POSTED: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 10:14am
WASHINGTON — The congressional impasse on immigration may be a political calculation by some Democrats, Sen. Marco Rubio said in a television appearance on Wednesday.
"I think there are some in the Democratic Party - not all - but I think there are some people in the Democratic Party that think that the immigration issue is more valuable to them unsolved," the first term Florida senator said on Fox News. "That it gives them something to talk about, that they can go back to Hispanic communities and make unrealistic promises every two years and win votes."
"And I think for some - not all - but for some Democrats, the issue of immigration is better politically if they just leave it the way it is now because they can use it against Republicans," Rubio added.
Rubio's comments came after his keynote address Wednesday at the Latino Coalition Annual Economic Summit, which earlier heard from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Rubio has been floated by some - but has pushed back against such suggestions - as a possible vice presidential pick for Romney in part because of his Hispanic heritage and the potential influence of Hispanic voters this election cycle.
In the interview, he said the "perpetual campaign" and hyper-polarization has led to predetermined votes, rather than policy decisions, stacking up on the Senate floor.
Some, however, considered his party's series of votes on competing budget measures earlier this month to be a similar stunt, as none of the five were expected to pass.
In his speech on Wednesday, Rubio criticized the rhetoric of President Barack Obama, saying "What you have today is nothing less than a wholesale effort to pit one group of Americans against each other on issue after issue."
A poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a significant lead over Romney among Latino voters. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo survey showed 61% backed Obama and 27% favored Romney.
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