate.
Rubios team has every reason to play nice. His playbook throughout the fight has been to engage critics and their concerns constructivelya concerted effort to slowly win, or at least placate, the hearts and minds of the conservative commentariat. Theres no advantage to getting into a public knife fight with the pugnacious and self-assured Cruz, who is building a following with the same grassroots conservatives Rubio will need in a White House campaign.
We have a ton of respect for Senator Cruz and value his suggestions for how to improve the immigration legislation, said Rubio spokesman Alex Conant. Weve talked a lot with Senator Cruz and his staff and really appreciate their insights. As somebody from a border state with many immigrants, Senator Cruz will have important suggestions for how to help improve the proposal.
But Cruzs operation is counting on the entire thing to die, if not in the Senate, then almost surely once it gets to the House. And then Cruz could claim to be the one 2016er who fought comprehensive immigration reform and won.
That would be the textbook play in a Republican primary, based on past experience. Remember the flak that Texas Gov. Rick Perry took last cycle for calling critics of illegal immigrants heartless? Or the backlash Newt Gingrich provoked when he declared that longtime undocumented residents should be allowed to remain in the country?
Dan Harvell, a South Carolina GOP county party chairman, said he totally agrees with Cruzs opposition to immigration reform. I think hes right, and we dont need to be so tolerant as many would have us be, he said.
Yet some Republicans pollsters contend that attitudes in their party are gradually softening, with one recent McLaughlin & Associates survey showing that 66 percent of GOPers support reform that includes a waiting period of several years for those who came here illegally.
Cruz opposing a security fix thats needed in immigration reform wont help, said John McLaughlin, who conducted the March poll. On the other hand, if like Sen. Rand Paul he is able to make important changes and helps fix a broken system, he may really boost his standing well beyond his Texas conservative base.
But some of those who marshal the troops and resources in primary campaigns are not only standing in solidarity with Cruz but notably souring on Rubio.
I think what Marco Rubios doing right now is not how the Senate is supposed to be operated. Its certainly not deliberative, said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.
Cruz is asking the tough questions, especially in the hearings, she said. Hes doing what he can to force the Senate to be more deliberative. Thats a good thing. And the people in the Tea Party movement appreciate that.
The smear machine has started on Cruz, so he's doing something right and worries the opposition, like Grover Norquist who promised to marginalize any opposition to the gang of 8 plans. He brag he already marginalized Jeff Sessions. Let Sen. Sessions know he is appreciated for his YEARS of work for conservatives on this issue.
To see David Dewhurst trying to debate Cruz was a revelation. Dewhurst is a decent guy and fairly conservative, but Texas didnt need another old Tory in the Senate, a male version of Kaye Bailey.
Cruz has the added advantage of being correct.
Funny, I'm trying to get him primaried out of the 2014 race for Lt. Gov. He's a squishy RINO. Certainly not conservative. I've got the Boot Dewhurst in 2014 pinglist here on FR.
God Bless America, I voted for him!
REVELATION: COULD IT BE Ted Cruz actually read the Bill!!
God Bless You for doing so!
If Rubio wants to do something about the plight of his fellow Cubans that’s fine. But the people who easily come across through Mexico are from all parts of the world. I would suggest that for two years the Feds enforce, without exception, all the current laws already enacted and then let’s see where we are. And no more work visas or guest worker programs.
Could it be that Ted Cruz read THIS:
Consider what the Marco Rubios bill is attempting to hide by moving so quickly. The bill:
Grants amnesty to illegal aliens simply after the Secretary of Homeland Security submits plans to secure the border;
Grants amnesty to criminals and gang members;
Does not require amnestied illegal aliens to pay back-taxes;
Does not require amnestied illegal aliens to learn English;
Allows illegal aliens to sue the government for amnesty;
Allows the open borders and pro-amnesty lobbies to sue to prevent enforcement measures from taking place before illegal aliens can receive green cards;
Requires taxpayers foot the bill for illegal aliens to fight deportations at the Attorney Generals sole and unreviewable discretion;
Requires only 3 of 9 southern border sectors to have a 90% apprehension rate, leaving the rest in the porous status quo;
Grants green cards and citizenship after 5 years to illegal aliens claiming to have come to the U.S. before the age of 16 who meet certain criteria;
Effectively halts all deportations for years by requiring Homeland Security to allow every illegal alien its agents intercept to apply for amnesty and prohibiting agents from deporting them until the illegal aliens application is adjudicated.
AND NOW IS OPPOSING THE BILL??
“God Bless America, I voted for him!”
For Cruz? Aren’t you still in Illinois?
I'd also love to see Corny Cornyn primaried. (I can dream.)
Those placing their bets early might have been betting on the wrong Latino Republican. We’ll have to see, but no doubt Rubio has hurt himself with many by making such a hard sell and, frankly, misrepresenting what the Gang of 8 conconction would actually do, or mostly not do when it comes to border security.
I called Rubio the Bart Stupack of the immigration debate and I’m sticking with it.
I wouldn't be surprised.
I love Ted Cruz. He’s the real deal. You guys in Texas are blessed to have him. Rubio pals around with Mc Cain too much.
“I called Rubio the Bart Stupack of the immigration debate and Im sticking with it.”
Nice analogy. Good work.
I moved to Corpus Christi Texas to care for my terminally ill father. He went to be with Jesus March 17, 2012
“Might be a provision of 0Care...folks in IL can vote all across the US...as often as they like ;)
I wouldn’t be surprised. “
Cruz is doing something right!
Oh, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss! How do you like Texas? I was born near there, in Falfurrias.