Florida Senator Marco Rubio to prep Republicans on Hispanic vote
GOP has 'challenge' when it comes to immigration issue, but it must be a measured response, he says
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is expected to consult with Republican leaders about the Hispanic vote, says that many challenges lay ahead, in particular the party's stance on immigration. "Policies matter and, look, the Republican Party does have a challenge. We can't just be the anti-illegal immigration party, we have to be the pro-legal immigration party," he says.
Rubio says that Mayor Villaraigosa's message applies to both parties. "I think what he's saying, quite frankly, is true for both parties," Rubio said on "Good Morning America."
While admitting there is a clear problem with immigration, Rubio says the issue needs a fair and measured response. "We have a broken system of immigration that needs to be fixed and we have a legal immigration problem because we have millions of people who are in this country without documents and we have to deal with that in a way that honors our legacy both as a nation of compassion and a nation of immigrants but also as a nation of laws.
"That's a real challenge. That's not an easy thing to do. We're going to confront that not by pandering, not by making unrealistic promises but by trying to find a balanced approach to how to deal with it."
According to recent polls, GOP nominee Mitt Romney is struggling with Latino voters. Hispanics are a growing minority in the U.S. and a key demographic in Rubio's home state of Florida, a crucial swing state in the presidential election.
Romney has previously expressed views on immigration seen as being to the right of former President George W. Bush, who favored comprehensive immigration reform. President Obama, who has much higher support among Latino voters, issued an executive order earlier this year that would allow some undocumented immigrants legal status.
Rubio says that Romney will eventually replace this policy.
"I think he's going to replace it. That's what I think you can expect from the Romney presidency and I think the obligation of some of us in the Congress is to find that permanent solution," Rubio said. "It was something I was working on, that I continue to work on, an alternative to the DREAM Act that allows us to continue to deal with that issue but not in a way that's amnesty and not in a way that encourages illegal immigration in the future."
A Cuban-American, Rubio is among several Hispanic Republicans who have prominent roles at the Republican National Convention this week.
"I hope to present to the people of the United States in the few minutes that I have, two things. A very unique human being, Mitt Romney, who has lived his life in a way that's not just admirable but really a role model, irrespective of how people may feel about his policies, they may disagree with him on policies, but you look at the way he's lived his life as a husband, as a father, as a member of his community, really a role model for younger Americans and what we should all aspire for our kids to be," Rubio said.
"And then, also, the choice that America has between two very different views of government's role in our economy. That's really what this election is about. It's not just a choice between a Democrat and a Republican; it's a choice between two very different futures. I hope I can do that for him."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Senator Marco Rubio, Republican, immigration, Hispanic vote
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