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Rubio: Cruz Decries N.Y. 'Values' But Raises Money There

Marco Rubio tells NBC's Chuck Todd that "calculation" causes Ted Cruz to mock "New York Values" while raising campaign money there.
Image: Marco Rubio Republican debate
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. Chuck Burton / AP

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio continued his attacks against fellow GOP presidential opponent Ted Cruz Sunday, accusing the Texas senator of “political calculation” for criticizing “New York values” while raising campaign money there.

“He raises money in New York and then criticizes New York values,” Rubio told "Meet the Press," adding, “He didn’t say that when he was there raising money. He says that in one state and then said something different in another. And time and again, it’s proven the sort of level of political calculation that voters are only starting to find out about now as the campaign gets deeper and more heated.”

On immigration, Rubio said his support for reform has shifted, explaining, “if circumstances change or you learn something along the way, it’s reasonable to say, ‘maybe a different approach will work better.’ So for example, on immigration it is clear no comprehensive solution to immigration is going to pass.”

But he insisted his criticisms of Cruz on the issue were different. “On the policy issues he used to be in favor of legalizing people that are here illegally, and he said so in front of one audience. But then he portrays this sort of notion that he's the harshest and hardest when it comes to that issue. That's not been his record. ... I think it's important to point out that on the issue he was attacking me on, his record used to be something very different than what he makes it sound like.”

Rubio continued, "don't go around pretending and telling everyone, like Ted Cruz does, that he is the only consistent conservative running for president. The fact of the matter is that Ted has shown a propensity throughout his career in the U.S. Senate to take one position in front of one audience and then change his position in front of another.”

When asked if he is still in favor of finding a way for millions undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States legally, Rubio replied, “If you’re a criminal alien, no, you can’t stay. If you’re someone that hasn’t been here for a very long time, you can’t stay,” but he added, “I don't think you're gonna round up and deport 12 million people.”

However, he continued, “It is very clear now more than ever that we are not going to be able to do anything on people that are illegally until we first prove to people that illegal immigration is under control and America is safe. And ISIS poses a very unique threat unlike anything we have faced in the past.”