MIAMI, Florida — Speaking at the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network conference here today, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned his fellow conservatives against using rhetoric towards immigrants that is “harsh and intolerable and inexcusable“:
“We must admit that there are those among us that have used rhetoric that is harsh and intolerable and inexcusable,” Rubio said. “And we must admit — myself included — that sometimes we’ve been too slow to condemn that language for what it is.”
While Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, did not mention them by name, his words could have been intended for GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney who spoke immediately after him at the conference. Both have taken immigration policies well to the right of President Bush, with Romney going even further than Gingrich in saying that he would veto the DREAM Act.
Rubio is a rising star in the GOP and extraordinarily popular among the Hispanic conservatives at the conference, and his words received a very warm reception here. His comments came after he was interrupted by two undocumented students who confronted him for not supporting the DREAM Act.