Rubio on Adelson Endorsement: ‘I Don’t Know’
Marco Rubio refused to predict whether his stance on immigration will earn him the coveted endorsement of Sheldon Adelson when asked about it on Monday.
“I don’t know. You will have to ask Mr. Adelson,” Rubio told Jewish Insider following a town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire, Monday morning.
Since last week’s TV debate, Senator Ted Cruz and Rubio have been going back and forth over immigration reform, with Cruz hitting Rubio over his past stance in supporting a legal pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The two junior Senators are vying to win the early primary states to become the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president. But they are also contending to win the backing of the Vegas casino mogul in what has been referred to as the ‘Adelson Primary.’ Since Cruz and Rubio are both very pro-Israel, Adelson could look at the issue of immigration to tip the scales. And it seems that on the issue of immigration, Rubio and Sheldon share the same view. In an Op-Ed penned for Politico Magazine in 2014, Adelson wrote, “While I do not practice or promote illegal behavior, the reality is that 11 million illegal immigrants are currently in this country. Poll after poll shows the majority of Americans support immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship. So, let’s put the political nitpicking aside and deal with the situation.”
Speaking to Jewish Insider, Rubio maintained, “No one running for president understand immigration better than I do. I’ve lived it. I’ve lived around it, my whole life. I see every aspect of it; the heartbreaking stories – the ones that will boil your blood about people taking advantage of us. We have to deal with it. It’s been haunting this nation for over 30 years. It is worse today than it was three years ago.”
“But the only way we are going to be able to deal with it – having gone through what I’ve gone through on this issue – I know for a fact that the only way we will ever be able to do anything on immigration is to put enforcement in place first and prove it,” he asserted. “And once enforcement is in place, and we are actually doing it, I believe people will be very reasonable about what you do with someone who’s been here for twelve years, who’s not a criminal.”
On Thursday, Adelson told reporters he might sit out and wait until some of the early primary states determine who’re the favorites to win the GOP nomination before deciding to back a specific candidate. “The Adelson family has not made up its mind as to anybody we are going to support,” he said. “We may just wait until a number of the primaries already established and who’s garnering the largest number of delegates.”
The comments came after he met with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in Las Vegas.