Ted Cruz Blasts Marco Rubio on Immigration

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Correction appended, Nov. 12, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz is blasting rival Sen. Marco Rubio over his support for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, in the latest salvo against the surging Florida Republican presidential candidate.

In an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Cruz responded to Rubio’s tougher rhetoric on immigration in recent months, saying, “Talk is cheap. You know where someone is based on their actions.”

The swipe is just a preview for a coming Cruz-Rubio showdown as aides to the pair are increasingly convinced that they will be the final two candidates standing as the GOP race continues into the spring.

Cruz, along with other conservative senators opposed to immigration reform, introduced a series of amendments to require a completely secure border before provisions of the so-called Gang of Eight bill went into effect. The bipartisan group of lawmakers who crafted the bill, which included Rubio, united to vote down most amendments from either party, including Cruz’s.

“He opposed every single one of them—every single amendment,” Cruz said, noting Rubio did not vote for language that would have explicitly prevented those who entered the U.S. illegally to obtain welfare, prevented a path to citizenship from kicking in until the border was secure, and boosted funding for the Border Patrol.

Cruz’s attack, and Rubio’s recent rhetorical shift, highlight how the legislation that once seemed to be legacy-making has become a burden as he seeks the presidency. Rubio now says that comprehensive reform is impossible, and that border security must come first before any piecemeal fixes are made to the nation’s immigration system. On Wednesday, Rubio suggested he would ramp of deportations of those in the U.S. illegally.

It’s not the first Cruz attack on Rubio. In Tuesday’s GOP debate, the Texan criticized Rubio’s support for controversial subsidies for the sugar industry, which is a significant employer in Florida. “Sugar farmers farm on roughly 0.2 percent of the farmland in America and give 40 percent of the lobbying money. That sort of corporate welfare is why we’re bankrupting our kids and grandkids,” Cruz said.“I would end the subsidies to pay for defending this nation.”

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated how Rubio voted. Rubio did not vote on the amendments on the immigration bill.

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See Ted Cruz's Life in Photos

Rafael Bienvenido Cruz with Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz as an infant, early 1970s.Ted Cruz Campaign
A young Ted Cruz, 1970s.Ted Cruz Campaign
Ted Cruz in high school at Second Baptist School in Houston, late 1980s.Ted Cruz Campaign
Ted Cruz and David Panton, debate teammates and close friends at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. on June 5, 1992. Robert P. Matthews—Princeton University
Ted Cruz on election night at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. on Nov. 3, 1992.Ted Cruz Campaign
Ted Cruz, Solicitor General of Texas, addresses the press outside the Supreme Court after defending the redistricting of Texas, in Washington on March 1, 2006.Kevin Clark—Washington Post/Getty Images
Republican Senate nominee Ted Cruz talks to a crowd of local supporters at the Taylor County Republican Headquarters in Abilene, Texas on Oct. 18, 2012.Joy Lewis—AP
Ted Cruz, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, holds hands with his wife Heidi Cruz as he watches polls with his campaign team, friends and family, May 29, 2012.Nick de la Torre—AP
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ted Cruz, left, raises his hand with his father Rafael, right, while holding his daughter Caroline during a victory speech after being elected in Houston on Nov. 6, 2012.David J. Phillip—AP
Ted Cruz speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 28, 2012.Josh Haner—The New York Times/Redux
Vice President Joe Biden administers the Senate Oath to Sen. Ted Cruz accompanied by his wife Heidi and daughters Caroline and Catherine, during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 3, 2013.Evan Vucci—AP
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to reporters after his marathon speech on the Senate floor for more than 21 hours against Obamacare, preceding a government shutdown, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 25, 2013.Mark Wilson—Getty Images
Sen. Ted Cruz follows through after shooting at a pheasant during a hunt in Akron, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2013.Nati Harnik—AP
Ted Cruz sports a Winston Churchill temporary tattoo as an April Fool's joke for Fox & Friends morning show on Apr. 1, 2014.Melissa Golden—The New York Times/Redux
Ted Cruz, his wife Heidi, and their two daughters, Catherine and Caroline, wave on stage after he announced his campaign for president, the first candidate to officially enter the race, in Lynchburg, Va. on March. 23, 2015.Andrew Harnik—AP
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz waits backstage before addressing a legislative luncheon held as part of the "Road to Majority" conference in Washington on June 18, 2015.Carlos Barria—Reuters

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