Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) confirmed to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday night that he and his office worked with Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the Cato Institute to craft a pro-immigration reform message around the Boston terrorist attack.
About halfway through the interview, Hannity asked Rubio:
Senator, a lot of conservatives have had skepticism over the immigration and this is prior to the terror attack in Boston. Some of them said that there was apparently secret emails between you, Grover Norquist and Cato over the issue and that you changed your position a little bit. I want to give you a chance to respond to these things.
In his response, Rubio said he did work with those groups on the talking points that use the Boston terror attacks as an argument in favor of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration bill.
“First of all, I don’t know anything about any secret emails with anybody,” Rubio said. “I don’t secretly email with anyone so I don’t know what that’s referring to. I think what they’re talking about is groups in support of what we’re working on asking for, you know, talking points on this, and it’s very common.”
“But, there’s no secret emails with anybody,” he reiterated.
Rubio disagreed with the characterization of the emails demonstrating the collusion as “secret emails,” even though the emails Breitbart News exclusively obtained and first reported on Sunday night were never meant to become public.
The emails showed Rubio had crafted three talking points that attempt to use the Boston terrorist attacks as a way to lobby in favor of his and the Gang of Eight’s legislation.
“These terrorists came here under the existing system, the one opponents of reform want to leave in place,” Sen. Rubio wrote in his first talking point.
The second Rubio talking point argued that the terrorists “didn’t cross the border” to get into America.
In his third talking point, Rubio argued that authorities only know who the terrorists are because they came here legally to begin with.
“The reason we know who they are is because they were here legally,” Rubio wrote. “If they were here illegally, living in the shadows, it would have made them much harder to investigate.”
“The fact is that today there are 11 million people already in this country and we don’t know who they are, why they’re here, and what they’re doing,” Rubio argued. “That is not only an economic problem, it’s a huge national security problem as well.”