Fox News Likes Marco Rubio Way More Than Obama Or Facts

by
Owen Poindexter

An interview on Sean Hannity's show revealed some of how the right wing is trying to shape the narrative over immigration. They want to make this Rubio vs. Obama. Hannity was joined by immigration attorney Francisco Hernandez and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, whose views seem in line with those of Hannity. Sekulow:

But I think what Senator Rubio has put on the table with the other senators is a great start. I think what we have to do is proceed cautiously. But President Obama's plan is not Senator Rubio's plan, and we have to be really clear about that.

Both Sekulow and Hannity kept referring to the bipartisan package of immigration reforms put out by eight senators as "Rubio's plan," which has everything to do with Marco Rubio's presidential aspirations (and his resulting media presence on immigration) and little to do with it being, y'know, Rubio's plan. For starters, there are seven others in this gang, Rubio was not one of the original eight (he replaced Mike Lee of Utah). Rubio's participation is not trivial, but why is it "Rubio's plan" and not "Flake's plan" or "Durbin's plan?"

So, there's that, then there's the end of Sekulow's quote: "President Obama's plan is not Senator Rubio's plan." While it is true that if you made each king for a day, they would have different decrees on immigration, but given that Obama used his big immigration speech to trumpet the Gang of Eight (aka "Rubio's") plan, the idea that the two are sparring over immigration reform runs contrary to the truth.

The most awkward squirm here is around the issue of amnesty. The right wing wants to be pro-Rubio, anti-Obama and anti-amnesty, but there is no real daylight between Obama and the senate's plan on a pathway to citizenship (the Senate's is actually more liberal, due to a provision that helps illegal immigrant farmworkers) and so sentences like this one from Sekulow say a lot about the right wing messaging machine, but nothing about actual policy: "I like the Rubio plan, but the president is calling for amnesty."