Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) endorsed George Allen’s Senate bid Thursday, adding to Allen’s stable of support now that he’s clinched the GOP nod to face fellow former governor Timothy M. Kaine (D).
At a flower shop in Arlington on Thursday morning, Rubio said he wanted Allen “to be the 51st vote in the Senate to help repeal and replace Obamacare, fight the regulatory assault on job creators and hold the line on fiscal discipline in a spendthrift Washington.”
Rubio is a favorite of conservative activists and has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for Mitt Romney (R). Unlike Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and some other high-profile Republicans, Rubio typically does not wade into contested primaries and did not reveal his support for Allen until his victory Tuesday.
A statement issued by the Allen campaign notes some points of agreement between the Virginian and Rubio, including their shared support for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. But it’s not clear whether they’re on the same page on immigration.
Rubio has drawn both praise and criticism for vowing to craft his own version of the immigration bill known as the DREAM Act. Though he has yet to reveal all the details, the broad proposal calls for creating a non-immigrant visa for young people who are in the country illegally, allowing them to attend college or serve in the military but without any “special pathway” toward citizenship.
Allen opposed an earlier version of the DREAM Act that included a path to citizenship, saying, “If the government rewards illegal behavior, we will encourage more illegal behavior.” Allen also opposed the 2006 immigration reform bill backed by the Bush administration. Allen has not taken a position on Rubio’s plan, and an Allen aide who requested anonymity said the candidate was waiting to hear the specifics of the proposal.
Following the Rubio-Allen event, the Virginia Democratic Party released a statement from Arlington County School Board member Emma Violand-Sanchez saying, “During his last term in the Senate, George Allen was no friend to Latino families and businesses,” and complaining that “when some Republicans showed a willingness to compromise on immigration reform, George Allen refused.”
As for Allen’s primary foes, Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson has lined up behind the victor, and Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William) says he called Allen and pledged his support. Former Virgnia Tea Party Patriots head Jamie Radtke said Wednesday that “we will talk about the next steps” in the coming days.
This post has been updated since it was first published.