A South Florida talk-radio host who “enthusiastically” supported Marco Rubio in his successful run for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and touted his candidacy on her show, has turned against him, charging he has betrayed the people of his state as a member of the “Gang of Eight” by crafting an immigration bill that provides a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens.
Joyce Kaufman, who hosts a daily show on WFTL 850 AM, denounced Rubio on her show Wednesday and announced she’s organizing protests against the politician she now calls a “pathological liar, a “fraud” and “The Amnesty Man.”
Rubio is feeling the heat after he told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity he knows his moves aren’t winning him any friends among conservatives.
“Look, it’s obvious I didn’t do this for political gain. This is not something that’s going to gain me any parades. People are frustrated, and I do understand it. What I hope they understand is that I studied this issue carefully for almost two years, and I concluded that what we have in place right now is a disaster,” Rubio told Hannity.
Rubio visited Kaufman’s program numerous times during the campaign, and Kaufman said he gave very clear answers on where he stood on immigration.
“He told me he was against amnesty, no pathway to citizenship, secure the borders that’s all we’ve got to worry about. Blah, blah, blah. It was a lie,” said Kaufman, who noted she has a very simple approach to the illegal immigration problem.
Kaufman told WND she’s not surprised by the senator’s turnaround on immigration, calling it “classic Rubio.”
“Right at the moment he’s being typical Marco Rubio. He will say whatever he thinks will win him a seat in the White House or wherever else he thinks he’s going,” Kaufman said.
“Marco Rubio has no principles. He has a wonderful story. We all love to hear about the Cuban immigrant family. And he’s so handsome and he has the wife and the perfect family,” Kaufman said.
“But he’s a liar. He’s a pathological liar. He stands for nothing; he couldn’t care less about border security.”
Rubio and his office did not respond to WND’s request for comment.
Then-candidate Rubio first expressed opposition to “amnesty” in several early appearances on Kaufman’s show in 2009:
“My position is unchanged, and I assure you that people have scoured the public records to find a single comment from me that shows that any time have I ever been in favor of amnesty. It’s not because I’m against 13 million human beings that are in this country illegally, it’s because I believe that to give people blanket amnesty when they enter this country illegally would discourage and undermine legal immigration, which I believe properly managed is a great asset for America.
“If you were to grant amnesty, you are actually going to have people trying to come into this country legally who are going to go around claiming they are here illegally, just to get the amnesty.”
Kaufman admits that she’s had problems with Rubio since he was the Florida House speaker.
“Marco Rubio was a state legislator for South Florida, so I’ve been following his career for a very long time,” Kaufman said.
“When he became the speaker of the House for the state of Florida, he promised us he would get some of these immigration bills up for a vote and he did not do that. So I have not been a big fan of Marco Rubio for a very long time.”
Kaufman said Rubio’s primary opponent was the main reason she chose to support Rubio in 2010.
“When he decided to run against Charlie Crist, I supported him, because he came into my studio and I asked him a question,” she said. “I asked him, ‘Why would I trust you after what you did to us on immigration at the state level?’”
He answered me, “Well this is a federal matter, and I would never do that. I believe we should secure the borders.”
She said it took some courage to decide to support Rubio.
“He said all the right things, and I decided to swallow my pride and support him. I endorsed him because Charlie Crist is such a wretched person and I didn’t want him to go to the Senate,” Kaufman said.
A few months before the election, Rubio again appeared on Kaufman’s show and emphatically declared opposition to “amnesty” for illegal aliens.
“I’ve never been for amnesty. I’ve said this repeatedly, I don’t believe in amnesty. And it’s not that I’m angry at those folks. It’s because if you create an amnesty, you will destroy any chance you will ever have of building in this country once again, a legal immigration system that works, that is being enforced, that functions, that’s a positive for our country and our people.”
She said that in those interviews, she gave a warning to Rubio.
“I told him, ‘If you screw this up Marco, if you don’t prevent amnesty from even coming to the floor of the Senate, I’ll hold you personally responsible.’ And look at where we are today,” Kaufman said. “He’s the author of the ‘Gang of Eight’s’ bill, which he doesn’t even want to vote for.”
Rubio’s vote against money to build the border security fence is another sore spot for Kaufman.
“He voted against the Thune amendment and the Vitter amendment. He didn’t just hold it up; he voted against them,” Kaufman said. “He does not believe in border security first. I speak Spanish, and I’m Hispanic. I heard him on Univision, and he was quite clear that legalization will come before border security.
“Now if he said it in Spanish, and I heard it on Univision, that the legalization would come before border security, he’s either telling the truth in English or he’s telling the truth in Spanish. I think he’s not telling the truth in either language,” she said.
As their differing views on immigration reform became evident over the past several months, Kaufman said Rubio is much harder to find than during the campaign.
“He refuses to appear on my show. He refuses to take my calls. We took a posse up to his office in D.C. and we were politely asked to stand in the hallway. We were summarily dismissed while we watched members of SEIU and La Raza welcomed with open arms,” she said. “He is bankrupt morally. He is a horrible example of what happens when a party decides that they really like the way a guy looks and sounds and could care less if he has any principles.
“I just think it’s an example of how we ended up with Barack Obama in the White House. He looks good, but he really doesn’t stand for what he says he stands for,” Kaufman said.
Rubio, the rest of the Gang of Eight and numerous other lawmakers claim a new amendment on border security should alleviate concerns that the bill focuses on legalization and not enough on border enforcement. The amendment reportedly calls for a major increase in border agents and requires completion of the border fence before any green cards are handed out. Kaufman isn’t impressed.
“Been there, done that. In 2006, they authorized a border fence, and three months later they refused to fund it. All this talk is nothing unless there’s appropriations,” Kaufman said. “I know these guys. I know Chuck Schumer. I’ve been doing this a long time. As soon as they get what they want, they will not appropriate the funds for the border patrol agents; therefore, there won’t be any. They will not appropriate funds to build anymore fence; therefore there won’t be any more fence.”
Kaufman said anti-amnesty and pro-legal immigration groups are making their voices heard and don’t need much help from her. She joined them in protesting at Rubio’s office in Miami-Dade County, even holding a mock funeral for the American worker in connection with the unveiling of the immigration bill.
“Marco Rubio’s people had us thrown off the premises. He works for me. I helped get him elected. I pay his salary, and he treats me like garbage. He treats all his constituents like that unless they have a checkbook,” Kaufman said.
The year 2016 holds multiple options for Rubio. He is up for re-election that year and many also expect him to seek the GOP presidential nomination. Kaufman said Florida conservatives have little enthusiasm more more Rubio, and he should expect a fierce challenge if he runs for re-election.
She said there’s one remedy for political leaders like Rubio – to clean house.
“Absolutely, he’ll get a fierce primary challenge. He won’t be able to beat back Charlie Crist if he decides to run as a Democrat, only because of this issue,” Kaufman said. “He has ruined his political future.”