The reason why immigration probably won’t doom Rubio’s chances has less to do with him than it does with the field of Republicans he’d likely face if he makes a White House bid. Most of the biggest-name prospects for 2016 are not in an ideal position to attack Rubio from the right on immigration because of their own positions.
“Right now the only weakness that sticks out on Rubio if he runs is [the] immigration situation. By the time voters are through evaluating all the Republican candidates on the issue, he may not likely stick out as much because most of them will have to politically defend themselves on it,” said veteran Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, who thinks the GOP should pursue immigration reform…
One potential candidate who can clearly run to Rubio’s right on immigration is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). But the same can be said of Cruz relative to the rest of the field on a number of issues, given how strictly conservative he has been in the Senate.
In short, it doesn’t look like Rubio is going to face an immigration blitz from his opponents. And if he does, he has plenty of fodder for counterattacks.