Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is facing pressure to identify and hold accountable an aide of his who disparaged American workers in comments to The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza over the weekend.
Rubio has subsequently announced that he disagrees with the anonymous source of the quote but has not publicly identified who said it; neither has he indicated what, if any, actions are being taken to hold this person accountable.
Center for Immigration studies executive director Mark Krikorian, who decried the attack on American workers in a post on the National Review,told Breitbart News that Rubio should identify for the American peoplewho gave that quote to The New Yorker and fire that person.
“It’s incumbent on Sen. Rubioto identify and remove whoever said this,” Krikorian said in an email. “Was it Chiefof Staff Cesar Conda? Press Secretary Alex Conant? There’s no excusefor this person to continue drawing a government paycheck.”
“It highlightsthe high-immigration Right’s view that Americans are expendable,” he explained.
Similarly, NumbersUSA director of government relations Rosemary Jenks toldBreitbart News she questions why Sen. Rubio would use taxpayer dollarsto employ someone who would insult American workers.
“It seems to me that we should question whether or not congressionalstaffers who disparage American workers should be employed at thetaxpayers’ expense, the very same people that staffer is disparaging,”Jenks said in a phone interview with Breitbart News.
A senior GOP aide close to the immigration battle called on Sen. Rubioand his staff to publicly announce who on his staff gave the quote anddetail for the American people the steps by which Rubio plans to holdthat person accountable.
“Rubio’s office hasn’t denied the quote andshould tell the American people who said it,” the aide told Breitbart News. “If it wasa senior person involved in negotiating the bill – or selling it to theAmerican public – it raises serious questions about what’s really inthis bill and how badly it will hurt US workers.”
Others close to this fight have said they expect action from Sen. Rubio on thismatter by late Monday. Some have suggested Rubio is taking steps toterminate the employment of the person who gave that quote. Thus far,however, it remains entirely unclear if Rubio will actually take actionto fix this matter.
This all started over the weekend when Lizza published an article quoting a “Rubio aide” who proceeded to disparage American workers.
“There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,” Rubio’s aide said to Lizza. “There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it.”
“And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly,” the source claimed. It is thus far unclear who in Rubio’s office gave that quote to Lizza.
Rubio spokesman Alex Conant initially tried to downplay the revelation. “We strongly objected to the magazine including that background quote in the piece because it’s not what Sen. Rubio believes or has ever argued,” Conant said to National Review editor Rich Lowry.
“In truth, Sen. Rubio has always said the reason we need a robust temporary worker program is to create legal avenues for US businesses to meet labor needs when not enough Americans apply for jobs,” he explained. “This is a persistent issue in many industries, like agriculture, and has been a draw for illegal immigration in the past.”
“The legislation that Sen. Rubio agreed to sponsor creates a robust temporary worker program to meet our economic needs while protecting American workers and wages,” Conant claimed. “Sen. Rubio believes that American workers can compete against anyone in the world.”
Rubio also felt the need to publicly reject the comments. “The quote attributed to a member of my staff was a description of one argument used against big labor’s opposition to a guest worker program,” Rubio told The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis. “It is not my view in any way. I could not disagree with it more.”
Rubio was not specific about what, if anything, will be done to hold the staffer accountable and did not publicly announce whether he is aware of who in his office gave that quote to Lizza. Similarly, Alex Conant, Rubio’s chief of staff Cesar Conda, and other Rubio staffers have not returned Breitbart News’ requests for comment on what, if any, internal investigations are being conducted by Rubio’s team to determine who gave the quote to Lizza and how they will be held accountable.