POLITICS

John Boehner’s resignation opens door to needed 'new leadership,' Marco Rubio says

  • FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., steps on the stage to speak at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta. Rubio will lay out a strategy on Friday, Aug. 14, to deal with the "tyrannical regimes" of Cuba and Iran, the same day Secretary of State John Kerry attends a historic flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Havana. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., steps on the stage to speak at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta. Rubio will lay out a strategy on Friday, Aug. 14, to deal with the "tyrannical regimes" of Cuba and Iran, the same day Secretary of State John Kerry attends a historic flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Havana. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

  • June 11, 2014: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy leaves House Speaker John Boehner's office on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    June 11, 2014: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy leaves House Speaker John Boehner's office on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP)

In a measure of the displeasure among conservatives with House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, loud applause followed Sen. Marco Rubio’s announcement Friday that the beleaguered GOP leader had decided to resign his post.

Rubio announced Boehner’s resignation as speaker at the annual Values Voter Summit.

He told the crowd of conservatives that it was time for new leadership, according to The Blaze.

“The time has come to turn the page,” Rubio, who is running for president, said to more applause. “The time has come to turn the page and allow a new generation of leadership in this country. And that extends to the White House and the presidency as well.”

Many expect Boehner’s successor to be Rep. Kevin McCathy, whose California district is 35 percent Latino.

"We had hoped Mr. Boehner would be able to reign in the hate and bigotry in his party but he was unable to, thus becoming the most significant obstacle to immigration reform in years,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of  the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), an immigrant rights organization. 

“With Mr. Boehner out of the picture 2016 provides an opportunity to bring back civility to the GOP and an extremely divided Congress," she said.

“As to speculation that California's conservative Kevin McCarthy might be considered as the next Speaker, we would call on him to represent the richness of our state's diversity."

McCarthy has in the past expressed support for giving undocumented immigrants a path to legal status, although not full-blown citizenship.

McCarthy said that his support for an opportunity to allow some undocumented immigrants to legalize their status was not tantamount to being in favor of amnesty, or rewarding people who break the law.

He said to reporters last year that he backed giving those who qualify “legal status that will allow you to work and pay your taxes.”

“If you want to become a citizen, you'll have to go through the path,” he said. “There won't be amnesty inside it.”

He added that the path to legal status was “a decision that every Republican will have to make.”

The House includes a very vocal and influential faction of conservatives who are firmly opposed to comprehensive immigration reform because it includes a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.

At the conservative summit, Rubio reiterated his views on religious freedom and abortion.

“The issue about the right to live is more than just a political or policy issue, it’s a human rights issue and a definitional issue about who were want to be as a nation,” Rubio said.

He vowed that as president, abortions at five months will be illegal and that no federal money would go to Planned Parenthood.

Rubio has said he opposes abortion, without exception, including in cases of rape or perils to the mother’s health.

“If I am the next president and put my left hand on a Bible and right hand in the air and pledge to uphold the Constitution, I will uphold the entire Constitution, including religious liberty, including the right to bear arms and including the God-given, inalienable right to life,” Rubio said.

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