marco rubio

Story highlights

The Florida senator is a likely candidate for the GOP presidential nomination

He was a speaker at the "Faith and Freedom" barbecue fundraiser Monday night

Group of DREAMers heckled him during his speech

Conservatives liked what they heard, but want him to explain his views on immigration

Anderson, South Carolina CNN  — 

Marco Rubio came to South Carolina this week hoping to win over the kind of conservative hardliners who turned on him last year as the Senate immigration reform bill he sponsored hit a roadblock in the Republican-controlled House.

By the time Rubio addressed a massive GOP fundraiser here on Monday evening, it wasn’t his right flank he had to worry about.

The Florida senator and likely presidential candidate was the headline speaker at a “Faith and Freedom” barbecue fundraiser for Rep. Jeff Duncan, the tea party-backed congressman who represents what many Republicans consider the most conservative House district in the state.

After a succession of speeches from South Carolina Republican notables like Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Nikki Haley, Rubio took the stage in Anderson to applause, but was quickly interrupted by a group of protestors – self-identified DREAMers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as minors – who loudly heckled the senator for abandoning last year’s sweeping immigration package when it was met with harsh resistance on the right.