WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says he isn't taking it personally that President Barack Obama didn't reach out to him before announcing an immigration policy change that mirrors a legislative proposal he has been working on for months.
And in case nobody believes him, he made sure on Thursday to tell reporters repeatedly that he really, truly -- no, honestly -- didn't get his feelings hurt.
"I never had one conversation with anybody in the administration about my idea or what it looks like," Rubio said of his Dream Act-type proposal, during a Christian Science Monitor press event. "It's not that I need to be called to feel good about it. I don't care if he takes credit for this. I really don't."
The freshman senator continued.
"I don't want to talk to this guy because I have nothing better to do. It's because if you're really serious about finding a solution to the problem, don't you work with the people who are interested in this?"
And Rubio still continued.
"If you're really interested, and you read in the newspaper that there's a Republican senator working on an idea, don't you reach out and say, 'Hey, how does your idea work? Just curious.' That never happened," he said.
"It's not that my feelings are hurt," Rubio added. "That's not the issue."
Obama's decision to make the immigration policy change -- he announced Friday that he will no longer deport young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children -- without consulting Rubio came up during a White House briefing on Thursday. There is little difference in their proposals. Both would grant only temporary, and conditional, legal status with no path to a green card or citizenship.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama's move was not meant as a slight to Rubio.
"Well, we have, broadly speaking, reached out to members of Congress," Carney said. "We have a situation here where the nominee of the Republican Party, the head of that party at this point, has said he would veto the Dream Act. That is not encouraging as a sign of cooperation or willingness by Republicans, unfortunately."
Pressed specifically on why the White House hasn't reached out to Rubio, Carney said there needs to be broader GOP support to get anything done in Congress on immigration matters.
"Senator Rubio is one Republican," he said.
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