Home > Hot Topics > More Topics > Elections > Rubio & Alexander: Unpopularity shows House Republicans that pro-amnesty not good way to advance career

Rubio & Alexander: Unpopularity shows House Republicans that pro-amnesty not good way to advance career


Last night across the street from our NumbersUSA offices, I could literally "read the writing on the wall" for Republicans who are following the advice of their national party leaders, consultants and corporate fund-raisers to flood America's labor markets with foreign workers.

The words "Sen. Alexander under fire on immigration" scrolled across the electronic news screen that wraps around the corner of the complex that contains the local ABC TV station and Politico.

Being one of the 14 Republicans (30% of GOP Senators) who rescued the S. 744 amnesty bill from defeat last month is not helping any of them win any popularity contests.


Providing the starkest evidence was a Public Policy Polling report earlier this week on Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The firm was widely regarded as one of the most accurate during last year's presidential campaign. In its polling of preferences for a Republican presidential nominee, it found:

Marco Rubio, who had led all of our polling since December, has dropped all the way to 6th place. . . . Rubio was at 21 or 22% on all of our polls between January and March but his support has now dropped to half that level (10%)."

Rubio made the decision in January to become the face of the omnibus immigration bill, even allowing various special interest groups to run non-stop ads featuring him touting the legislation on conservative TV and radio, even though the bill was written primarily by the staff of New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Rubio made sure that few Republican Primary voters across the nation would be unaware of his leadership for the giant bill. It was a huge gamble apparently based on national GOP consultants' belief that Rubio could convert conservative voters to his view that giving out some 30 million new green cards over the next decade would be good for the American people.


Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) did most of his work to pass the bill in the background. He is facing re-election in 2014 and let his fellow Tennessee Republican, Sen. Corker, take the public leadership for the amnesty since he was just re-elected last fall and has five years before having to answer to voters again.

But Tennessee voters don't look to be in a mood to give Alexander a pass, according to the Politico article last night:

Attending a rally in Smyrna, Tenn., last weekend, Alexander was greeted by a crowd of about 300 conservative activists -- organizers said -- wearing bright red T-shirts that read "Beat Lamar" in big bold letters. They held signs that blared: "You betrayed us" . . . Tea party groups were already watching Alexander given declining scores from the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, and they hope last month's immigration vote will be a tipping point against him. It's a test of their ability to punish GOP lawmakers for their stance on the Gang of Eight bill -- especially important given Senate Republicans did not move en masse to vote for the measure, and House Republicans want nothing to do with it.

"Unlike previous cycles, Lamar Alexander is in trouble," said Drew Ryun, political director of the conservative Madison Project and a former Republican National Committee deputy director. "Immigration is the big issue, especially given some of the things he's said in the past. His political doublespeak isn't going to work this time."

Activists representing several local tea party groups in Tennessee have teamed up with national conservative groups such as FreedomWorks, the Madison Project and Senate Conservatives Fund to find a credible, conservative candidate who can challenge Alexander in next year's primary.

Alexander, like most of the Republican Senators who voted for the big increase in foreign labor, has a huge campaign war chest filled with donations from the corporate wing of the party. It will be very difficult for a challenger to beat him. But just having to compete in a Primary is at the least a costly indignity that most incumbents of either party abhor.


Speaking of Republicans trying to imitate Marco Rubio.

The Hill newspaper has just reported that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has told a town hall event what House GOP leaders hope to do this fall.

He says the floor votes are tentatively planned for October. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ryan indicated that Speaker Boehner hopes to get votes on the very weak border security bill, on the excellent legislation on interior enforcement, on bills to expand legal immigration and then some kind of amnesty.

Ryan just said negotiations are underway to vote on legislation to provide illegal aliens with "probationary" visas while they wait a minimum of 15 years to attain citizenship.

The newspaper said it contacted House leadership to see if Ryan's timetable was accurate and was told only that there were "no scheduling announcements to make." Given Ryan's close relationship with leaders, I would say we should consider ourselves forewarned.  

The key to killing any chance of  the S. 744 amnesty ever becoming law lies with the majority of Republicans in the House telling Speaker Boehner not to bring any bills to the floor that can be "conferenced" with the Senate bill.  All of you with Republican Representatives MUST make at least one contact with him/her and/or local office staff in August.  Make sure all Republican Representatives in your area pledge that they will stop this plan that Ryan exposed back in his District.

It is clear that any bill that could be considered positive is mainly being used as a camel's nose to bring the whole amnesty hump inside the tent.

ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA

NumbersUSA's blogs are copyrighted and may be republished or reposted only if they are copied in their entirety, including this paragraph, and provide proper credit to NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA bears no responsibility for where our blogs may be republished or reposted.

Views and opinions expressed in blogs on this website are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect official policies of NumbersUSA.