Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a conservative Republican who vied for the GOP nomination for president last year, said on Wednesday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will face negative “consequences” for being a part of the “Gang of Eight” pushing the 1,200-page senate immigration bill.
Santorum’s comments about Rubio came the radio show hosted by Fox News’s Andrea Tantaros. Tantaros asked Santorum if he thinks Rubio “maybe has ruined his chances to run for president with this immigration bill.”
Tantaros followed up by asking about his experience dealing with voters in a Republican presidential primary. “You’ve been to Iowa. You’ve been to all of these states. You know what issues kill and what issues win elections and you know what can be an Achilles heel,” “The Five” co-host said. “Do you think immigration reform is going to be a problem to what some considered a frontrunner in Rubio?”
Santorum unloaded on Rubio at that point:
Look, I think that the issue of immigration and respecting the rule of law in this country is a very, very important thing for Republican voters across the country and the idea that there are Republicans in Washington, D.C., who are going to say “well, the rule of law isn’t that important. The idea that people coming into this country illegally and we’re basically going to put them and treat them the same as people who are going to come here legally,” it’s just not going to go over well on the Republican primary. I certainly respect senators from states with different opinions on that but I think there’s going to certainly be consequences for folks who don’t understand the importance of or have respect for the rule of law that Republicans have.
Santorum ended the interview by saying he is considering running for president again in 2016. He has just taken a job as the CEO of Dallas-based faith-based movie studio EchoLight Studios, and said that may serve as a cultural launching point for a second presidential candidacy from Santorum. “Let’s put it this way, the position I’ve taken here at this movie studio EchoLight does not in any way change my thinking on running again in 2016,” Santorum said. “I’m very open to that. I think, in fact, that some of the work I’m doing at the movie studio could be in concert with that. We’re out here continuing the fight the battles that I fought, as you mentioned earlier, we’re doing it in a cultural context. But it’s just as important and some would suggest even more important and probably a pretty good way to spend my time and energy potentially between two runs.”