Monday, May 21, 2007

Romney on Immigration: Where's The Flip? Where's The Flop?

McCainiacs and Thompson Kool-Aid drinkers eagerly claim Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on illegal immigration. Reviewing the basis for that claim compels the conclusion that it is very empty indeed.

The Washington Times reported on March 15, 2006:
An enthusiastic supporter of legal immigration, Mr. Romney not only opposes illegal immigration, but he told National Review that he is also "against an amnesty and against anything that provides an incentive for people to come here illegally."
What exactly did Romney tell National Review in late 2005?
In the future, Romney may want to pick some battles he can win. Perhaps illegal immigration will be one of them, given its rising importance among grassroots conservatives. "I'm very much in favor of legal immigration and I'm opposed to illegal immigration," says Romney. "We're in a race for the best minds, and I wish we could bring in more of these people." Last year, the governor threatened to veto a bill that would have allowed illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses, but the legislation never made it to his desk. He actually did veto a bill that would have given illegal aliens the right to in-state tuition at public universities. He hasn't taken a formal position on any of the federal immigration plans. "I'm against an amnesty and against anything that provides an incentive for people to come here illegally." [Emphasis added.]
That was in NR's cover story for the December 14, 2005 issue.

Some are claiming that this 49-second bit of audio, supposedly from a Boston Globe interview with Romney at about the same time, on November 30, 2005, establishes him as pro-amnesty. I defy any reader to listen to this clip and draw a firm, supportable conclusion from it. Nothing he says in this Globe clip is inconsistent with what he told National Review. Romney is simply quoted as describing McCain's proposal as "reasonable" and perhaps "not amnesty." He does not say he is endorsing the proposal.

That is a flip-flop? That is an endorsement of McCain-Kennedy?

Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts also belies any claim that he is soft on immigration:
2003 - Eliminates Bilingual Education, Enacts English Immersion
2004 - Vetoes College Tuition For Illegals
2004 - Opposes Driver's License's For Illegals
7/2006 - Supports Building A Wall Along The Entire Border
9/2006 - Works To Enact Program For State To Cooperate With Feds To Enforce Immigration Laws
I found all this information in about 30 minutes of basic Google research.

So please, everyone, remember: If you fall too deeply in love with the "Romney is a flip-flopper" meme, you may find flips-- or flops-- where none exist.


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