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The Lid: The Real Issue at Heart of Rubio, Cruz Immigration Spat

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, who gouged the price of a life-saving drug and hoarded the world’s only copy of a Wu Tang Clan album, has been arrested for securities fraud, giving millions of Americans that warm, fuzzy schadenfreude-y feeling they haven’t felt since the last time Duke lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

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‘16 from 30,000

The 2016 immigration fight we’d all been expecting has finally exploded into the open, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz taking direct shots at each other over their respective roles in the 2013 Gang of Eight immigration reform saga. Part of the fight centers around Cruz’s sponsorship of an amendment that would have nixed the bill’s citizenship proposal but okayed legal status for some undocumented immigrants, a provision Cruz says was a poison pill designed to sink the entire reform bill. There’s been plenty of smart reporting done about what the amendment really meant and who’s right in the back-and-forth between the two candidates, but it all seems to come down to these two questions: Is Rubio simply on the wrong side of his party with his relatively modest immigration stance? And can Cruz explain his 2013 motivations without looking like he was just another politician playing Washington’s games? The specifics are very complicated here, but the scorecard might end up looking pretty simple depending on how those two questions play out.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

“I seen ya on the debate on TV and I said, ‘Man, I gotta see this guy up close.’”

  • Woman in Iowa who told Marco Rubio he is the best looking 2016 candidate.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READ OF THE DAY

The Atlantic asks why billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Ted Cruz continues his “Fly-Around” Super Tuesday tour with stops in Virginia and Georgia.

Marco Rubio campaigns in Iowa and Missouri.

Ben Carson also continues to campaign in Iowa.