Numbers USA has a good round-up of the Republican Presidential candidate debates on their blog this week. This is how Numbers blogger Chris Chmielenski led off his report:
Eight GOP Presidential Hopefuls participated in Thursday night’s debate in Ames, Iowa, but only five were asked about immigration. And none of the candidates brought up the issue on their own. Herman Cain had the strongest response in dealing with illegal immigration, while the frontrunner Mitt Romney was finally asked the question we’ve all been begging to hear.
The moderators received some criticism after last night’s debate for not necessarily having complete control over the Hopefuls and asking some loaded questions, but when it came to immigration, the Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio was the true winner of Thursday’s debate for her question to Mitt Romney.
With the unemployment rate at 9.1%, do you still think we need to import more foreign labor?
Despite Romney’s support for continued high levels of immigration, he offered a decent answer.
Of course not. We’re not looking to bring more people into jobs than can be done by Americans.
Romney could have suggested lowering legal immigration levels, and even go as far as for calling for a moratorium on most immigration, but his answer could have been worse. He was asked the question because he’s said in the past that he supports bringing in more talented foreign workers – a position he reiterated on Thursday night.
NumbersUSA was pleased that immigration questions were even being asked, and especially questions linking high immigration numbers to unemployment. Read the whole report.
Check out Numbers Presidential scorecard (on immigration) for the candidates who have announced so far, here. Bachmann has the best score to date.
Rick Perry’s problem—not good on immigration!
From the Bellingham Herald:
McALLEN, Texas For all of his rock-solid conservative credentials, Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have an Achilles’ heel: immigration.
Perry will undoubtedly focus his presidential campaign on Texas’ relatively healthy economy and its low taxes and his record in creating jobs in the 11 years he’s been governor. What he may have to explain on the stump is how illegal immigrants have contributed to that success, adding as much as $17.7 billion a year to the state gross product and enjoying such benefits as in-state tuition at public universities.
“Gov. Perry is very eager to appear tough on illegal immigration, but upon closer inspection he’s part of the problem,” complained William Gheen, who runs the North Carolina-based political action committee Americans for Legal Immigration. The group intends to educate conservative groups about candidates’ positions on that issue.
Read the whole article. For Marylanders take note that he (and Texas) led the way in support of in-state tuition for illegal aliens.
It seems that none of the candidates, except maybe Michele Bachmann, understand the power of the illegal alien issue to motivate the electorate that we have seen expressed recently in Maryland over the successful petition drive on in-state tuition for illegal aliens.