Marco Rubio and Rush Limbaugh had a frank but respectful discussion on immigration on Tuesday, one that appeared to show conservative opposition to immigration reform dissolving.
Though Limbaugh had blasted a bipartisan plan announced by Rubio, a Florida Republican, on the show the talk show host seemed to take a step back on this criticism. Limbaugh even said he wasn’t going to be part of a right-wing push to kill the proposal, The Huffington Post noted.
“I didn’t say that. Did you hear me say that? I’m going to call on Fox News and others to join me in defeating this plan? I don’t recall saying that,” Limbaugh said.
When Rubio and Limbaugh discussed the measure, the talk show host showed something more like begrudging acceptance of the immigration reform movement. Limbaugh said:
“I’ll bet you we hear that if we do this, we’ll never have to do it again. We’ve got to do this ’cause it’s out of control. We’ve gotta do this, secure the border, and so forth … I don’t know that there’s any stopping this. It’s up to me and Fox News, and I don’t think Fox News is that invested in this. I don’t think there’s any Republican opposition to this of any majority consequence or size. We’ll have to wait and see and find out.”
In fact, Rubio and Limbaugh seemed to frame the discussion as opposition to President Obama but acceptance of immigration reform itself.
“It’s going to be Barack Obama who undermines this,” Limbaugh said after Rubio had finished the interview. “It’s Barack Obama who’s going to undercut the primary objective that all of these eight senators say is imperative to them, and that is border security first.”
Limbaugh had nothing but good things to say about Marco Rubio.
“Is that guy good or what? That was impressive. He stays on point. He stays on message and he believes it. You can tell that he didn’t need notes, that he didn’t have to consult anything, no prompter. It’s in his heart, and he’s lived it to boot!” Limbaugh said.
“And I’ll say this too: here is a guy who does not fear talk radio. He embraced it. He is not at all intimidated or afraid. He wasn’t afraid of what would be said about him coming on this program. Kudos all around.”
With Rubio and Limbaugh seemingly in agreement on the need for immigration reform and tighter border control, many expect other opposition to the measure to fizzle out.