If Rubio’s the GOP funder’s favorite, amnesty’s dead, no? Mike Allen’s Playbook flags John King’s report on Jeb Bush reaching out to “key funders” to let them know he’s maybe still in the GOP mix for 2016. Which reminded me of a crazy conspiratorial theory I had about Marco Rubio and immigration “reform:”
Let’s assume – because it’s true — that the “key funders” of the GOP all favor some form of legalization or amnesty for the undocumented (plus an increase in the number of legal immigrants). Indeed, they’re the main force pushing it on the Republican side. Nevertheless, Rubio badly damaged himself with actual GOP voters by
naively duplicitously championing the funder-backed Senate “Gang of 8″ amnesty bill. So sorry for poor Marco! Such a promising young man. But Rubio’s fate didn’t really matter to GOP donors and machers as long as they had another presidential horse to back, which they did in the form of New Jersey governor Chris Christie. (Christie also supported the Gang of 8′s amnesty but more discreetly, with less blatant flip-flopping.)
Now that Christie’s damaged, though, the fatcats don’t have a horse. So eyes turn back to Rubio, and his possible rehabilitation. The last thing Rubio 2.0 needs–the thing that will stop his desperate repair efforts cold–is for immigration to become a salient issue again for Republicans. But that’s exactly what will happen if Speaker Boehner makes a big move this year for a legalization bill in the House.** Upshot: As long as Rubio is the fatcat’s default choice, maybe they won’t make such a push to get an immigration bill during Obama’s term. Christie down, amnesty down.
Unless, that is …. unless some alternative funder-friendly horse should emerge, like, say … Jeb Bush. …
P.S.: I’m enough of a paranoid on this issue to think Jeb may even be pretending to be thinking about entering the race in order to prevent the funders from pulling the plug on amnesty, of which he is a longtime supporter.
(It’s all about immigration, I’ve come to believe. I used to think it was all about sex.)
P.P.S.: The seemingly obvious solution, from an amnesty-skeptical point of view, would be for Rubio to make his presidential move now. The MSM “Rubio Comeback” stories will practically write themselves–I suspect some DC pundits already have them on their thumb drives. If the establishment embraces Rubio–even if only as a Jeb backup– would they dare torpedo him in the primaries by pushing immigration and reminding voters of the Gang of 8?
Rubio for President! …
**–That’s true even though Rubio has now flip-flop-flipped back to pissing on the Gang of 8. There are too many fresh memories– and videos–of him selling it..