Feeling the heat that his only accomplishment in the Senate was promoting Obama’s immigration policy, Rubio told a group of New Hampshire voters that his experience as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee qualifies him to be president.
Here is the relevant quote from the New York Times:
As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have access to the most classified information in this government — equal basically to what the president sees except not at the same time. No one else in the race has access to that. I’ve had it for four or five years.
This declaration from Rubio begs a more discerning question. If Rubio sat on the Intel Committee during his Senate tenure and was privy to information on the national security threats we face, how could he have simultaneously pushed the Gang of Eight immigration bill?
During the January 14 Fox Business debate, Rubio defended his support of open borders in 2013 by asserting that, “[T]wenty-four months ago, 36 months ago, you did not have a group of radical crazies named ISIS who were burning people in cages and recruiting people to enter our country legally.” He concluded that “the entire system of legal immigration must now be reexamined for security first and foremost, with an eye on ISIS.”
This is part of the general McCain/Rubio/neo-conservative philosophy to limit the threat of Islamic supremacism to ISIS and ignore the broader subversive threat of Islamic immigration and the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s as if Islamic terror never existed before 2014. As Cruz retorted, “[R]adical Islamic terrorism was not invented 24 months ago; 24 months ago, we had Al Qaida. We had Boko Haram. We had Hamas. We had Hezbollah. We had Iran putting operatives in South America and Central America.”
In fact, it was the attacks on the CIA building and the World Trade Center in 1993, both perpetrated by Islamic immigrants connected with Muslim Brotherhood mosques, that prompted Harry Reid to introduce his famous immigration enforcement bill. Harry Reid had more common sense on this issue 20 years before the more severe threat we already faced in 2013. Certainly, Senator Rubio could have seen the harm of his bill to our national security from his perch on the much-vaunted Senate intel panel. Senators Cruz and Sessions have identified over 72 suspected terrorists with questionable immigration histories dating back two decades.
Yet, Rubio relentlessly promoted his bill, which would have invited back a number of illegal aliens who were already deported, granted executive officials broad waiver authority, massively expanded legal immigration and refugee/asylum loopholes, and accelerated immigration from the Middle East. Also, millions would have been granted immediate provisional legal status without interviews with DHS officials. And even among future legal immigrants, the bill would have given John Kerry authority to waive the requirement for in-person visas [p. 881, S.744]! We already see how Kerry has waived the requirement for in-person interviews for Iranian nationals living in Europe, even though Congress tried to stop it. Had Rubio succeeded in seeing is signature accomplishment become law, could you imagine how many additional security risks the Obama administration would have admitted?
It’s quite evident that either Marco Rubio was not very attentive during those intel briefings or if he was, he exhibited bad judgment, overlooking the national security concerns many of us voiced about his bill at the time.
This is one of those examples when no experience is better than bad judgment.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.