Democratic Rep. Gutierrez: Rubio Critical to Immigration Reform

Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 01:27 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Rising GOP superstar Marco Rubio is “critical’’ to the nation enacting key immigration reforms next year, a top Democratic lawmaker says.

The Republican senator from Florida “will play a critical role — a necessary, critical role. He’s a youthful voice,’’ Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez told The Hill.

“He was one of the first people who got it. He got it before the November 6th — how should we call November 6th? — shellacking.’’

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Rubio has been seen as a major force in developing a new Republican ideology for immigration reform after President Barack Obama took more than 70 percent of the Latino vote earlier this month.

And his ringing endorsement by Gutierrez, chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, further brings the two parties closer in working together.

In a speech before the House earlier today, Gutierrez said:

“Most Americans believe that Election Day demonstrated it’s time to move beyond the same old politics — the same tired blame-game on immigration.’’

While Rubio is being talked about as the GOP’s possible presidential nominee in 2016, The Hill says his standing with his party’s conservative base could be hurt if he strays too far on immigration.

But Gutierrez believes Rubio will do the right thing.

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“Here’s my belief: He’s smart and he gets it,” Gutierrez told The Hill. “And maybe more important than that, I’m hopeful that he’s a friend and an ally, because he’s necessary.”


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