National Journal's Beth Reinhard (our erstwhile colleague who draws on her coverage of Sen. Marco Rubio's 2010 race):
Arizona Sen. John McCain partnered with liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy in 2005 to offer illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, then allied with border security hardliners during a tough 2010 Republican primary. "Complete the danged fence," McCain cracked in a widely publicized television spot.
Less well known is the equally dramatic pivot by Marco Rubio, from 2010 candidate who dismissed McCain’s proposal as “amnesty,” to U.S. senator who on Monday championed reforms McCain said had “very little difference” from his previous plan, which became the blueprint for failed legislation in 2006 and 2007.
During a March 28, 2010 Fox News debate against then-Gov. Charlie Crist, Rubio said: “He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong, and the reason I think it’s wrong is that if you grant amnesty, as the governor proposes that we do, in any form, whether it's back of the line or so forth, you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America.”