Tags: Rubio | immigration | Limbaugh | Obamacare

Marco Rubio: Let's Look Beyond President Obama

By Bill Hoffman   |   Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 03:33 PM

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — sounding more and more like a 2016 presidential contender every day — says the GOP must govern the nation looking beyond Barack Obama's Administration.

“I just want to remind everybody Obama’s not going to be president forever,’’ Rubio told Rush Limbaugh on Limbaugh’s syndicated radio show Tuesday.

“As long as these next four years may seem, he won’t be president forever. We’ll have another president one day and we have to write laws with that in mind as well.’’

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The Sunshine State’s junior senator said convincing Americans that less government, as the Republican Party wants, is better than more government, which Democrats continue to push, is a tough challenge.

“It’s easier to sell cotton candy than it is to sell broccoli to somebody, but the broccoli is better for you. And it’s the same thing with limited government,’’ Rubio told Limbaugh.

“Yeah, it’s a lot easier for a politician to sell people on how a big government program is going to make their life better. But I think ours, once we sell it, is more enduring, more permanent and better for the country.’’

Rubio said while the GOP supports immigration reforms to make it easier for illegal immigrants to remain and prosper in the United States, the party sometimes is seen as against it because of different approaches.

“Our point has always been we understand we have to fix this problem. But just because we’re not for what you’re for doesn’t mean that we’re anti-immigrant and anti-immigration,’’ said Rubio, a Miami-born Cuban-American.

“And it’s certainly hard to make that argument to me, someone whose family are immigrant, married into a family of immigrants, my neighbors are immigrants. I’ve grown up around it my whole life . . . “I’ve seen the good that legal immigration has done for our country and I see the strain that illegal immigration places on our country.’’

When Limbaugh pointed out that Democrats seem less interested in border security as the No. 1 priority than Republicans, Rubio said immigration reform must not only focus on the border, but should also incorporate workplace enforcement and a visa tracking system.

“You know 40 percent of our illegal immigrants or undocumented people that are in this country, they didn’t cross the border?’’ Rubio said.

“They came legally, their visa expired and they stayed and we don’t track people when they leave. We only track them when they come in.

“This is going to be a challenge if in fact this bill does not have real triggers in there and, if there is not language in this bill that guarantees that nothing else will happen unless these enforcement mechanisms are in place, I won’t support it.

“But the principles clearly call for that and now obviously we have to make sure the law does too.’’

The issue of benefits is also in a tricky issue, the senator said.

"According to the law today, if you are lawfully present in the country but you’re not a green-card holder, you do not qualify for any federal benefits,’’ Rubio explained.

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“That’s existing law. And so that means that the folks that are going to be in the probationary stage that is in our principles, they don’t qualify for any federal benefits except for one: Obamacare.

“Obamacare is the only federal benefit where you qualify for it not because you have a green card, but only because you’re lawfully present.

“That issue needs to be resolved because if Obamacare is available to 11 million people, it blows a hole in our budget and makes this bill undoable.’’

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