New America: Marco Rubio Defends Speaking Spanish on Campaign Trail

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Marco Rubio’s attempt to rebut Donald Trump’s pro-English platform during Wednesday night’s GOP primary debate may haunt him for the rest of the campaign.

Promoting the further fragmenting of the country, Rubio suggested the best way to spread liberty was to bring predominantly poor migrants into the country and then speak to them in their native language (even though one is technically supposed to learn English to become a voting citizen).

“I do give interviews in Spanish,” Rubio said, “and here’s why– because I believe that free enterprise and limited government is the best way to help people who are trying to achieve upward mobility, and if they get their news in Spanish, I want them to hear that directly from me. Not from a translator at Univision.”

As Rubio continues to struggle in the polls— despite effectively unlimited financial resources and near-universal support from donor class conservatives— it was essential that he deliver a stellar performance in tonight’s second GOP debate.

Instead he has opened an uncomfortable line of inquiry by highlighting his penchant for campaigning in a foreign language. Rubio has a long track record of delivering one message to English audiences and another to Spanish audience, even though he is given a free pass from career conservatives for doing so.

For instance, during the height of debate about the Gang of Eight immigration bill in an interview with Univision, Rubio told his Spanish audience that amnesty and legalization of illegal immigrants would precede border enforcement. Rubio repeated this same tactic earlier this year when he endorsed Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants in a Spanish media interview with Jorge Ramos.

Conservative icon and grassroots leader Phyllis Schlafly has argued that Rubio’s decision to campaign in Spanish while running to be the president of the United States ought to be inherently disqualifying: “Rubio’s [pro-executive amnesty] statement was made in Spanish on the Spanish-language network Univision, which is reason enough to eliminate him from serious consideration,” Schlafly said. “When somebody is running for President of the United States, why should we have to get somebody to translate his remarks into English?”

After Ted Cruz mentioned that he had worked side-by-side with Senator Jeff Sessions to oppose the Gang of Eight bill Rubio championed, Rubio had no answer. He offered no defense whatsoever for his co-authorship of the immigration expansion bill endorsed by La Raza, Barack Obama, and the Silicon Valley billionaires. Instead, Rubio talked about securing the border and outlined several enforcement measures he thought needed to be enacted in order to successfully achieve border security.

Borrowing a line from the GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, Rubio said the United States needs to build “a wall, absolutely. But we also need to have an entry/exit tracking system… and then they overstay the visa. We also need a mandatory e-verify system.”

However, Rubio did not mention—nor did any of the moderators ask him why— he voted against all three of those enforcement measures in his attempt to pass his and Obama’s immigration expansion bill.

Rubio’s immigration bill would have imported 33 million more immigrants into the country within the span of a single decade. In his answer, Rubio went on to indicate that— due to his failure to drag that bill across the finish line— if given a second chance, he’d chop it up into a small pieces but implement the same mass immigration. “We cannot deal with [these] problems in one massive piece of legislation,” Rubio said. This was the same strategy pushed by Eric Cantor before his historic electoral defeat.

Polling shows that importing more immigrants would erode the Republican Party and nullify the electoral power of Republican voters watching the debate at home. Despite the resounding opposition of the Republican voters to the Rubio-Schumer immigration plan, Rubio introduced a new bill earlier this year that would similarly expand immigration and allow corporations to flood the labor market with cheap labor. Rubio’s I-Squared bill would triple the number of wage-depressing H-1B workers admitted into the country.

In Rubio’s home state of Florida, corporations like Disney have used H-1B visas to axe American workers and replace them with untrained, lower-wage foreign laborers. The I-Squared bill is central to Rubio’s campaign platform of creating “A New American Economy” with fewer workers of Western descent — the implicit suggestion being that America’s economy will be more efficient and globally integrated if America’s population more closely resembled that of the global population. This bill has been endorsed and lobbied for by Disney’s CEO Bob Iger, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who is one of Marco Rubio’s top donors.

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has been a critic of Rubio and other Republicans looking to surrender on the issue of illegal immigration. “Trump is leading on the seminal issue of our time [immigration] while the rest of the field practices looking optimistic in front of the mirror,” Coulter wrote in a recent column.

Indeed, Donald Trump continued to connect with voters on his message of deporting illegal aliens and putting an end to a misinterpretation of the 14th amendment that allows the children of illegal immigrant parents to win U.S. citizenship. At the time of publication, Trump had received over 60% of the vote in Time‘s post-debate poll and 55% in the Drudge Report poll.

Yet, perhaps in a sign of how far removed the people who make a comfortable living as professional Republicans are from the party’s voter base, as soon as Rubio began speaking, the praise began pouring out in unimaginably effusive terms.

“Rubio is just hitting home runs all night,” tweeted RedState’s Erick Erickson

“Rubio stomps on Trump,” Weekly Standard’s John McCormack wrote.

“Rubio was excellent,” wrote National Review’s Rich Lowry. “Everything he said was well-received.” Lowry had been one of the fiercest opponents of Marco Rubio’s 2013 immigration expansion plan.

In a surprising admission, National Review’s Charles Cooke told readers that he finds the thought of a Trump presidency more disturbing than the definitive end of limited government conservatism and the disenfranchisement of millions of conservative Americans, whose votes will be drowned out by an influx of migrants who favor big government policies.

“Do you know what’s worse than the possibility that demographic change will shift the American psyche over time?” Cooke writes. “Hillary Clinton in office in 2017; Joe Biden in office in 2017; Donald Trump in office in 2017.”

This sentiment is not at all in line with a Republican voter base responsible for propelling Trump in the polls. Those voters– along with the vast majority of Americans— are concerned about the economic and cultural impact our four-decades-long green card gusher has had on the nation. As Pat Buchanan recently explained, for the working men and women of this country, immigration “is the issue of the 21st century.”

Buchanan writes:

“Will the West endure, or disappear by the century’s end as another lost civilization? Mass immigration, if it continues, will be more decisive in deciding the fate of the West than Islamist terrorism… The character of [Western] countries will be altered forever, and smaller countries will become unrecognizable.”

As the 2016 race continues to unfold, it will be interesting to see if career conservatives challenge Marco Rubio on his plan to bring about this “New American Century” with an immigration agenda that– as Phyllis Schlafly has said— will amount to “suicide for [the] Republican Party.”


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