Rubio’s angling prompts Gang of Eight angst

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Politico reports a conspicuous absence in the Senate’s Gang of Eight as they attempt to sell immigration reform to the American people — Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

After months of planning with the bipartisan group of Senators, Rubio has been noticeably missing-in-action in promoting the immigration bill he co-sponsored. Rubio has recently refused both press conferences and a joint interview on the Spanish-language Univision.

Demonstrating the tightrope he walks on immigration, Rubio has been forced to backtrack on statements to conservative pundits outlining his contribution to the bill. He also surprised some of his fellow Gang of Eight members by co-sponsoring amendments that further restrict immigrant access to tax credits and other benefits.

Rubio’s public no-shows with the other Gang of Eight Senators are just further proof of the “difficult line he is walking on immigration” as Rubio tries to both satisfy conservatives, while at the same time moving the bilateral immigration bill forward. It is becoming clear that Rubio’s juggling act will either solidify his standing with the GOP or brand the third-year senator as a political novice.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.