In an article in Sunday’s edition of The Washington Post, reporter Dan Balz revealed Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s staffers are tracking how much immigration and the “Gang of Eight” bill are being discussed on talk radio. Radio host Laura Ingraham is calling foul on that.
Data on immigration talk were provided to Balz by Rubio’s staff.
“Rubio has worked assiduously to assuage the concerns of the most influential voices, in public appearances and in private phone calls and conversations,” Balz wrote. “He has spoken regularly with people such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham to make that case. His advisers closely monitor how much time these hosts are devoting to immigration, compared to six years ago, and they are heartened that the volume is much diminished, even if some oppose what he is doing. Over the past few weeks, Limbaugh was giving the issue an average of about 12 minutes a day, Hannity 6 minutes, Levin 14 minutes and Ingraham 35 minutes, according to analysis provided by a Rubio adviser.”
On her Monday radio show, Ingraham called the news reported by Balz “disappointing” and even called out Rubio press secretary Alex Conant.
“I found out over the weekend something I want to talk about and it’s disappointing,” Ingraham said. “Not just the substance of this immigration bill, but we’re going to talk about what my old friend Marco Rubio is doing. And hello to Alex Conant, who works for Marco and I like Alex a lot and all the guys in the office I like. These are good people but apparently they’ve been told to monitor talk radio. So I want to make sure you turn up the volume really loud because I’m talking about you.”
She went on to question the efforts by Rubio in using his office’s resources to track what is going on talk radio.
“Is this what conservative senators should be spending their time doing — having their staff doing?” she said. “In my mind, what we should be doing as conservatives is reducing the size of government and reducing the dependency on government. This bill will do neither. This bill will increase government and increase dependency on government. This is not a conservative bill. This is nothing close to a conservative bill. This is a bill in my mind that is a desperate attempt to woo Hispanic voters.”
Ingraham lamented the immigration policy position of Rubio and said he had turned his back on conservative principles.
“I have no problem in many ways with being monitored by the people that are sadly and in a disappointing fashion turning their backs on conservative principles,” she added. “Eighty percent of amnestied individuals will end up voting Democratic — 80 percent. The system is broken? That’s the reason you’re doing this?”