Tampa paper: Sen. Marco Rubio's role in immigration debate draws tea party criticism
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was lifted to national prominence with help from the tea party, but his leadership on immigration reform has elicited strong reaction from members of the conservative movement, from outrage to acceptance.
"A lot of members are saying it's an amnesty bill. They're not happy with him," said Everett Wilkinson of South Florida, who heads the newly named Liberty Federation boasting more than 100,000 members.
Wilkinson said he's been in contact with Rubio's office and has asked for information to help explain Rubio's thinking to tea party members.
"Most of them are upset. We feel there's other issues he could be focused on," Wilkinson said, citing the debt. "It could hurt him with the tea party but it's too early to say. This whole thing could go off like an Acme rocket. You never know what direction it's going to go. He may hop off it."