- (Photo: Reuters/Chris Keane)
Conservative radio host and political commentator Glenn Beck ripped Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), calling him a "piece of garbage" for defending his support of the immigration reform bill that passed in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
On the radio on Thursday, Beck accused Rubio of playing politics instead of doing the right thing.
"He's not trying to do the right thing," said Beck of Rubio, who is a member of the Gang of Eight senators who crafted the bill. "He's falling into the power structure."
Beck charged that long-time politicians have been telling Rubio that if the immigration reform bill isn't passed, the Republican Party will cease to exist. If he gets it through, however, he would be praised as a great deal-maker and presidential favorite.
Responding to Rubio's claim that he agreed with his critics on "virtually every other issue," Beck equated the claim with agreeing with your spouse on every issue but your affair.
"So I'm cheating on her with Chuck Schumer, but so what!" Beck quipped. "Every other issue we agree … I'm just trying to do the right thing for our marriage …"
When Rubio remarked that he was "just trying to help this special country," in a clip from his statement to his critics, Beck responded: "What are we, in the short bus? A 'special' country? What a piece of garbage this guy is."
The immigration reform bill, which promises to bring more than 11 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows by giving them immediate legal status and a path to citizenship, was passed with a final vote of 68-32 with support from just 14 Republicans in the Senate. The bill also includes $30 billion in financial support for increasing security of the Southern border.
A day before the vote on Wednesday, Rubio responded to criticisms from conservatives and tea party activists who were not satisfied with the proposal.
"Over the last few days, I have received numerous emails and calls from conservatives and tea party activists from across the country regarding immigration," said Rubio on the Senate floor on Wednesday. "And they are increasingly unhappy about the immigration reform proposal in the Senate."
While noting that the opinions of conservatives and tea party activists "really matter to me," Rubio said there were "false claims" being made about the legislation, then proceeded to defend the bill.
"This proposal mandates the most ambitious border and interior security measures in our nation's history," said Rubio. "For example, it requires and funds the completion of 700 miles of real border fence, it adds 20,000 new border agents, it details a specific technology plan for each sector of the border, it requires e-Verify for every employer in America and it creates a tracking system to identify people who overstay their visas."
"To hear the worry, anxiety, and growing anger in the voices of so many people who helped me get elected to the Senate, who I agree with on virtually every other issue, has been a real trial for me," noted Rubio.