A kinder, gentler tea party candidate

Does he support changing the 14th Amendment, as some Republicans have suggested, which grants the right to citizenship to anyone born in the United States?

“You’re taking energy and focus away from that fundamental debate and spending time on something that quite frankly is not the highest and best use of our political attention,” Mr. Rubio said. “I don’t think that’s where the problem is.”

Is the Arizona immigration law a good idea, with the police required to check the documents of anyone they stop or detain whom they suspect of being in the country illegally?

“I don’t want Arizona to serve as a model for other states,” said Mr. Rubio, a first-generation American, whose parents fled Cuba in 1959. “I want Arizona’s law to serve as a wakeup call to the federal government to finally do its jobs with regard to illegal immigration.”

Does anything impress him about President Obama?

“Yeah, there’s a lot,” Mr. Rubio said. “Obviously his personal story of someone who didn’t come from wealth is a testament not just to his tenacity, but to America. I just strongly disagree with him on public policy.”