The Lid: Ghosts of Immigration's Past Haunting 2016 Republicans

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By Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Marco Rubio’s work to craft comprehensive immigration reform as a member of the “Gang of Eight” has again become a flashpoint in the 2016 race… which serves as a good reminder to all the kids out there: Don’t join gangs.

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The year 2013 isn’t exactly ancient history. But the ghosts of that year’s Senate immigration fight are coming back to haunt the Republican Party, with Senate Judiciary Committee markup hearings now becoming fodder for a presidential food fight. The C-SPAN archives got their closeup after Team Rubio - along with other Cruz foes - recirculated Cruz’s remarks that year regarding his proposal to strip a path to citizenship - but not legalization - out of the Gang of Eight bill. (Team Cruz says the measure was meant to call out Democrats as unwilling to compromise on the issue.) That charge came after Cruz took aggressive aim at Rubio for his support of the comprehensive immigration bill at the time.

A few things to keep in mind here: The GOP’s center of gravity on immigration really has shifted since 2013, when citizenship and the length of the timeline to get to it - rather than just legalization itself- was the bigger question mark for most Republican lawmakers. And as Cruz’s then-support for increasing H1B visas illustrates, expressing concern about LEGAL immigration levels was less in vogue than it is in today’s GOP. Whether it’s the Trump effect or where the electorate really has been all along, the ground has shifted under these senators’ feet in a very short amount of time.


  • Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are sparring over immigration reform as both see upward momentum.
  • Jeb Bush is lapping his competitors when it comes to the ad-spending race. NBC’s Mark Murray takes a look.
  • Three more candidates filed in New Hampshire on Thursday, using the Granite State political ritual to defend the first primary and contrast their positions on immigration.
  • Political unit intern Elissa Nunez takes a look at what’s next for transgender rights activists after their defeat in Houston earlier this month.
  • Donald Trump thinks that the Mizzou protests are “disgusting.”
  • In NBC’s First Read, call it The Rubio Paradox. What’s his path -- and does it go through Iowa or New Hampshire at all?


SANDERS: That cool 1960s photo of Bernie Sanders rallying civil rights protestors? Classmates say it might not be him.

CLINTON: She’s announcing a $30 billion plant to revitalize coal country and adapt to climate change regulations.


“I have been here a lot. I do weddings, funerals, bar mitzvah, friendly divorces.”

-- Lindsey Graham while filing for the New Hampshire primary.


The Florida Republican Party’s “Sunshine Summit” takes place in Orlando. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are scheduled to speak.

Rand Paul files for the New Hampshire primary. John Kasich and Jeb Bush also make stops in the state.

Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie campaign in Iowa.

Ben Carson holds a town hall in South Carolina with Sen. Tim Scott.