Dick Morris to Newsmax: Immigration Is 'Political Hot Potato' for Boehner

Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 07:44 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Political guru and best-selling author Dick Morris tells Newsmax that House Speaker John Boehner has been handed a "political hot potato," but the lower chamber will likely find a way to pass its own immigration reform bill.

"I think an immigration bill will probably pass," predicted Morris in an exclusive interview on Thursday. "The question is, will it be a Democratic bill or a Republican bill?"

Morris, a former political adviser to former President Bill Clinton, said that each party has its own ideas of what constitutes immigration reform.

"We would like of course to pass a Republican bill, which would have the distinguishing feature that you could not proceed with amnesty or legalization until after there is evidence that the border is secured," said Morris.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

"But very few Democrats in the House would support that bill," he said.

Co-author of the book "Screwed!: How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off and Plundering Our Economy — and How Our Leaders Help Them Do It," Morris said Boehner faces a tough sell on immigration within his own GOP ranks.

"Boehner needs to make sure he has 218 Republican votes to vote for that bill, otherwise he won't be able to pass it," Morris explained.

"And the problem is, there may be enough Republicans that say, 'I'm not going to vote for any bill at all regardless of what's in it.'"

Boehner may be forced to work with House Democrats if Republicans are unwilling to embrace immigration reform.

"If that's the case, then he has to go to Plan B, which is to pass a bill with Democratic support," Morris explained. "And for each Democrat that he gets, he'll lose Republicans from the bill because he'll have to move to the left."

He predicted that Boehner will end up with a very different bill if he has to move the legislation to the left.

"At that point, what he would do is pass a bill that does not put securing the border first, but rather closely resembles the Senate bill — and pass that largely with Democratic votes — but with a smattering of Republicans, just as it happened in the Senate," said Morris.

That could be politically dangerous.

"If he has to pass a Democratic bill with a smattering of Republicans, he's going to endanger his speakership," asserts Morris.

"The problem he has is that he probably cannot get a majority of the Congress — a majority of the House from the Republicans — for any immigration bill at all," Morris added.

He also said that Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who staked his political capital on the Senate bill, is likely to reap political rewards.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

"I think Rubio emerges as a winner," Morris said, noting that the GOP may also be more likely to make inroads among Hispanic voters based on the landmark legislation.

"I think it all hinges on what happens in the House," he said.

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