Rubio Retreats

He is backing off from his previous support for comprehensive immigration reform. Issac Chotiner sees this as proof of Rubio’s “political cluelessness”:

This leads to the larger question of what exactly Rubio was thinking when he decided to support the Senate bill in the first place. I have argued previouslythat it was political suicide for him to get behind the comprehensive approach: if such a bill had passed, Rubio would have been tarred as the most visible supporter of Obama’s biggest second term achievement. (Good luck running on that). And if it fails, as now appears likely, what did he gain by pissing off a bunch of the voters he will need for 2016?

Chotiner expects no movement on immigration reform before the midterms:

Pretend you are a House Republican, and thus in almost all cases are from a very conservative district. What is your incentive to pass an immigration bill before November 2014? Not only would it make you vulnerable to a primary challenge, but it isn’t even obvious that it would strengthen your position in the general election, especially considering the way House districts are drawn, and that non-presidential election years tend to have older and whiter electorates.

Chait, meanwhile, tries to make sense of the GOP’s latest immigration reform spin.