President Obama on Tuesday said Republican presidential candidate Marco RubioMarco RubioSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate intel panel has not seen Nunes surveillance documents: lawmakers With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE is "running away" from his 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill.
"You've got a candidate who sponsored a bill that I supported to finally solve the immigration problem, and he's running away from it as fast as he can," Obama said.
Responding to questions about the GOP’s presidential candidates, Obama said they all hold extreme positions, though Donald TrumpDonald Trump Jeb Bush: Trump a ‘distraction in and of himself’ Protests erupt across Russia, hundreds arrested: reports Ill. gov candidate runs as fresh face, despite ties to political machine MORE expresses them in "more interesting" ways.
"He may express strong anti-immigration sentiment, but you've heard that from the other candidates as well," Obama said of Trump.
Rubio, a Florida senator, was part of the bipartisan Gang of Eight who sponsored the 2013 bill. It cleared the Senate, but was never brought up for a vote in the House.
Rubio's participation in the immigration bill has made him a target of other GOP candidates. Rival Ted CruzTed CruzHow 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE, also a senator, has referred to the bill as "the Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight bill" and argued it called for amnesty.
Rubio said last week that the bill was "never intended to become law" but rather to be made "even better" by conservative members of the House.