Immigration isn’t just another issue.
Despite his “does not compute” glitch Saturday night (which will likely dog him for the rest of his career, like Rick Perry’s “oops” and Dan Quayle’s “you’re no Jack Kennedy” moment), Marco Rubio is still a live contender for the nomination. So it remains important to explain why I think his immigration record disqualifies him from being the 2016 nominee.
Many conservatives who admire Rubio’s genuine political talent agree that his shilling for Chuck Schumer’s Gang of Eight bill was bad. But they offer two reasons that this should not be an impediment to his being the Republican presidential nominee. First, they say, Rubio has learned his lesson and, second, he’s quite solid on many other issues. Both parts of this defense warrant examination: Has Rubio truly changed his spots on immigration? And is immigration simply one issue among many, so that Rubio’s deviation there is outweighed by his fidelity on others?