The immigration battle between Rudy and Romney continued today. First Read picked up this:
“I was the governor of the state. I’m not critical of [former New York] Gov. Pataki for not cracking down on Mayor Giuliani. I’m critical of cities that call themselves sanctuary cities that say they are going to enforce the law,” Romney said. “I don’t know why Mayor Giuliani just won’t say he made a mistake and that he’s changing his mind. But cities that call themselves sanctuary cities and say that they are not going to enforce the law of immigration are making a mistake. As governor, I was responsible for my state. I was not a mayor. Had I been a mayor, I wouldn’t have been sanctuary mayor.”
Sympathizing with other governors who also did nothing about sanctuary cities may not be the strongest card for Romney to play.
Marc Ambinder points to a change in Rudy’s tone if not his substance on immigration and posits that “Perhaps 9/11 is responsible; perhaps the events of that day convinced him of the imperative of finding a solution to this insoluble problem. Perhaps he has adjusted his tone for political reasons.” He then raises the dilemma for Romney: “it might be tougher for Romney to try to turn this particular issue into an example of Rudy’s flip-flopping, given the reams of YouTube videos purporting to document his own evolution.” Ambinder then suggests Romney go after Rudy for being weak on immigration rather than contending he has changed his position. There seems to be two problems with this approach: 1) Rudy just came out with a law and order, pro-enforcement plan and 2) Romney hasn’t offered his own plan. The latter is curable (and I’ve suggested Romney come out with his own plan promptly to head off the claim he’s all talk), but it’s hard to argue that national i.d. cards, a national data base and a real fence constitute a weak immigration policy.
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