Florida Senator Marco Rubio should be selected to be Mitt Romney’s Vice President on his Presidential ticket this Fall. Turning around the failing economy and increasing jobs will remain a priority for the country throughout the election season, but comprehensive immigration reform is also an important priority among Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike. Marco Rubio has the fiscal conservative bona fides to support the Romney economic plan but more importantly he brings unparalleled expertise and credibility on immigration reform expanding Republican appeal to voters unhappy with the Obama Administration’s neglect on this issue.
Senator Rubio has already outlined many principles of a forthcoming comprehensive approach to reforming immigration that deserves both a fair hearing in the Hispanic community but also in the halls of Congress. Importantly, Democrats have crafted legislation on immigration (the “DREAM Act”) that remains extremely popular with Hispanics garnering upwards of 90% support–a support level Republicans must conceded warrants serious evaluation in any attempts at comprehensive reform.
Mitt Romney has demonstrated openness to a diverse set of opinions on this topic through his recently announced “Juntos con Romney” team comprising many DREAM Act supporters including a bill co-sponsor. “Juntos con Romney” is charged with attracting crucial Hispanic voters who are expected to possibly determine the outcome in closely contested states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.
At the same time, Governor Romney supports secure borders and Federal enforcement of the borders–positions extremely popular with non-Hispanics. A Romney Administration can also be expected to fill the void of Federal neglect on enforcement and not outsource border security to private citizens.
With Marco Rubio on the ticket, comprehensive immigration reform can be expected to be a priority in a Romney Administration where everyone is invited to the table and everyone’s voice will be heard on an issue important to all Americans.
The Obama Administration fears both Rubio and his efforts at immigration reform evidenced by White House attempts to dissuade reform activists from even sitting down with Rubio – how’s that for open dialogue? At the same time, Obama friendly media outlets have run incredibly dishonest hit pieces on the popular Senator to little effect. Clearly Mr. Rubio is on to something that scares this White House – something Mitt Romney should capitalize on.
Republicans have made mistakes on immigration in the past. Mitt Romney has made mistakes on immigration in the past. But it is time for Republicans to reach out to the Hispanic community, include them in formulating immigration policy, and heal old wounds because Hispanics simply want what all Americans want — an opportunity at the American Dream.
There are scant few dissenting voices that immigration reform is needed and with Marco Rubio as Vice President, a Romney Presidency won’t talk big about immigration and then ignore it until it is time for re-election.
As for concerns over Rubio’s friendship with Congressional Representative David Rivera, if Barack Obama can be easily elected President while his long-time chief fundraiser is getting sentenced to prison, I think the chances of a Romney candidacy will be unchanged if his Vice President happens to have a personal friend with an ethical challenge or two.
Senator Rubio has unquestioned credentials as a fiscal conservative, support of Tea Party activists evidenced by repeatedly winning Vice President straw polls at Conservative Political Action Conferences (CPAC) and is a living embodiment of the American Dream as the son of immigrants rising to the highest political offices in the country.
With Marco Rubio on the Presidential ticket and DREAM Act supporters comprising the leadership of “Juntos con Romney”, it is undeniable that a Romney Administration’s reform of immigration will be comprehensive in its approach, respectful in its application and inclusive of Hispanic community concerns.
That is what all Hispanics want. That is what all Americans want. And that is the promise of a Mitt Romney-Marco Rubio Administration. ©
– “Keith Backer”