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    Did Newt set a trap for Romney on immigration?

    Did Newt set a trap for Romney on immigration?

    Newt Gingrich’s statement on immigration at the national security debate is being called an unforced error by some in the conservative media.  Immigration was not the topic of the night, so why make it the highlight of the night?

    I don’t know whether Newt’s position, that there should be some humanitarian exceptions to our deportation policy focused on those here for decades with strong family and community ties, will cost him votes.  I don’t think so.  Many of the critics didn’t support Newt to begin with.

    Newt’s position, as I pointed out before, is neither amnesty (he was talking about deportation policy, not citizenship) nor out of touch with where most realistic Republican voters expect we would end up.

    The concept of local boards has been mocked, but the mockery is not deserved.  While I don’t support the concept of local boards, such boards would not operate without guidelines any more than the old draft boards were free to do whatever they wanted.  This is a version of pushing some aspects of immigration enforcement down to the states using federal guidelines.   Those who have accused Newt of being shallow and not thinking things through have been shallow in their critiques.

    But more important, Newt’s statement caused the Romney campaign to engage in hyperbole, accusing Newt of wanting amnesty for 10 million people.  This exposed key weaknesses in Romney’s claim to the presidency.

    First, Romney has been in favor of a pathway to citizenship for illegals, which is more than Newt proposed at the debate which was limited to deportation policy.  Romney ran to the right, but it was not credible.  This reminded everyone of Romney’s “core” weakness.

    Second, and equally important, Romney has no answer on deportation policy.  This resulted in the “Abbott and Costello” routine I highlighted yesterday, in which Romney’s spokesperson could not or would not say that Romney would deport everyone here illegally, even those brought here as young children.  While attacking the humanitarian standards on deportation policy proposed by Newt, Romney had no alternative.  Not a good showing.

    In the end, Newt was shown to be someone willing to make hard choices even if it cost him votes and to do so with realism.  Romney was shown to be just the opposite.

    It dont’ know if Newt set a trap.  But the Romney campaign found itself stuck, either way.  Newt comes across looking presidential, Romney comes across looking like a politician.

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    BarbaraS | November 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I have a problem with mass deportation even if it could be done. There should be a way to stop people from coming but obama wants them to come. Potential voters, don’t you know. Until we find a way to curtail this mass invasion anything else we do is useless. But the problem I have with mass deportation is with the kids who have grown up in the US and don’t know anything else. I would hesitate to send them to an environment that is strange and primitive to them. Where they might not even speak the language or know the laws or customs. I don’tknow what the answer is but its really dumb to shoot down every solution put on the table. If we rigidly enforced the laws that are on the books now, most of them would self deport. We could figure out how to deal with the rest then. I would want any agreement to to state any illegal who voted in our elections are not eligible to stay in this country period. And all criminals would be deported immediately. Voting in our elections is a crime over and above being in this country illegally. That might stop false voting by these people. Immigration has been an important issue for a number of years but our government has been lax about enforcement tha last 25 year. This is why there are so many illegalsin this country. They have been allowed to get away with it for political reasons..

    I respect Michael Reagan and believe he may be one of the few from the immediate Reagan family who is sane.

    But I always cringe when an off-spring channels their long deceased parent, much like Caroline Kennedy is known to do.

    The reality is no one knows what President Reagan would support today given the outcome from his 1987 immigration law. The granting of amnesty has in fact resulted in a trickle turning into a flood of illegals.


     
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    StephenMonteith | November 25, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Romney’s position hasn’t changed on immigration; not even going back to when he was running against Ted Kennedy in ’94. He favors a Legal path to citizenship for anyone who wants one, including illegal aliens; but if you’ve come here illegally, then you have a longer road, one that includes paying a price for breaking the law.

    I posted this on your “Abbott and Costello” page, but I’ll relink here, since you brought the issue up again. This is Romney’s full response on “Meet the Press”, which shows he hasn’t changed his mind or his position:

    http://www.rightspeak.net/2011/11/right-wingnut-and-abr-crew-strike-out.html


       
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      StephenMonteith in reply to StephenMonteith. | November 25, 2011 at 12:22 am

      As for whether Gingrich “set a trap” for Romney, I don’t think he’s that much of a “chessmaster”. It’s possible he knew his position on immigration would be a sticking point somewhere along the way, and that a clip that made it Appear as if Romney had flip-flopped on the issue existed and would get blown all the hell out of proportion online if Romney ever tried to attack Gingrich on the issue; but since that clip didn’t surface when Romney attacked Perry on immigration, Gingrich would have been a fool to think such a clip would magically surface once Romney had attacked Him on the issue. A far smarter tactic would have been to just give a different answer at the debate.


     
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    TeaPartyPatriot4ever | November 25, 2011 at 3:28 am

    I agree with Mr Jacobson.. Newt was very shrewd in his statement and approach, to a very tough issue.. As I have said before, Newt is speaking in reality, of the issue of deporting all illegal aliens in the US, in which he stated his position, which is not even close to outright amnesty..

    Romney has neither a plan, nor will he even give one, as he is a blatant political coward, who would say and do anything, to get the Nomination.. thus making him appear all the more inept and incompetent, as well as put light and emphasis on his cronyism, which is how he Governs..

    Romney is not a constitutional conservative, let alone a conservative, at all.. He is a crony republican party establishment elitist.. And is why the liberal MSM will not vet him, as they love him for his cronyism and his liberal State Socialized Medicine, aka, Romneycare..

    Romney has already admitted he deleted all of his e-mails as Gov. Of Mass.. which means he has much to hide.. and he already has admitted to denying access to his documents and files, as Gov. via, the FOI Act.. etc, and so on. He is a congenital liar, and is hiding is cronyism, to he can prevent the exposure of his false conservatism, coming out in the open. And who knows what he is hiding, beyond that.

    […] William Jacobson wonders whether Gingrich laid a clever trap for Romney: First, Romney has been in favor of a […]


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