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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lipstick on a pig

The Republican candidates tried to conjure up the spirit of Ronald Reagan last night, proclaiming their love for immigrants -- at least those who enter the country legally.

It was left to John McCain (among the group who showed up) to cut to the chase:
“I’ll give you some straight talk,” he said. “I think some of the rhetoric that many Hispanics hear about illegal immigration makes some of them believe that we are not in favor, or seek the support of Hispanic citizens in this country.”
Ya think?

More to the point was the message from the man who wasn't there -- come to think of it, why is he still a candidate in the first place?
One candidate, Tom Tancredo, who has based his campaign on heated rhetoric about illegal immigration, boycotted the debate, saying in a statement that the very idea of having the forum in Spanish was un-American and that those who participated were simply "pandering" to Hispanic voters. The debate was originally planned for September, but most of the candidates declined to appear then, citing scheduling conflicts.
We saw Willard Mitt's pirouette on tough love -- claiming to fire his "friend" Ricardo Saenz because he didn't take advantage of the second chance he offered to legalize his work force. And Mr. Tough Love Giuliani saying he really had the immigrants in mind:
"This isn't a harsh rule, this isn't a cruel rule," the former New York mayor said of his plans to enforce immigration laws. They make sense, he said, "so people don't hurt themselves, as well as us. It's no picnic to be living as an illegal immigrant."
Would that be a picnic (with a police detail) in the Hamptons?

All the Republicans were very aware of a recent Pew Center poll that shows Hispanic support for Republican is on a down elevator and the buttons don't work.

But when all is said and done, Tancredo is the winner of this round. At least he didn't pander by showing up after airing ads linking immigrants to terrorism and crime. At least he is honest about where he thinks.

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August 27, 2008 4:34 AM  

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