A South Carolina-based conservative group is airing television ads in the state touting Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) work on immigration.
The ad attacks President Obama for not leading on the issue and praises Graham for working with popular Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on a "conservative plan to protect our borders."
"Illegal immigration. Barack Obama has failed to stop it. Now, Republicans Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio have a strong plan: Secure the borders first," the ad's narrator says. "And the illegals that are already here? ...To stay, they have to pay a fine, go to the back of the line, keep a job and learn to speak English. That's tough, but fair. Call Lindsey Graham. Thank him for his conservative plan to protect our borders."
The ad is being aired by the South Carolina Conservative Action Alliance, a group backed by David Wilkins, a former ambassador to Canada and speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
The group's strategy shows how popular Rubio is with conservatives, and how much cover it gives pro-reform Republicans to have him on board. It also shows a strategy of Republicans who will back the reform: Say it will fix a problem President Obama is to blame for.
Graham has been a leading voice on immigration reform for years, an issue that's hurt his standing in the past with the state's conservative base. He's and Rubio are part of the "Gang of Eight" senators that plan to release a wide-ranging bipartisan immigration bill next week.
He's also facing reelection next year. Though his poll numbers look strong, he may get a primary challenge, and Republican groups have already been on the air to defend him on the issue.
Watch the ad: