Mitt Mum on Immigration in Hispanic Speech

Mitt spoke to a Hispanic business group today.  You’re probably wondering what he said about immigration.  Actually, he didn’t even mention the word.  Maybe he thought they wouldn’t notice.

Instead he spoke about education.  He said American children are getting a “third-world” education.  That’s what happens when you elect a president from Kenya.

All Campaign, No Government

Congress won’t do anything significant between now and the election.  Then they’ll have a lame duck session and won’t do anything then either.  So the government is effectively shut down for the next nine months, till the end of January 2013.

I know some of us, mostly Republicans, think that’s a good thing because they want less government.  But they’re not getting less government, they’re getting outdated and inefficient government.  We desperately need reform in so many areas — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, energy, immigration, weapons systems, the tax code.

We pride ourselves on innovation and ingenuity in our business sector.  But what’s the point of having a dynamic private sector harnessed to a stagnant public sector?

Rubio Is Romney’s Mini-Me

Marco Rubio seems to be a “mini-me” of Mitt Romney in terms of being an opportunist, driven by ambition rather than values.  From the new Rubio biography:*

“In two decades of ascension he [Rubio] had learned to slide quickly on the issues, tailoring messages on immigration and spending that got him where he needed to go, even if they sometimes raised questions about his political core….”

The book, which will be out June 19, also says that his maternal grandfather, Pedro Victor Garcia, was ordered deported back to Cuba in 1962, but didn’t leave and stayed in Miami.  He finally received permission to stay in 1967 as a refugee from Castro, even though he had come to the United States before Castro took power and then chose to return to Cuba in 1959, just two weeks after Castro ousted Batista, and stayed there until 1962.  Under those circumstances, I would have sent him back to Cuba.

*  The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Roig-Frazia

When Is a Supreme Court Loss Actually a Win?

Law professor Peter J. Spiro has a very interesting “briar patch” take on tough state immigration laws and the Supreme Court:*

“Such laws [Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and similar laws in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana] are misguided at best, mean-spirited and racially tainted at worst.  The conventional wisdom among immigration advocates is that immigrant interests will be best served if the Supreme Court makes an example of Arizona’s law by striking it down.

“But in the long run, immigrant interests will be better helped if the Supreme Court upholds S. B. 1070.  Laws like Arizona’s are such bad policy that, left to their own devices, they will die a natural death — and their supporters will suffer the political consequences.

“Undocumented immigrants may themselves be politically powerless, but they have powerful allies.  In Alabama and Georgia, dismayed farmers have watched crops rot in the fields for want of immigrant labor. Arizona is estimated to have lost more than $140 million from convention cancellations made in protest.

“Even more important is the prospect of lost foreign investment.  Caught in the net of Alabama’s law in November was a German Mercedes-Benz executive, who left his passport at home while out for a drive and as a result found himself in a county jail.  Mercedes has a plant in Tuscaloosa that employs thousands of Alabamans and adds many hundreds of millions  of dollars to the state economy.  That embarrassment will make the next foreign company think twice as it scouts out a location for a manufacturing facility in the United States.”

*  “Let’s Arizona’s Law Stand,” NYT

The Hispanic Vote in Florida

While Newt is perceived as having a less hard-line position on immigration than Mitt (another flip flop in his move to the right), it’s unlikely to help him among Hispanic voters in Florida, where the Hispanic community is largely Puerto Rican or Cuban rather than Mexican.

Puerto Ricans are already U. S. citizens, so it’s not an issue for them.  Cubans who get themselves onto U. S. soil are given refuge under the “wet foot dry foot” policy because of the Communist regime in Cuba.  There’s really no such thing as the “Hispanic vote,” since members of different Hispanic communities have different immigration statuses and perspectives.

Newt Seeks Glory, But Has No Guts

Mitt’s strategy is to pain Newt as a “leftist” whose arguments against Mitt echo and help President Obama.

This is what happened when Newt criticized Mitt’s ruthless leadership of Bain.  Instead of a specific critique of Mitt and how he ran his business, Mitt and the GOP tried to damn Newt as against free enterprise and capitalism.

Now Mitt is doing the exact same thing on immigration, calling Newt a leftist who aligns with Obama.

Newt has been running an ad in Spanish on Florida radio calling Mitt “anti-immigrant.”

Mitt got his team of Florida Hispanic leaders to do an “open letter” to Newt that says in part:

“President Obama and his liberal allies have worked hard to caricature all Republicans as being ‘anti-immigrant.’ … For a Republican candidate for President to reinforce President Obama’s attacks on Republicans is counterproductive and damaging to the national dialogue on immigration issues.  It will also help President Obama get reelected.”

Just as Newt retreated on Bain, he is taking down the immigration ad.  Newt has a big mouth, but no guts.

Newt’s “Religious Test” on Immigration

With all the controversy surrounding Newt Gingrich’s proposal for letting some illegal immigrants stay here, I haven’t seen criticism of what leaped out at me — his apparent preference for Christians.  At the last debate, he said one of his criteria was whether an immigrant was a member of his local church.

He didn’t say “synagogue or mosque or temple,” so Newt, who is Catholic, was clearly favoring Christians.  But bad as that was, no one should be penalized for being an atheist either.

We must never have any kind of religious test for deciding who stays and who goes.  You don’t get points if you go to church, and you don’t lose points if you don’t.

Republican Debate

What I’ll be looking for at the Republican debate at the Reagan Library:

Is Rick Perry’s nose growing?  He hasn’t hesitated to tell whoppers before.  When debating Kay Bailey Hutchison, he accused her of supporting sanctuary cities for illegal aliens, which wasn’t true, but his mere assertion of it hurt her.

Does Michele Bachmann attack Perry?  Reports from her camp say that she will focus on President Obama.   But given the attack ad her Super PAC has been running in South Carolina, she may be forced to own the ad or risk look weak by backing off, as Tim Pawlenty did when he refused to repeat his attacks on Romneycare in the New Hampshire debate.  I can’t imagine that the questioners will not try to goad her into attacking Perry if she doesn’t want to go there herself.

If Bachmann attacks Perry, does Mitt Romney just watch or does he jump in?  When Bachmann and Pawlenty went at it in the last debate, they were fighting over issues from Minnesota, so it was okay for Romney to stay out of it.  But now he risks looking as if he’s hiding behind a girl if Bachmann is aggressive and he isn’t.  Romney doesn’t project boldness or toughness under the best of circumstances.  Both Bachmann and Perry can show him up for the overly-cautious wimp he is.

Is Perry doing okay with no breathtaking gaffes?  That’s all he has to do really to keep his early momentum going.  He doesn’t have to be dazzling, he just can’t be dumb.

Are Bachmann and Romney impressive?  They have to shine to hurt Perry and help themselves gain back some of the support they’ve already lost to him.