As immigration comes to dominate the political discussion, The Hill ran an interesting article Monday suggesting Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush are already “bumping elbows as both work to establish leadership roles on immigration and education reform while weighing 2016 presidential bids.”
The article points to comments Bush made in a recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that seem to criticize Rubio’s vision on immigration reform.
“Some policy makers are calling for piecemeal changes — such as issuing visas for high-skilled workers and investors, or conferring legal status on immigrants who were illegally brought to the country as children,” Bush wrote.
“Congress should avoid such quick fixes,” Bush continues, before adding that “such an approach is shortsighted and self-defeating.”
Which is at odds with what Rubio said in December.
“One massive piece of legislation, bill, is probably not the right approach, but I do think we need a comprehensive package, several bills,” Rubio said then.
Another sign that Bush is considering a presidential run is that his son Jeb Bush Jr. recently took a jab at Rubio for declining to say in an interview with GQ magazine how old he thinks the planet is, calling the response “strange” and “kind of a head-scratching type of answer,” according to The Hill.
All of which begs the question: Is a heavyweight bout shaping up between the two popular politicians?
Not according to Don Gaetz (R-Niceville), president of the Florida Senate.
“Marco Rubio’s political godfather is Jeb Bush. I don’t see any way they run against each other for any office,” he told The Hill.
A November survey by Public Policy Polling found that Bush, 59, earned the support of 28 percent of the 624 Florida Republicans who participated, while Rubio, 41, received 22 percent.
It also found that both are eminently likeable. Rubio was viewed favorably by 88 percent of Florida Republicans, while Bush had an 85 percent favorable rating.
Earlier this month, The Tampa Bay Times conducted a Florida Insider Poll… [that] found 62 percent expect Bush will run in 2016, while 55 percent doubt Rubio will put his hat in the ring. Asked who would be the stronger candidate, a whopping 81 percent said Bush.