FULGENCIO: Has Rubio alienated the Tea Party with immigration reform?

Is it possible for Rubio to keep the support of the Tea Party and win over Hispanics at the same time? The evidence says Photo: AP

OKLAHOMA CITY, August 13, 2013 ― The election of Senator Marco Rubio to the U.S. Senate in 2010 was a moment of celebration for the newly formed Tea Party movement as Rubio became known as the “Tea Party darling.”

Rubio’s stump speech about his family’s escape from Fidel Castro’s Cuba never failed to bring people to their feet. The speech reminded his listeners that America is the greatest country on earth and a beacon to the world’s oppressed.

SEE RELATED: Cruz and Rubio: A tale of two Republicans

Upon being sworn in, Rubio fought hard against Obamacare and worked to get the U.S. back on the path of economic success. He took his campaign rhetoric to the Senate floor and to news talk shows.

The federal government was wrecking the economy, and Congress had lost touch with the common people.

Rubio sang the Tea Party’s tune, becoming the Tea Party poster child. When Mitt Romney became the GOP candidate, Tea Partyers wanted Rubio to be the vice-presidential nominee in 2012.

Rubio’s stance on immigration reform has now put him out of tune with the Tea Party. His participation in the gang of eight has taken him out of grace. Rather than humbly admit error and return to the fold, he went on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show to urge Americans to support the Senate’s immigration reform bill.  

SEE RELATED: Rubio to Univision on amnesty: ‘The legalization is going to happen’

A friend of Rubio’s from his Tea Party honeymoon stage, political pundit Ann Coulter, has attacked him for his views on immigration reform. She isn’t alone, but he may not care. His role in immigration reform may signify the start of his 2016 presidential campaign, and he may have decided that the Tea Party won’t get him to the White House.

The conventional wisdom is that in order to win the 2016 Presidential election, Republicans must reach out to Hispanic voters, especially in states like Nevada, New Mexico and Florida.

Although he does not see eye to eye with the Tea Party on immigration reform, Rubio continues the fight against Obamacare and to bring the federal budget under control. His support of the Senate bill might make it possible for him to win the election, but at the cost of losing the nomination.

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Jose L. Fulgencio

 Jose L. Fulgencio is a writer for the Washington Times Communities, LLC. Jose is a dedicated writer to political and business issues affecting the Hispanic community.     


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