In case you thought Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had become a pariah in the GOP because of his role in immigration reform, new data should remind you that anti-immigrant pundits are not the GOP and the GOP donor class is not anti-immigrant. Fox reports that he “raised $3 million in the second quarter of 2013. . . . 31 percent more than the amount Rubio raised in the first quarter and brings his total for the first half of 2013 to $5.28 million.”
A source familiar with the finance report tells Right Turn that the majority of the donations to the Rubio Victory Committee in the last quarter were small-dollar donations (less than $200) from grassroots contributors. The new reports, the sources says, will also show Rubio with $3 million of cash on hand in his political committees, including $980,000 in the Reclaim America PAC and $1.97 million in his Senate reelection committee.
In other words, he has the ability to raise big money, and his role in immigration reform if anything has enhanced his profile. In fact, there are gobs of GOP donors ranging from business leaders to experienced campaign officials to evangelicals (some, but not all) who favor immigration reform and think it is essential for the party’s image. While the hard right may fancy strident characters, it is hard to imagine these contenders matching Rubio or Gov. Chris Christie (who has an extensive network of donors, especially in the Northeast) stride for stride.
Money isn’t everything, but it is part of what goes into a successful campaign. Rubio is showing on policy, staff and now fundraising that he can take it up a notch. This is a man who wants to be more than the junior senator from Florida.