I can emphatically say I am not surprised.
Much to my profound shock, back in January Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leading legal beagle on immigration and a hero to many on the immigration control side, endorsed Romney. See my post here. Even NumbersUSA President, Roy Beck, was sounding all warm and fuzzy for Romney. I was shocked!
In the meantime, Rick Santorum’s NumbersUSA scorecard was shown to have been better than Romney’s. Here Santorum is an A-. I see they have pushed the guy who previously had a C, Romney, up to a B- recently. In light of this news, it’s time for a new score for Romney, don’t you think!
Back in January, did Kobach and Beck get snookered by the Romney gang—did they not know that the likes of Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and Ed Gillespie—the Open Borders troika—were in the wings to run things for Romney? (Remember Norquist said all they needed was a weak President—Romney the robot— here and here, to sign things!).
Here is The Hill telling us what it means for the Romney team to have put Ed Gillespie on the payroll as a strategist (emphasis mine):
Mitt Romney’s hiring of Republican strategist Ed Gillespie is being seen as a sign the campaign will heavily court Hispanic voters — perhaps at the expense of immigration hard-liners in the party.
Gillespie, a former head of the Republican National Committee, has long advocated an aggressive outreach to the Hispanic community. He helped found the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that recruits and trains GOP candidates for office and has emphasized finding female and minority candidates. He also heads up Resurgent Republic, an organization focused on messaging to independents, including Hispanic swing voters.
There is nothing wrong with outreach to minority voters, UNLESS they are making promises for government goodies to come!
The RNC is highly aware of this, and on Monday announced it would have state-level Hispanic outreach directors placed in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.
Republican DREAM ACT on the way? (Marco Rubio involved too)
Establishment members of the party praised Gillespie’s hiring.
“He’s going to be great as a key figure in the Romney campaign,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told The Hill on Monday. “Ed brings a pretty big background in understanding and being an effective communicator in the Hispanic community and that can only be a positive.”
Some signs of a shift in Romney’s tone have already emerged since his status as the presumptive nominee has become stronger.
The former Massachusetts governor warned during a private fundraiser this past weekend that his standing in polls with Hispanics “spells doom for us,” and that to alleviate the problem the GOP needed to offer its own policies to woo Hispanics. His suggestions included a “Republican DREAM Act,” referring to a GOP version of the Democratic plan that would give some illegal immigrants who came here as children a path to citizenship.
While he was not advocating for a specific policy, the comments were a sharp break from Romney’s rhetoric during the primary, when he said he would veto the DREAM Act and attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for backing a state law that gave illegal immigrants in-state college tuition, calling it a “magnet” for more illegal immigration.
Kobach kicked to the curb?
Gillespie’s hiring is being viewed as a counter to hard-line advisers in the Romney camp, including Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who wrote Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Republican strategists predicted that Gillespie’s gravitas would make him influential within the Romney campaign, outweighing the more-conservative voices on the issue.
Is it Tea Party time yet?
*Romney the Etch A Sketch candidate, here.
Update April 21: Alas, the Kobach endorsement of Romney and the on-again/off-again alliance may be all about money, that is assuming we can believe Think Progress (hat tip Richard Falknor at Blue Ridge Forum):
Indeed, it will be very hard for Romney, whose PAC was one of the largest donors to Kobach’s campaign for Kansas Secretary of State, to distance himself from his immigration adviser or the law in Arizona.