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National Review on 'Rubio's Folly'

National Review on 'Rubio's Folly'
Sen. Marco Rubio's Office
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Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 7:03pm

(CNN) -- The latest example of conservative backlash against Sen. Marco Rubio for his role as one of the Senate leaders pushing for comprehensive immigration reform came Thursday on the cover of the right-leaning publication "National Review."

The cover shows Rubio laughing at a press conference announcing the immigration bill last month, with the words "Rubio's Folly" underneath. Fellow Republican Sen. John McCain appears on the cover as well, along with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer.

When the cover was posted online, commentators noted the publication had edited out the people standing behind the three senators at the press conference, including conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.

National Review isn't the first magazine to use Rubio on its cover with a provocative headline. TIME labeled the junior senator from Florida the "Republican savior" on its cover in February.

Rubio, along with seven other senators, unveiled immigration reform legislation last month that includes an eventual pathway to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants. It also mandates tighter border security and better enforcement of current immigration laws.

Some conservatives, including popular radio talk show hosts, have said the pathway amounts to amnesty, and have lambasted Rubio for his role in the bill.

Rubio himself acknowledged on Monday that the so-called Gang of Eight's immigration bill, in it's current form, is unlikely to gain enough support in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

"The bill that's in place right now probably can't pass the House," Rubio said on Mike Gallagher's conservative radio show. "It will have to be adjusted, because people are very suspicious about the willingness of the government to enforce the laws now."

The bill, which Rubio labeled a "starting point," will soon face committee markups. The senator said he's heard "some valid points" from those who object to the bill and welcomed any amendments or changes that will make the legislation more appealing in the House.

"Let's try to fix it," Rubio said. "Let's try to change it, but to just say, 'let's defeat the whole thing,' I don't think that's a productive approach either."

Rubio was elected to the Senate in 2010 with strong support from tea party activists and other grassroots conservatives. The Florida Republican is thought to be mulling a possible bid for the 2016 GOP nomination, and pundits question whether his push for immigration reform will hurt or help any potential White House run.

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