Rubio hits Cruz on immigration, Snowden

Story highlights

  • Marco Rubio says Ted Cruz's attacks over immigration are about calculation, not consistency
  • Rubio hit Cruz over Edward Snowden, saying Cruz should be tougher on the former NSA contractor

Washington (CNN)Marco Rubio says Ted Cruz's attacks over immigration are about political calculation, not consistency, because Cruz, too, has changed his positions.

Rubio unleashed an attack on his Republican presidential foe Sunday on ABC's "This Week" -- the latest episode in a series of exchanges between the two freshman senators.
"When it comes to Ted, he has changed his position on immigration all over the place," Rubio said.
    "I mean, he used to be against birthright citizens -- or he used to be for birthright citizenship; now he says he's against it," he said. "He used to for legalizing people that were here illegally. Now he says he's against it. He used to be for a 200% increases in green cards, doubling them; now he says he wants none. And he said he used to be for a 500% increase in guest workers. And now he says he wants zero."
    Rubio added: "So this is not consistency; this is calculation as he's changed his position on these issues as we get closer to Election Day."
    Rubio took another swing at Cruz over national defense, lambasting him for weakening U.S. surveillance programs -- and invoking an infamous former National Security Agency contractor-turned-leaker, Edward Snowden.
    "I never believed Edward Snowden was a good public servant the way that Ted Cruz once said, that he had done a public service for America. Edward Snowden is a traitor," Rubio said.
    Immigration and security have defined the fight between Cruz and Rubio, who each see the other as one of their primary obstacles on the road to the Republican nomination.
    Rubio's sponsorship of a Senate bill that created a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants has been the main weapon Cruz has wielded against him.
    But Rubio has sought to blur their differences by pointing to an amendment Cruz offered that would have given those immigrants a way to obtain legal status.