Conservative journalist Bill Kristol is advising Sen. Marco Rubio to abandon the bipartisan immigration bill he helped write and push through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday against heavy odds.
"He should walk away from it. He should say, 'I made a good faith effort, but you know what, this is not a piece of legislation,'" Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, said Tuesday on the Laura Ingraham radio show
Calling the bill drafted by the so-called Gang of Eight a "big government, liberal piece of legislation," Kristol said it will never work and that Congress could do better addressing immigration "issue by issue" in separate bills.
"Think of the trust you have to have in bureaucracy to make all this work. There’ll be certifications and border security, there’ll be tests of whether people paid back taxes," he said.
"If you like Obamacare, you should like this immigration bill. I honestly think conservatives should oppose it on those grounds alone," Kristol said.
"I couldn’t vote for this bill," he added. "I just don’t think it’s good conservative governance, and I don’t think there’s any need to compromise with [New York Democratic Sen.] Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama at this point. There’s no crisis."
Kristol called on Rubio and other lawmakers not to act on impulse and think that doing something "is better than doing nothing."
"Because once you legalize, you legalize. "It’s done . . . Once you cross the bridge, you can’t get back," he said.
Kristol advised Republicans not to tackle immigration reform until the party has a larger majority in Congress or until there's a Republican in the White House, perhaps in 2017.
"If you have to live with the status quo for a few years, then let's live with the status quo for a few years," he said.
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