The campaign of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is speaking out to defend American war veteran and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council President Chris Crane. Over the weekend, Sen. Marco Rubio demeaned Crane, who’s critical of Sen. Rubio’s involvement in the Gang of Eight bill.
“This courageous ICE officer—a man that Sen. Jeff Sessions has called ‘an American hero’… has served his country in so many different capacities: in the Marine’s uniform, as an ICE officer, [and] as a representative for all of America’s ICE officers,” said Donald Trump’s Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller on Breitbart News Sunday.
Rubio has repeatedly made clear “where his priorities are” on immigration, Miller said— explaining that there are now three lanes dividing the GOP Presidential field: the Governor’s lane, occupied by John Kasich; the frontrunner’s lane, occupied by Donald Trump; and the “amnesty lane,” which is occupied “solely and exclusively” by Sen. Rubio.
Prior to joining the Trump campaign, Miller served as Jeff Sessions’ communications director.
On Friday, Breitbart News published an exclusive interview with Chris Crane, an ICE officer of 13 years and a U.S. Marine, in which Crane said Sen. Rubio treated law enforcement “like absolute trash” during his push to pass his 2013 amnesty bill. On Saturday, Rubio appeared on Fox News and implicitly denounced Crane and his service to the country. “He’s not an ICE official, he’s head of a union,” Rubio said angrily.
Miller, who worked for Sen. Sessions as Rubio sought to push the Gang of Eight amnesty bill through the Senate, explained that: “Chris Crane was a central figure in stopping the Gang of Eight immigration bill from becoming law. He did that in his capacity as the ICE Council President for America’s nearly 6,000 ICE officers and personnel. What that means is that the 6,000 ICE officers and personnel cast a ballot to pick one from among their own ranks to represent them nation-wide… He [Crane] was a central figure in exposing the Gang of Eight bill and stopping it.”
Miller explained that rather than rebutting ICE officer Crane’s specific accusations, Rubio responded by attacking Crane’s integrity:
Chris Crane made specific, material claims [about Sen. Rubio’s amnesty bill]. So Rubio can either say one of two things on substance. He can either say: (1) ‘No, Chris Crane is wrong the bill is fabulous, it should have passed exactly as is.’ Or (2) [Rubio could say,] ‘He’s right we should have listened to him.’ Instead he [Rubio] went for option three, which is to attack the integrity and decency and morality not just… [of] Chris Crane— who again Sen. Sessions has called ‘an American hero’— but to attack, by extension, all of the ICE officers for whom he speaks.
Miller detailed how Crane has proven himself “over and over” again to be “a man of courage and honor.” Providing listeners with a better understanding of the American veteran Sen. Rubio chose to demean on national television, Miller said:
I want to explain just a little bit more about why Chris Crane is such an exceptional person. Consider the situation he finds himself in: he represents America’s ICE officers, who are in a political environment in this Homeland Security Department under Obama where they are ordered every day to violate their oath; where they face unceasing pressure from the political chain of command to release criminal aliens and violent people back on the streets and have nothing they can do… And Chris Crane in 2012 spoke out, when precious few did, about President Obama’s first executive amnesty. And he and nine other ICE officers courageously filed a lawsuit to stop President Obama’s 2012 executive amnesty. Think about the courage that takes about how it affects your future career, in terms of how it affects possible political reprisal. Again, Chris Crane has proven over and over that he is a man of courage and honor and decency. And for Marco Rubio to lump him in this group of conspiracy theorists, I just find inexplicable… Historically, I don’t think attacking law enforcement has been a path to the Republican nomination.
Miller confirmed Crane’s account of how Sen. Rubio oversaw as Crane was ejected from the Gang of Eight’s press conference for trying to ask a question on behalf of the nation’s law enforcement. Miller explained that this was “a moment in which the character of Marco Rubio was revealed”:
I was there at the press conference, as were others… where Marco Rubio allowed Chris Crane to be ejected for asking a question at the press conference… That’s one of those moments when the measure of a man is determined… All of us in our own lives have a moment when we’re tested—where the world figures out who we are and what we are really made of… That was a moment in which the character of Marco Rubio was revealed. He was standing on the stage [next to] Chuck Schumer. This courageous ICE officer—a man that Sen. Jeff Sessions has called ‘an American hero’— who has served his country in so many different capacities: in the Marine’s uniform, as an ICE officer, [and] as a representative for all of America’s ICE officers. He tried to ask a question, Marco Rubio locked eyes with him. And when they came to forcibly remove that ICE officer from the press conference, Rubio had a chance—a moment to stand up and do the right thing—and he didn’t do it. And now having had that fact and many other exposed, Rubio is attacking the integrity of a United States Marine and an ICE officer, who everyday keeps this nation safe. And I hope that Sen. Rubio issues an apology to Chris Crane and to Breitbart News.
Rubio’s treatment of law enforcement and his implicit denunciation of Crane “really has become one of the central issues of the 2016 race,” Miller said.
Miller explained that Rubio’s attack of Crane seems to suggest that Rubio wishes the Gang of Eight bill had passed:
Here’s an interesting paradox for everybody. Just think about this for a second… Rubio’s tone suggests that he’s mad at Chris Crane. Ok, well Chris Crane helped stop the Gang of Eight bill. But is Rubio therefore saying that he wishes Crane hadn’t stopped the bill, so it could have become law? That’s the implication, right? What he’s saying by implication is: ‘We would have been better off as a country had Chris Crane not spoken out because then obviously it would have been much easier to pass the Gang of Eight bill.’ So he’s sort of caught in a little paradox here because the more he attacks Chris Crane for speaking out, the more he’s saying that he would really have liked to have happened is for the Gang of Eight bill to pass and become law.
When asked if there was anything Sen. Rubio has done to indicate that he now takes law enforcement seriously, Miller gave a review of Rubio’s record:
The Gang of Eight bill had the following provisions in it: it legalized sex offenders, it legalized gang members, it legalized criminal convicts, it legalized child predators, it legalized people with multiple criminal convictions.
Chris Crane and other ICE officers asked for all those provisions to be removed. Now, again, Rubio had all of the leverage. Rubio could have gone to Chuck Schumer at any point in time, and say to him, “Hey Mr. Schumer, I can’t support this bill unless we change our minds on this whole amnesty for sex offenders thing. Maybe let’s not give amnesty to sex offenders. I can’t support it unless we make sure that no sex offender in the United States can get amnesty…’ Did he do that? No, he didn’t. And he had all the leverage in the world, if he wanted to. By the way, let’s be real here, how much leverage do you need to tell someone not to give amnesty to illegal alien sex offenders? That doesn’t seem like that should be a thing where you really have to think very hard about it.
Miller explained that even after Rubio’s amnesty bill failed, Rubio has still favored special interests over law enforcement.
In 2015, Rubio introduced another immigration bill. So he had a chance to give it a second go. He introduced another immigration bill in 2015. And so having wronged Chris Crane, having wronged law enforcement, he had a chance— if he wanted to to make amends— [to] introduce a bill, sit down with Chris Crane that would have helped America’s ICE officers. But what bill did Sen. Rubio introduce in 2015 [instead]? It was legislation to help large corporations replace American workers with foreign guest workers. Was there any security in the bill? No. Any new screening tools? No. Any new ICE resources? No. Just a massive uncapped increase in the number of foreign nationals who could be employed in the United States in place of U.S. workers. So again that shows where his priorities are.
Miller concluded by noting that, at this point in the presidential race, the GOP field can be viewed in terms of three lanes:
Sen. Rubio is the most pro-amnesty candidate in the race, so he inherits completely and solely and exclusively the mantel of the official amnesty candidate. That is his niche. So you have the Governor’s lane with John Kasich; you have the front-runner [lane] with Donald Trump; and then you have the amnesty lane with Marco Rubio. That’s really a good way of thinking about which candidates are fighting for which votes.
Miller explained that “Sen. Rubio has [also] been an enthusiastic backer of Obama’s sovereignty-crushing trade agenda. Only 11 percent of GOP voters think these trade agreements raise wages. And only seven percent of GOP voters want more foreign workers, so that means that… the two pillars of Sen. Rubio’s agenda: Obamatrade and Obama-immigration—at most— appeal to 7 and 11 percent of the Republican electorate at the high end.”
Thus, in what Senator Sessions has labeled as the two central issue of 2016— issues which in helped launch the current voter revolt— Rubio is the candidate who firmly represents the minority view embraced by the GOP’s donor base, but rejected by its voters.
As conservative icon, Phyllis Schlafly explained, “Senator Rubio is not Main Street’s Obama, he is Wall Street’s Obama: President Obama was a hardcore leftist running as centrist; Senator Rubio is a Wall Street globalist running as a tea party conservative… Rubio is the candidate of open borders, Obamatrade and mass immigration, making one last attempt to pull off one big con.”