Two Republican senators in their first terms, both of Cuban descent with tea party backing, have emerged with different approaches to immigration reform efforts, Politico notes.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is a member of the “Gang of 8” in the Senate, four Democrats and four Republicans, who crafted the Senate version of the legislation. Rubio has been selling the bill to conservative commentators.
But Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, hasn’t warmed to the bill, despite direct lobbying from Rubio. Despite his firebrand reputation, however, Cruz has not jumped out to lead the opposition.
Both men are being talked about as GOP White House hopefuls in 2016.
Perhaps Cruz’s reluctance to lead the anti-immigration reform effort is linked to the scarcity of Hispanic support he saw in his Senate election, Politico observes. He might need it if he decides on a presidential bid.
But stronger opposition would boost his appeal to conservatives.
“Every leading GOP 2016-er is supporting comprehensive immigration reform,” a Texas Republican who knows Cruz well told Politico. “The worst secret in D.C. is Cruz is going to run for president, and he’s going to lean in hard against immigration to separate himself from all other 2016-ers.”
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