Sen. Marco Rubio, a favorite of the tea party, is key to the ultimate success of new immigration reform legislation. His presidential prospects could rise or fall with the bill.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
(Updated at 2 p.m. EDT, after Senator Rubio spoke with talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.)
As one of four Republicans in the group of eight senators behind the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform plan outlined Monday, as well as one of the party's most-buzzed-about potential White House contenders, Senator Rubio arguably has the most to gain – or lose – politically from the effort.
If the bill gets through, it could mark an important step in changing the GOP's image to one that's more inclusive and minority-friendly, potentially helping Rubio and his party win over more Hispanics in future elections. And it could cement Rubio's reputation as a bridge-builder – someone who has the trust of the party's conservative base and can bring it along, or at least neutralize some of its concerns, on a hot-button policy measure its members have historically opposed.
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