The Republican Party is currently divided into two warring camps over the future of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and his conservative credentials.
On the one hand, there's the establishment-types, including Bush strategist Karl Rove, who insist that Rubio's recent defection on immigration reform shouldn't disqualify him for the future. In fact, as the New York Times reports, they are going above and beyond to stick up for Rubio, despite the immigration debacle:
Fox News viewers in Florida will see a new commercial in the coming weeks urging them to call Senator Marco Rubio. “Thank him for keeping his promise, and fighting to secure the border,” a narrator says in the ad, which is paid for by the conservative American Action Network.
Another group, Americans for a Conservative Direction, led by former Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and other top Republicans, has been running ads in Iowa lately that implore those watching to “stand with Marco Rubio to end de facto amnesty.”
And when the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the Koch brothers’ political advocacy group, decided to move its signature annual conference outside Washington for the first time, it picked a spot right in Mr. Rubio’s political backyard: Orlando. The keynote speaker? Mr. Rubio.
On the other hand, you have conservatives who trusted Rubio, elected Rubio and feel terribly betrayed by Rubio. In a column at the Daily Caller today, writer Mickey Kaus actually encourages Republicans to "destroy Marco Rubio":
As Allahpundit forcefully points out, Rubio’s whole mission for the Gang of 8 was to anaesthetize the Right with charm and concern. That wasn’t enough, so he also lied. He lied about the border security provisions in his bill, then declared he was going to fight to add the provisions he’d said were there all along, then when he lost those fights he supported the bill anyway. He delivered a final heartfelt plea for understanding–and lied there too (denying, for example that “a future Congress can just defund all the security measures,” which it can). ...
What’s the positive side that compensates for all this? Wherein lies the greatness of Marco Rubio, the shining achievements that overshadow his colossal immigration misadventure? Is he going to bring world peace? Sure, he’s against Obamacare and overregulation and abortion and tax increases.** So are a lot of Republicans, Republicans who haven’t shown a proclivity to go over to the other side when it counts. Has he ever run a state? Is he a brilliant thinker? [...]
Some look at Rubio as he is and say, “why should this destroy him?” But others ask, ’why not’?
On which side of the debate do you find yourself? Vote in our poll and let us know your reasons with a comment!