Matt Lewis

Flake on immigration: Rubio’s ‘more important than the rest of us put together’

During an exclusive telephone interview today, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake discussed his role in the Gang of Eight, and the strategy to woo conservatives. Here are a three key takeaways:

1. On Marco Rubio:

“He’s just so¬†articulate¬†on this issue … He’s more important than the rest of us put together on this.”

2. On lesson’s learned:

“Most of us who went through this in 2006, 2007 have been pleased with a lot of broad-based support,” he said. “There is considerably more support from a far broader group this time.”

“We wanted to make sure that everyone knows that we’re not trying to ram anything through — that we’re not trying to go outside of regular order …by the time we have the markups in committee, the bill will have been out for three weeks.”

3. On why we need comprehensive reform (instead of breaking it up into chunks):

“We have tried to get the border prioritized,” he said, noting this was of particular interest to Arizonans. “And the bottom line is [border security] was easier to get as part of the broader package, where that was what conservatives got.”