Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a congressional leader on immigration reform and long considered a likely 2016 presidential candidate, criticized President Obama for “poison[ing] the well” on the reform effort in a wide-ranging interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Speaking of Obama’s policy shift, launched just months before Election Day, to stop the deportation of young illegal immigrants and start issuing them work permits, Rubio told the newspaper that Obama “may have even set back the cause a bit.”

“He’s poisoned the well for people willing to take on this issue,” he said.

Rubio also expressed skepticism that the president would pursue the issue in his second term, despite the president’s frequent proclamations that immigration reform is one of his top priorities for the next four years. Indeed, some Democrats have expressed concern that other issues, including gun control and the federal budget, could delay work on reform.