Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook Rubio calls for federal investigation into Amazon employee benefits Senate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September MORE (Fla.) on Sunday accused his rival, Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFlake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it MORE, of flip-flopping on multiple issues, ranging from immigration to trade to farm issues.
Rubio doubled down on his line of attack highlighting Cruz’s support for an amendment in 2013 that would have doubled the number of green cards and increased five-fold the number of visas for highly skilled foreign workers.
“I think Ted wanted to not talk about legalization during the primary and leave himself the option of being for it in a general election. I don’t think that’s fair to the electorate,” Rubio said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Cruz’s amendment would have stripped language from the 2013 Senate immigration reform bill giving illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship but still would have allowed them to apply for work permits and permanent residency after 10 years.
Rubio broadened his attack by accusing Cruz of flipping on giving President Obama expedited trade-negotiation authority.
In an April Wall Street Journal op-ed with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is now Speaker, Cruz wrote: “There are multiple issues on which he’s tried to do these sorts of things. For example, when the free trade agreement was up he wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, he wrote it with Paul Ryan. And just three days later he flipped on it. I don’t know why. He got some pressure on the fast-track authority.”
Cruz later reversed his support for a Senate bill that would have given Obama fast-track authority because of what he called a “corrupt” deal by GOP and Democratic leaders to ensure the authorization of the Export-Import Bank.
Rubio also panned Cruz for reversing himself by voting against $3 billion in cuts to a crop insurance program. Cruz initially voted for the proposed cuts, which were not popular with farms in agricultural states such as Iowa.
“He’s done it on votes on farm issues. In fact he changed his vote on the floor of the Senate,” Rubio said. “If you’re going to attack someone on a policy issue, you need to be clear about where you stand on the issue and where you stood in the past.”
Rubio argued that while Cruz portrays himself as a straight-talker on the campaign trail, he is often willing to bend on tough votes.
“When you spend your whole time telling people that you’re a clear talker and you say what you mean and everyone else is a sellout but you’re the only purist, I think it’s fair to say, ‘Well hold on a second, here’s where you’ve been on the past on some issues and here’s where you are now,' ” he said.