Huge surprise – Romney flips on immigration

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney serves sandwiches to supporters outside Jackie’s Diner in Nashua, New Hampshire November 20, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Romney’s chronic flip flops have been well documented. Last week he went after Newt Gingrich on immigration, but it turns out Romney once held the position he is now criticizing. What a shock.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who charged Republican presidential primary rival Newt Gingrich with proposing “amnesty” for certain illegal immigrants, took a nearly identical position in a 2006 Bloomberg interview, saying some foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally should be allowed to remain and gain legal status.

Romney, who at the time hadn’t yet declared his first presidential candidacy for 2008, told reporters and editors in Bloomberg News’s Washington bureau that the 11 million immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally “are not going to be rounded up and box-carred out.” Law-abiding people who pay taxes, learn English and don’t rely on government benefits should be allowed to “get in line” to apply for citizenship, he said.

“We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status,” Romney said during the March 29, 2006, session.

The comments contrast with the position Romney took last week when he challenged Gingrich’s assertion during a televised debate that the U.S. should have a “humane” immigration policy that allows some people who entered the country illegally long ago, have no criminal record, and have family, civic and religious ties to stay and get legal status. Romney called the approach “amnesty” and a magnet for illegality.

Romney is a joke. I sometimes think he’ll be the easiest opponent for Obama as he has become a caricature of the spineless politician. I guess he looks good to some next to the current, pathetic GOP field, but he has avoided interviews with major news organizations, even FOX News, as he seems to be afraid to answer questions about previous positions. It’s hard to imagine how he can do that in a general election.

  

Immigration mess

Bill Gates explains why the H1-B visa program needs to be reformed and how it results in more tech jobs going overseas.

  

Prelude to Surrender

It’s a catchy phrase – Prelude to Surrender – I wish I had come up with that one myself. Rich Lowry uses this phrase to describe George W. Bush’s latest speech on immigration, otherwise known as his latest lame attempt to shamelessly use an issue to boost his poll numbers.

Lowry actually uses another title for his piece – “Clintonian at the Border.” As NewDonkey.com points out, things are getting realy bad for W. when the right starts comparing him to Bill Clinton.

This is a tough issue for Bush. He actually had a real policy here – he generally agreed with the Senate approach. He wants to toughen up enforcement (doesn’t everybody?), but we wanted a rational middle ground when it came to dealing with the illegal immigrants who were already hear. I don’t believe that the Senate bill can be characterized as amnesty. The earned citizenship provisions make people work to gain citizenship, after paying a fine, working for a number of years and staying out of trouble.

Yet Bush wasn’t satisfied with having a real policy that he believed in. His administration is such a mess, and his poll numbers are so low, that he decided to try to appease his right-wing base. Yet he’s treating them as if they are stupid. He has consistently insulted principled conservatives when they disagreed with them in the past (see the Harriet Miers debate and the ports fiasco). Now’s he’s throwing them a policital bone with the National Guard proposal, but he’s sticking with the Senate plan.

Lowry and other conservatives can see through this charade.

  

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