On January 17th 2013, just a few weeks after Senator Marco Rubio came on board a bipartisan attempt to enact immigration reform, the now Republican Presidential candidate nominee went with Senator Chuck Schumer to the executive dining room of the Manhattan headquarters of News Corporation for dinner.
Rubio and Schumer’s goal was to persuade the owner of the media empire, Rupert Murdoch, together with Fox News chairman and chief executive, Roger Ailes, to not go against the 2013 Senate bill for comprehensive immigration bill and try to keep it alive. Murdoch and Aisles agreed but warned him that they also needed to persuade conservative talk radio king, Rush Limbaugh, who had a large degree of influence within the base of the Republican Party.
The revelation about the previously secret dinner highlights the degree to which Rubio was involved with the attempt to push through the bill, which would have offered a path to US citizenship for around 11 million undocumented immigrants together with measures to force foreigners with expired US visas to leave the country and strengthen border security. The optimism around the bill at the time seems like a long time ago now in a Republican Presidential campaign dominated by the idea of harsher immigration policies, and Rubio’s history with it is now one he would probably have preferred to not have highlighted.
Rubio has since changed his stance but has been damaged in the eyes of many conservatives, and Fox News is also suffering, with its standing among Republicans already having fallen to a three-year low.