Rubio, Ryan Try to Salvage Immigration Reform on Talk Radio

Over the past week, Republican politicians fanned out across conservative talk radio shows seeking to sell the immigration reform package in the Senate, who in 2007 helped “sound the amnesty alarm,” to kill the immigration bill, as explained in Chapter 9 of The Right Frequency.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., were the leading figures this week defending the bill.

Rubio told host Bill Bennett, “My goal here is not politics. I don’t believe that this is the salvation or the doom of the Republican Party. This is an issue that confronts our country, and it has to be solved because it’s bad for America. That’s why I’m involved in the issue.”

Rubio, a likely GOP presidential candidate in 2016, continued, “Now you mention legalization, I think there’s confusion. Permanent residency in the United States, a green card, that’s what permanent residency is. In this bill, that does not happen until there is an E-Verify system that is fully implemented, until there is an entry-exit system that is fully implemented, and until there is a border security plan that is fully implemented.”

Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, hit both the Mark Levin and the Laura Ingraham programs this week to attempt to persuade the conservative listeners of both shows to back the bill. He did very little to win either host over.

“Not now but in the future we’re gonna have labor shortages,” Ryan told Ingraham. “Immigration in a decade or so can help us. That means we need to get an immigration system that works.”

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh told listeners there is a reason for the border enforcement amendments that appear likely to be accepted, even after the supporters of the bill previously rejected such language.

“There’s a reason all these amendments are being offered,” Limbaugh said. “They don’t have the votes yet.  They are trying to sweep up votes.  They are Hoovering votes. They are coming up with amendments to get Republicans that are on the fence.  But there are some Democrats that have to run for reelection 2014, and they know what their constituents are thinking about this.  So it’s hard every day.”

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