Rubio’s Big Wimp-Out

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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The sound of one man clapping: It looks like the attempt to turn CPAC into a pro-immigration-amnesty rally has been somewhat less than a rousing success. Sorry, Matt! First came a panel rigged to push legalization–no dissenting voices allowed! (Raul Labrador, the least amnestyish person on the panel, supports legalization but not citizenship.) “The massive lecture hall was roughly a third full for the immigration panel, compared with stronger showings for panel discussions on [other topics],” the Christian Science Monitor noted. Mark Krikorian, one of the obvious conservative voices left off the panel, reports that even this self-selected group seemed unpersuaded:

The audience reception was decidedly cool, with one member of the audience calling out “legally!” when a panelist was singing the praises of immigration. A lone person at the right side of the ballroom clapped on cue at several open-borders applause lines, but no one followed. Other than the usual polite smattering at the end of each presentation, only non-immigration topics got any meaningful reaction, like attacking government regulation of business.

Then came Marco Rubio’s address. Before the convention, Steve Kornacki of Salon wrote of “things to be watching for at CPAC.” One of them was this:

Rubio will be speaking at CPAC, and it will be interesting to see whether he includes his immigration reform ideas in his message – and, if he does, how the crowd reacts. And if he doesn’t mention immigration and instead sticks with the standard right-wing red meat, that will also be telling, suggesting that Rubio has concluded he has a lot more work to do behind the scenes before it’s safe to play up a path to citizenship plan in front of a conservative audience.

We have an answer! Rubio talked. He didn’t include his immigration reform ideas. He apparently didn’t even utter the word “immigration.”  … I guess when the conservatives don’t work for (amnesty supporter) Rupert Murdoch, they are a tougher sell. … Prediction: Rubio’s chicken-out won’t stop the MSM from portraying him as a profile in courage on the issue. …

Backfill: For why I think the Schumer-Rubio amnesty is a bad idea, see here and here and here.

Mickey Kaus