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November 13, 2007

Romney Links Giuliani, Clinton As Sharing "Sanctuary State of Mind"

Good attack. As a soft Giuliani supporter, I can only hope this impels Giuliani to break with bad record and make more tangible promises on immigration.

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, seeking to maintain his lead in this early-voting state, likened GOP rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee to Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in supporting tuition breaks and broader sanctuary for illegal immigrants or their children.

"There are those people in both parties who are in a sanctuary state of mind, who believe in sanctuary cities, who believe in policies which are sanctuary in nature," the former Massachusetts governor said Tuesday, singling out two of his Republican opponents as well as the Democratic front-runner.

In campaign appearances and advertisements in Iowa and elsewhere, Romney is increasingly using illegal immigration to differentiate himself from the rest of his rivals. The issue is particularly salient in Iowa, given the state's influx of immigrants coming to work in fields and factories in recent years.

Romney contended that Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, fought for tuition breaks for children of illegal immigrants in his state, while Giuliani, the former New York mayor, provided tuition breaks at the City University for illegal immigrants. He said that Clinton, too, backs such breaks.

"Giving a better deal to the children of illegal aliens than we give to U.S. citizens from surrounding states is simply not fair and not right," Romney told reporters during a one-day visit to western Iowa.

Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella, in turn, accused Romney of ignoring his record as governor while he campaigns for president. "Under Governor Mitt Romney the number of illegal immigrants skyrocketed, while he recommended millions of dollars in state aid to numerous sanctuary cities and to companies employing illegal immigrants, not to mention the illegals working on his own lawn," she said.

Eh. I don't care much for this "so are you" line of defense. Get right, or righter, on immigration, Mr. Mayor, or as someone said in an email, you're basically giving up the one strong winning issue the GOP has at the moment.

More campaign headlines under the fold.


Before linking some headlines, I want to say that I've largely avoided mentioning this stuff because I felt compromised. I'm a soft Giuliani supporter, and I felt like I was sort of being unfair if I linked pro-Giuliani stuff. But since I was avoiding linking stuff about the guy who had, for the moment, my soft endorsement, I didn't feel like linking stuff about the other guys, either.

I'm going to try to stop that. Look, you know I favor Giuliani. Sort of. Take that into consideration. I'll do more of the interparty jockeying stuff, but yeah, ultimately the stuff I link will probably end up favoring Giuliani a bit. I'm not going to post only stuff about him, but probably I'll wind up giving him the most links. (He is, after all, still leading in the polls.)

But my present method of just ignoring the horse race for the GOP nomination in the interest of "fairness" is just frickin' stupid.

Anyway, here's the Great Big News I managed to ignore all day yesterday: The National Right To Life Committee officially endorsed Fred Thompson as having the most consistent pro-life record, and, in today's minor update, they say he's got the best chance to win.

Thompson's also calling for a much larger military.

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson on Tuesday urged more defense spending and a much larger military to shore up what he called major weaknesses in national security.

In a speech at the Citadel military college in the early primary voting state of South Carolina, Thompson planned to call for a significant boost in the size of the Army to 775,000 troops and the Marine Corps to 225,000 members.

He did not describe how he would pay for the increases in the prepared remarks. The Pentagon already is expanding the Army to 547,000 by 2010 from 482,000 and the Marines to 202,000 from 175,000.

"We have major shortcomings in U.S. defense capabilities. To confront these shortcomings, we must address several key priorities," Thompson said.

"Too many commitments today leave our armed forces capable of meeting too few contingencies tomorrow ... Half-measures and small increases will no longer do."

As you can see, that's a rather huge increase, and goes well beyond the extra few divisions usually called for. I rather doubt he's entirely serious about such a big increase, and can't help noticing the total new number of ground-pounders he plans is a nice round Million, which undoubtedly is a number chosen for political impact.

Do I support the idea? Sure, I support lots of ideas. Doesn't mean they're going to happen.

Incidentally... If anyone wants to be a point-man for news on the various campaigns, let me know. I know I don't cover Romney enough, for example, so if, say, JackStraw and Bart want to be my designated Romney tipsters (or even posters, putting stuff in the sidebar whenever they deem it proper), let me know.

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posted by Ace at 04:25 PM

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