Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rick Perry In Trouble On Immigration? Really?

I watched the very entertaining debate last night. There was a bit of sad commentary on where we are at when the wise enlightened Anglos of MSNBC just trotted out the Hispanic journalist for the immigration question. Who thought that was a good idea? Like Latinos don't have views on other issues.

Bryon York has a column up at Perry comes out strong, but faces grave danger .

I agree with him that Perry's social security answers last night might be problematic for him to say the least. But is Perry's immigration views that cannot be reduced to a soundbite really that big of a deal?

The other area in which Perry is extremely vulnerable is immigration. When asked what would make the U.S.-Mexico border secure, Perry, a border-state governor, called for "boots on the ground." But he offered no clear strategy for actually securing the border. And since he opposes a border fence, he could not cite the one measure that is overwhelmingly popular among Republicans. Perry was lucky that he was not pressed on his opposition to other popular measures, like the e-verify system that forces employers to establish that the people they hire are in this country legally. Nor was Perry pressured on the Texas policy of offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

Romney, asked the same question, ticked off a plan. "First, we ought to have a fence," he said. "Number two, we ought to have enough agents to secure that fence." The third measure needed, Romney said, was to "turn off the magnet" of employers hiring illegal immigrants. "Sanctuary cities, giving tuition breaks to the kids of illegal aliens, employers who knowingly hire people who are here illegally -- those things have to be stopped," Romney said.

The two men didn't get into a confrontation about immigration, although Romney was clearly ready for one. But there will be such a confrontation in the future, and Perry will probably lose. And that will mean big trouble with the Republican primary electorate

Does history back up the claim that Perry will be in big trouble on that. It seems not to have hurt George Bush. Further the last time we revisited this issue when it was hot I can't help but notice that John McCain got the nomination. That despite the fact that Romney was blasting ads every five seconds in places like California bashing McCain's illegal immigration position. If memory serves me right Romney won all of 3 or 4 counties.

Perry's nuance on the immigration issue might be his greatest asset in a general election where the Latino vote will play a huge factor.

1 comment:

Micha Elyi said...

Does history back up the claim that Perry will be in big trouble on that. It seems not to have hurt George Bush.

George W. Bush's major primary oppponent in the 2000 race was...?

John "Amnesty" McCain.

Perry should be so lucky.