Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, a self-admitted liberal on immigration, advised Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio Tuesday to walk away from the Senate immigration bill and revisit it in a few years.
Kristol said it is important for Republicans to fight the convention wisdom that the need to act on the issue is urgent.
“I think it’s very important to push back — for us who are skeptical at least about this bill — to push back on the notion that we have to do something,” Kristol said Tuesday on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. “I was with a bunch of Republicans and one of them made this case to me: ‘This is the moment we’ve got to act. Why? Why do we have to act? We’ve gone on with the current situation. It’s not perfect, God knows. But we’ve gone on with it for years and years. Right now, there’s no looming, I don’t believe, crisis or urgency.”
“And I much would prefer to take out time, pass discreet pieces of legislation, come back in 2015 when there are more Republicans in Congress, come back in 2017 when perhaps there is a Republican president and address these issues,” he continued. “I agree — the impulse that we have to act or that doing something foolish is better than doing nothing is always a mistake, and it’s particularly a mistake in immigration because once you legalize, you legalize. It’s done. This is not even like a tax increase, which you can reverse three years later.”
Ingraham asked Kristol what advice he would give Rubio. According to the Weekly Standard editor, Rubio should throw in the towel.
“He should walk away from it,” Kristol said. “He should say, ‘I made a good-faith effort, but you know what, this is not a piece of legislation …’ You just got to judge on the substance, and I don’t believe honestly — I follow this one kind of as an outsider without much of a stake one way or the other. I care about it … but the public policy actual argument, the critics of the bill are winning over and over. I’m a better friend of Marco Rubio than Jeff Sessions. I know him much better, but Jeff Sessions is winning the debate. I just don’t think you can deny that.”