Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, Levin dubbed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “one of the most despicable, dumbest men to ever be leader in the Senate,” but added that Reid is “running circles around the Republicans.”
“That’s what happens when you have no principles, no strategy and no guts,” Levin said of Congressional Republicans. “It’s time for a new Republican Party.”
“No more excuses. No more whining. No more lying to get you elected. No more crony deals with the U.S. Chamber of crony capitalism,” Levin said, taking a political shot at the business community powerhouse U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Levin made clear his opposition to likely 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
“We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of citizens,” Levin said to applause. “I am sick and tired of the American citizen being demeaned and treated as a second-class citizen while anybody who crosses the border is treated as the most virtuous human being on the face of the earth.”
Levin said some GOP presidential candidates have referred “to us as essentially lazy and racist and themselves rejecting the belief of American exceptionalism, insisting that the nation owes its current and future greatness, if not existence, to uninterrupted massive waves of low-skilled and unskilled aliens from the third world.”
“This has never been the American experience. Immigration is to be managed, limited, gradual to allow for assimilation and Americanization,” Levin said. “You see, Mr. Bush, we love our country, too.”
Top Republican donors and strategists have argued presidential candidates should strike a more inclusive tone on immigration reform, noting that Hispanics are an important constituency needed to win elections.
President Obama’s immigration policies have been a hot-button issue in recent days as lawmakers barely agreed to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Tea Party conservatives had hoped to block DHS funding unless it came with language to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
With just two hours left until a shutdown took hold, lawmakers reached a one-week stopgap funding deal late Friday night.