Marco Rubio's tough talk to Rush Limbaugh yesterday about no immigration deal being done unless certain language on border security, etc. is included? Ignore it. Just Rubio taking care of his conservative base—and saving face. In the end, Rubio will likely give Obama his vote on immigration reform. It's all about finding an out for Republicans when it comes to winning back a decent share of the Latino vote. And conservatives will be willing to take the deal.
Such was the collective wisdom of Morning Joe today, as enunciated by Jon Meacham and seconded by Joe Scarborough. View the video after the jump.
So, were Rubio's remarks to Rush just so much conservative kabuki theater in which the final act, in which Rubio and other Republicans vote for amnesty, has already been written? Or does the rising Republican senator from Florida truly intend to walk away from the deal unless it's tough on border security and other measures?
JON MEACHAM: What I thought was most encouraging this week was you had Rubio who is someone whose ambitions for the future are so self-evident and someone who's so linked to the base actually up there with Chuck Schumer which that in and of itself is kind of new. It's kind of -- I don't think you would have seen that a certain number of months ago. So you wonder where the Republicans, as the opposition party, are going to give the administration a vote or two. Because if they don't find a way to give them a vote or two -- and that's why you ignore the Rush Limbaugh stuff. You let Rubio go and take care of the base. Let him say whatever he wants to say. This is classic Henry Kissinger/Brzezinski negotiating. Let him have a way out. Let him keep the face. Let him say oh, well, if it's not got this, we're not going to possibly ever do this, Rush. But in the end, if he's willing to give one of these votes to the president, then you have a chance of a real piece of legislation.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So one issue where that may not work --
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And Mika, I was just going to say, that's exactly what's happening right now is the right is trying to figure out a way out. And Rubio is trying to give them a way out of the corner that they've placed themselves in where they only get 27%, 28% of the Hispanic vote in the last presidential election. So he's trying to give them a way out, and I think conservatives are more than willing to take it.