Below the radar screen of the tumult in Egypt, the Affordable Care Act, and the economy, GOP presidential kingmakers are starting to frame themselves as pro-immigration. Who'da thunk it?
On ABC News' Top Line, Senator Norm Coleman, Chair of the American Action Network said:
Let me be very clear: It's not just a tone issue it's a substance issue. We have to be very clear in rejecting [former Republican congressman and gubernatorial candidate] Tom Tancredo, saying he's not the voice of the Republican Party, on issues dealing with Hispanics, immigration. What we have to do is simply have a pro-active agenda.
All this after Senator John Cornyn performed rhetorical pirouettes at a recent Action Network-organized Hispanic Leadership Network meeting, trying to explain to a conservative Latino audience that he was for the DREAM Act, even though he voted against allowing it to be debated in the Senate. This was also the gathering where Jeb Bush said it would be "incredibly stupid" for Republicans to ignore Hispanic voters. (Maybe Cornyn read a different memo.)
Meanwhile, Ambassador John Huntsman -- former Governor of Utah -- is resigning to rumors he may enter the presidential fray. Curiously, DC press consistently describes him as a moderate on immigration--making him an unlikely, but competitive candidate.
While it is well before the crazy comes out in the GOP primary, it is interesting to see Republicans starting now by leaning to the nation's fastest growing electorate while the administration continues to pursue expensive, discriminatory enforcement programs like 287g. As our friends at America's Voice put it:
Just as the Administration expects Latino voters to deliver for the President's re-election, so do Latino voters expect the President and his Administration to deliver on their promises--to focus enforcement resources on those committing serious crimes and to spend political capital fighting for immigration reform.
All to say that it seems one of the first signs of presidential politicking is budding competition for Latino, Asian and immigrant voters.
To the victor who places a comprehensive immigration solution on the table should go the spoils.
Crossposted at ImmPolitic.