Make that two more days. In today’s Washington Times Rep. Peter King, a Rudy supporter, has a blistering editorial entitled “The two Mitt Romneys.” He explains Rudy’s immigration approach as NYC Mayor as follows:
“When Mr. Giuliani took control of New York City in 1994, it was ridden with crime, was home to 2,000 murders a year and 10,000 felonies a week. It was also home to 400,000 illegal immigrants, of which the INS, in spite of Rudy’s persistent protests, would deport no more than 2,000 a year. The security of the citizens of New York was, as it had to be, his primary concern. And so, to protect his citizens’ public health and safety, Mr. Giuliani continued to allow illegal aliens to report crimes to the authorities to ensure criminals were taken off the streets. He also allowed illegal aliens to seek medical care so infectious diseases were not spread throughout the city, and children were allowed into the schools rather than left roaming the streets as unsupervised truants. It worked. As happened so often during his tenure in New York, Mr. Giuliani solved a problem others deemed unsolvable. Crime decreased by 57 percent. Murders fell by 67 percent. And New York became a city second to none in terms of crime, safety and dealing with illegality of all different kinds. It was, and remains, America’s safest large city.”
He then blasts Romney with this:
“Mr. Romney’s story is a different one. When the immigration issue came before him, he simply ignored it – whether it be Cambridge, Orleans, Somerville or even a rally of illegal aliens demonstrating at the state capitol. His immigration bona fides rest on the ‘deputization’ of the state police that would allow them to arrest illegal immigrants – a law signed less than three weeks before he left office and was never implemented. As governor, illegal immigration clearly wasn’t on his radar screen. Now, he is running for president, and it clearly is. But Mr. Romney’s candidacy, and the political significance of illegal immigration in today’s America, should not excuse his exploitation of a very important issue on which he has no record – save empty, shifting rhetoric – to speak of.”
Ouch. Whether intended or not Romney opened the door to the first true blast from the Rudy camp about Romney’s experience in Massachusetts. I think this is about more than just immigration. Romney tried to find an issue on which he could get to the right of Rudy(other than abortion which is probably better left to one of his opponents) while team Rudy may see this as an opening to compare the record of the two and test who governed as a conservative on a host of issues. This will be one good debate.
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