Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the tea party stalwart and potential 2014 U.S. Senate candidate, thinks Sen. Marco Rubio (R-IA) has hurt his 2016 prospects in Iowa with his leading role on immigration reform, according to story published Monday by the Washington Examiner.
"Rubio seems to be so damaged it will be very difficult for him to recover here in Iowa," King told the Examiner's Byron York in an email. "My perspective is that the immigration issue will sort Republican candidates."
The debate over immigration reform has brought some friction between Rubio and the tea party. After King suggested last month that the Boston Marathon bombings should delay the reform effort, Rubio pushed back.
“We should really be very cautious about using language that links these two things in any way,” Rubio said at the time.
Widely considered a leading contender to be the GOP's 2016 presidential nominee, Rubio went to Iowa last November to headline a fundraiser for the state's Republican governor, Terry Branstad.