Morning Briefing: November 19, 2012

by Jen Green

Marco Rubio comes to Iowa

The race for 2016 started the minute the election was called for Barack Obama. By watching my home state it’s pretty easy to tell who is considering a run for their party’s nomination. Rick Perry and Rick Santorum have already been here, so has Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal. This past weekend, Marco Rubio came to town, setting the politicos a twitter.

Speaking at a “birthday party fundraiser” for Terry Branstad, Iowa’s governor, Rubio of course avoided the “big question” about seeking the nomination. He did, however, talk about the need for immigration reform and education reform saying we, “need to improve the country’s immigration system and develop a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants” and that education reform is “necessary to ensure that future generations are competitive in the global economy.”

Is this the “new rhetoric” of the “new” GOP?

Putting money on it

It seems it is the new rhetoric–and in the GOP’s scramble to reach out to the Latino vote–some of them are forming a new Super PAC to encourage immigration reform. Called Republicans for Immigration Reform, the PAC has been started by a former George W. Bush cabinet member and a Washington lawyer who was in charge of one of the largest pro-Romney Super PACs.

The men suggest the “far right” of the Republican party has cost them the Latino vote on this issue (note: Romney’s “hard line” stance in the primary) and the GOP simply cannot win when 70 percent of Hispanics vote for the Democrat as they did for Obama. Their plan for current illegal immigrants: “First they have to be legalized,” Gutierrez said. “Then you have to find a way to get into a line for the green card. … There will be requirements. And we’ll have to negotiate some sort of requirements.”

Somewhere, Newt Gingrich is asking, “Hey, haven’t I heard this somewhere before?”

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

The Republican establishment is still smarting at the number of primaries they lost to grassroots and Tea Party type candidates. And since they have absolutely no compulsion to believe the truth, they continue to blame those candidates for their inability to take back the Senate this year. Specifically calling out Todd Akin and Richard Murdock, the party elite has decided enough is enough.

But instead of waging an all-out war (like they did at the GOP convention in Tampa), they’re going to employ a “if you can’t beat ’em, fool ’em into joining you” strategy. According to this article from Politico, they want to take a “balanced” approach to primaries. According to Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, “We ought to make certain that if we get engaged in primaries that we’re doing it based on the desires, the electability and the input of people back in the states that we’re talking about . . . And not from the perception of what political operatives from Washington, D.C., think about who ought to be the candidate in state X.”

Moran has decided to employ newly elected Texas Senator Ted Cruz as as “a vice chairman for grass roots and outreach. The plan, according to party leaders, is to employ Cruz’s tea party star power to help win over activist groups that may be wary of the NRSC and help unify the GOP behind a single candidate in crucial Senate races.”

I wonder how the Texas Tea Party groups that helped Cruz win his seat feel about Cruz’s new role?