Open Borders Gowdy Says Marco Rubio More Conservative Than Jeff Sessions

Andrew Harnik/AP
Andrew Harnik/AP
Washington D.C.

Pro-amnesty and mass migration advocate Trey Gowdy tried to argue that Florida Senator Marco Rubio is more conservative than Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

As South Carolina’s Post and Courier Deanna Pan reports via twitter: “Gowdy notes that Rubio has higher Heritage ratings than Jeff Sessions and Steve King. ‘There is no one more conservative than Marco Rubio.'”

Jeff Sessions has been the fiercest opponent of Sen. Rubio’s open borders trade and immigration agenda. By contrast, in 2013— at a time when illegal minors were continuing to pour across the border — Gowdy delivered a blanket pardon to the world’s alien youth to enter the country illegally. Gowdy even likened illegal immigration to a child harmlessly wandering into a neighbor’s yard: “When children wander into neighborhood yards, we don’t call that trespassing.”

Interestingly, Marco Rubio is not the only champion of large-scale immigration that Gowdy has spoken highly of in the past. As USA Today reported in 2013, Gowdy seemed to have developed a close bond with open borders advocate Luis Gutierrez, who previously said that his “only one loyalty” is to the immigrant community. “In separate interviews, Gowdy and Gutierrez gushed about their mutual respect and trust,” USA Today wrote.

“I think some things just happen because it’s meant to be,” Gutierrez reportedly said of his relationship with Gowdy. “The chemistry is there.”

Their mutual admiration for one another appears evident in this 2013 exchange during a Congressional hearing [the relevant portion begins 40 seconds into the below clip]:

Gowdy’s reliance upon Heritage Action’s scorecard as evidence for Rubio’s alleged conservative bona fides is interesting, as in recent months, Heritage Action has been a big booster of pro-amnesty Republicans like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan.

As the National Review reported last month, “That he [Rubio] is now considered a part of the Washington establishment says a lot about the transformation of the Republican party in the Obama era. ‘It’s a tremendous testament to what conservatives have been able to achieve,’ says Mike Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action for America.”

Needham has also been a vocal cheerleader of Rubio’s pro-mass migration counterpart in the House, Speaker Paul Ryan. “I cannot think of a better man to start off the day,” Needham said as he was introducing Ryan at a recent policy summit. “He has shown the power that one man committed to ideas can have.”

After Ryan delivered his first major address as House Speaker at the Library of Congress, Needham tweeted, “Grassroots should be proud of impact they have had. Huge rhetorical difference between that @SpeakerRyan speech and Boehner.”

While there may be a “huge rhetorical difference” between Ryan and Boehner, the policy differences between the two may not bode well for conservatives at Heritage Action — as Ryan’s support for open borders immigration policies is radically to the left of John Boehner’s. Ryan has a two decade-long history of pushing for open borders immigration policies. Also, Ryan’s omnibus spending bill not only funded Obama’s entire immigration agenda, it expanded it.

The Ryan-Obama omnibus spending bill provided funding for sanctuary cities, illegal alien resettlement, illegal alien tax credits, and visa issuances to nearly 300,000 (temporary and permanent) Muslim migrants over the next 12 months alone. The bill also funded an expansion of the highly controversial H-2B foreign worker program, which Sen. Tom Cotton said violated Ryan’s “promise not to bring major immigration legislation to the floor this year.”

Heritage seems to have maintained a close relationship with Ryan and his staff, and appears to have access to the Speaker’s office, which it did not seem to enjoy under Speaker Boehner.

For instance, earlier this month Ryan delivered the keynote address at Heritage Action’s policy summit. Just this week, the Heritage Foundation threw a reception for Speaker Ryan’s Chief of Staff. However, as Politico’s recent reporting underscores, it is unclear whether Heritage’s social access to the Speaker’s office will ever actually manifest itself in benefits that are more substantive than receptions and speaking engagements — such as having a speaker that actually champions policies the conservative grassroots’ desires. As Politico noted, Thursday’s reception for Ryan’s staffer came “even as its [Heritage’s] lobbying arm tries to derail the House Republican leadership’s 2017 budget.”

Last month, Needham was also effusive in his praise of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and her State of the Union response, in which she articulated the mantra of open borders philosophy. While Alabama conservative Jeff Sessions blasted Haley’s “lecturing” State of the Union response as “an attack on the voters,” Needham said that she offered a “winsome message” and “painted an authentically optimistic vision for America’s future.” At the beginning of the year, Needham described Haley as a “phenomenal governor” and predicted that “she will be the Republican nominee for vice president,” explaining that she is the “best qualified.”

It is unclear why Heritage has appeared so eager to express support for candidates who champion expansive immigration policies opposed by at least 92% of the GOP electorate. Heritage’s decision may indeed seem especially perplexing given the electoral implications, which Rubio and Ryan’s mass migration goals will have on the conservative movement. Indeed, polling data suggests that large-scale visa issuances will have the effect of disenfranchising the conservative Americans, whose interests Heritage supposedly intends to represent. As Rich Lowry explained in 2004:

Higher levels of Latin American immigration benefit the Democrats, while digging an ever-deeper demographic hole for Republicans. Pro-immigration conservatives fool themselves into believing that being pro-immigration will make it possible for the GOP to convert large numbers of Hispanic voters to their side. This is a party strategy that could have been crafted in Oregon, since it amounts to a kind of partisan assisted suicide.