The Florida Republican gives a glimpse of a way forward with Latinos. But to make it work, the GOP may have to abandon its law-and-order rhetoric.
Marco Rubio played down his political ambitions during an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum Thursday. Nonetheless, his remarks on immigration at the conference made clear why so many in his party see him as a central figure in its future.
"My trip to Iowa has nothing to do with 2016," Rubio told National Journal's Major Garrett, dismissing speculation about whether he might begin a bid for presidency two years from now. "It has to do with Governor Branstad, and I accepted that invitation when I fully expected Mitt Romney would be the next president of the United States and believed that in 2016 we'd be working for his reelection." Rubio is scheduled to attend "Governor Branstad's 2nd Annual 65th Birthday Party event!" on Nov. 17 at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa.
Whether he decides to seek higher office or not, Rubio is already one of the most compelling voices on the Republican side of the aisle when it comes to the need for comprehensive immigration reform. He's also clearing the way for a new Republican rhetoric on the topic.
"It's really hard to get people to listen to you on economic growth, on tax rates, on healthcare if they think you want to deport their grandmother," Rubio said. "I mean, it's very difficult to get people to listen to anything else you are saying."