The (kabuki-like?) tensions between President Obama and Sen. Marco Rubio over immigration reform started to abate Tuesday afternoon when the commander in chief called the Florida Republican as well as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
Rubio over the weekend bashed the White House for, in his view, leaking draft immigration-reform legislation to USA Today. The White House insisted it didn't. The Herald published the text of the legislation in this story which has the background over the back and forth.
Here's the White House statement:
This afternoon, the President placed calls to Senator Graham, Senator McCain, and Senator Rubio to discuss their shared commitment to bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform and to commend the Senators for the bipartisan progress that continues to be made by the Gang of 8 on this important issue. During the calls, which build on conversations that have taken place at the staff level, the President reiterated that he remains supportive of the effort underway in Congress, and that he hopes that they can produce a bill as soon as possible that reflects shared core principles on reform. The President has made clear that he believes commonsense reform needs to include strengthening border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable, and streamlining legal immigration. As the President made clear when he met with Democratic Senators involved in the process last week, that while he is pleased with the progress and supportive of the effort to date, he is prepared to submit his own legislation if Congress fails to act. He thanked the Senators for their leadership, and made clear that he and his staff look forward to continuing to work together with their teams to achieve needed reform.
The President did not speak with Senator Flake, who is traveling, but he looks forward to discussing the issue with him in the near future.