Cruz Slams Rubio on Illegal Immigration: ‘A Vote for Marco Is a Vote for Amnesty’
TAPPER: "As you point out, there have been a lot of policy differences you have been highlighting with your opponents. Lately, you have been focusing more on Marco Rubio, who trails you in the polls here, but some say he has momentum. He, this weekend, said that you — your campaign is being deceitful about his record. Why should voters pick you over Marco Rubio, and why are you better to go after Hillary Clinton in November than Rubio?"
CRUZ: "Well, listen, I think the central question in this primary is trust. We are tired of being burned. We keep having politicians who sound great on the trail, and they don’t do what they said. If you look at when Marco and I both ran for Senate, when Marco ran in Florida, he promised the men and women of Florida he would lead the fight against amnesty. In Texas, I promised the men and women of Texas I would lead the fight against amnesty. We made the identical promises. But when we got to Washington, he and I made very different decisions. He decided to break the promise he made to the people who elected him. And he joined with Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid and Barack Obama, and not only did he not lead the fight against amnesty, but he led the fight to pass amnesty. It was the Rubio-Schumer amnesty bill. It didn’t secure the border. It made it easier for Obama to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees without mandating any background checks. That’s a serious national security risk. And it granted amnesty to 12 million people here illegally. Now, I made a very different decision. I chose to stand with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and millions of conservatives across the country against amnesty. We led the fight against it, and we defeated it in Congress. Now, if you’re asking, who can I trust to do what he said, the fact that, on a signature issue, Marco broke his promise to the American people is significant. That would be like me coming to Washington and suddenly discovering I was for Obamacare. That would be commensurate with what Marco did. And so a vote for Marco is a vote for amnesty. And I will tell you this. If we nominate a candidate who supports amnesty, who has the same position on amnesty as Hillary Clinton, we will lose. The same millions of Reagan Democrats, of steelworkers and autoworkers and truck drivers and electricians who stayed home in 2008 and ‘12, they will stay home in 2016. We have got to be fighting for the working men and women of this country. And amnesty takes their jobs and drive down their wages. We have got to be on behalf of the working men and women of this country."
TAPPER: "Rubio’s response to that, obviously, is that you offered an amendment that would have provided a path to legal status, not citizenship, but a path to legal status."
CRUZ: "Yes. And his response is false. The amendment I offered was 38 words. It was one sentence. And it said nobody here illegally will ever be eligible for citizenship, period, didn’t say a word about legalization. I don’t — and the differences are very clear now. Marco supports amnesty. He supports legalization. And he supports citizenship today, as a presidential candidate. I oppose amnesty. I oppose citizenship. I oppose legalization. And, you know, Jake, I will give you another difference, which is, I had pledged on day one to rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive order issued by Barack Obama. That includes President Obama’s illegal amnesty. Marco has gone on Univision in Spanish and told Jorge Ramos he will not repeal, he will not rescind Obama’s illegal executive amnesty on day one. He says you can’t do it overnight, and he won’t do it. Now, that’s a sharp difference. That’s not a personal difference. It’s not a personal insult. It’s just a difference in policy. And, by the way, Marco’s support for amnesty goes back many, many years, when he was speaker of the House."
TAPPER: "In Florida."
CRUZ: "In Florida. He led the fight to provide in-state tuition for illegal aliens. I disagree with him on that. He’s entitled to have that view, but he doesn’t get to try to convince the voters that his position is different from what his record is. And for anyone who says, well, gosh, how do I know who’s telling the truth, I would suggest you look to what Jeff Sessions and Steve King and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin say. Every one of them says, Marco Rubio led the fight for amnesty and Ted Cruz led the fight against it. You know, Jeff Sessions in Alabama said, if it weren’t for Ted, the Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight amnesty bill would have passed. And that’s a difference that matters. And I would note, during that whole battle, Donald Trump was nowhere to be found."