Rubio Buckles, Says He Would Vote For Arizona Immigration Law

May 06, 2010 10:24 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Last week, Florida senatorial candidate Marco Rubio (R) became one of the first high-profile conservatives to speak out against Arizona's new anti-immigration law.  In a statement, Rubio expressed "concerns" about the bill, including the likelihood that it will result in racial profiling and "unreasonably single out people who are here legally." He added, "When the government is given an inch it takes a mile."

Rubio has since backtracked, adopting the conservative message that Arizona's action, while not ideal, was "inevitable" because "the federal government failed to act." But now he is fully reversing his position.  In a new interview, Rubio tells Human Events editor Jason Mattera that he would vote for the law as it is currently written:

JM: If you were in the Arizona state legislature, would you have voted for the law?

MR: The second one that passed hit the right note. Yes.

JM: The first time around, would you have?

MR: Well, I would have wanted to see changes like the ones that were made because I know that that's not the intent of the bill. We're always concerned. I mean no one is in favor of a bill that would force American citizens to have to interact with law enforcement in a way that wasn't appropriate. And the first bill I thought held that door open.

Since then, the changes that have been made to the bill I think greatly improve it.

Rubio justifies his flip-flop by citing recent changes to the bill made in an effort to pacify the bill's critics.  Ironically, while Rubio has never questioned the Arizona legislature's intent, leaked emails from a Washington-based lawyer who helped craft the bill reveal that the changes were designed to cast a wide net over Latinos.