One candidate earns an endorsement, one earns ire

posted at 8:38 am on November 30, 2007 by Bryan

First, the endorsement. David Keene of the American Conservative Union has settled on a GOP candidate for president.

David A. Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union and long time Republican strategist, today endorsed the presidential candidacy of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

In a statement issued today, Keene said that “while I certainly can’t pretend to speak for all or even most conservatives, the road that led me here today is one that many conservatives find themselves on and it is my hope that they will end up where I am today – convinced that Mitt Romney represents our best hope for 2008…

Meanwhile, a different group has offered what amounts to an anybody-but statement on another candidate.

Groups that support a crackdown on illegal aliens haven’t settled on their champion in the race for the White House, but there’s little doubt which Republican scares them most — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

“He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year’s Senate immigration bill. “Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens.”

As Mr. Huckabee rises in the polls, his opponents are beginning to take shots at him on immigration. Just as problematic for the former Arkansas governor, however, is that the independent interest groups that track the issue are also giving him the once-over, and don’t like what they see.

“Huckabee is the guy who scares the heck out of me,” said Peter Gadiel, president of 9-11 Families for a Secure America, a group instrumental in fighting for the REAL ID Act that sets federal standards for driver’s licenses.

Read the whole thing. There’s more where that came from for Gov. Huckabee.

Update: Readers are pointing out that the Romney endorsement is coming from Davide Keene of the ACU, not the ACU itself. And they’re right, so I’ve changed the sentence above to reflect that.


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Why would Huck scare them more than Rudy? NYC was a sanctuary city.

jgapinoy on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

The Keene endorsement is his own personal endorsement, not that of the American Conservative Union. As I understand it, the ACU won’t endorse a candidate in the primaries.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 8:48 AM

Keene’s careful choice of words is interesting. He says that Romney “represents our best hope for 2008,” not “Romney is the best Republican candidate imaginable, and we’re darned lucky to have him on our side” or anything along those lines. Sort of a defeatist endorsement, in my opinion–I read it as, “Looks like Romney’s the best we’re gonna do this time, so I guess we’d better start supporting him,” or “I think he might come the closest to winning, but probably not–a guy can hope.” Not a very ringing sentiment.

aero on November 30, 2007 at 8:49 AM

NYC was a sanctuary city.

jgapinoy on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

False.

Buy Danish on November 30, 2007 at 8:51 AM

NYC was a sanctuary city.

jgapinoy on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

False.

Buy Danish on November 30, 2007 at 8:51 AM

Even if it was, I think voters recognize that local officials have their hands tied to a certain extent when it comes to immigration enforcement. The national borders are the responsibility of the Federal government, and unless they hold up their end of the bargain, there’s only so much that a mayor, or even a state governor, can do. It may be satisfying to be ideologically opposed to any kinds of local concessions when it comes to dealing with problems that stem from federal incompetence or disinterest, but sometimes a locality has to weight the costs and benefits of the various different actions that they have the poer to take.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 8:55 AM

aero on November 30, 2007 at 8:49 AM

He also said “In recent months, however, Governor Romney has emerged as the single candidate most worthy of conservative support.” Sounds pretty ringing to me.

Slublog on November 30, 2007 at 8:56 AM

Bryan, didn’t you get the memo that criticizing Huckabee based on his record–like, for instance, on being a squish for illegal aliens or a big government nanny-stater–constitutes “Huck-hate” these days? Come on–clearly the man should get a free pass forever because he owns a clerical collar! /sarcasm off

ReubenJCogburn on November 30, 2007 at 8:59 AM

Captain Ed had the story on Keene yesterday, and confirms that it’s just a personal endorsement, not that of the organization. I’m sure Romney doesn’t mind the misinterpretations, though.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 8:59 AM

Yet another “he can beat Hillary” endorsement.

Valiant on November 30, 2007 at 9:05 AM

He also said “In recent months, however, Governor Romney has emerged as the single candidate most worthy of conservative support.” Sounds pretty ringing to me.

Slublog on November 30, 2007 at 8:56 AM

Ah. That’s what I get for not clicking, I guess. ;-) That is a bit firmer than the bit Bryan quoted.

aero on November 30, 2007 at 9:11 AM

Kinda off topic, but not really…

I was waiting to see where this would go, but I think the reference to “funny accents” and skin color when talking about immigration might be a headache for Romney. I’ll not that I did not find anything he said offensive, but others will use this kind of thing against him, especially in the context of the Muslim/Cabinet allegations and the Mormon church’s somewhat rough and recent history with African-Americans. He better watch it, because stuff like this could be killer in the general election, if he makes it there.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 9:17 AM

Why would Huck scare them more than Rudy? NYC was a sanctuary city.

jgapinoy on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

B/c Rudy is more of a conventional politician who wants to save his own skin more than anything else. He’s a pragmatist and will go along with a certain amount of enforcement to get elected/win re-election.

Huck talks with God when his head hits the pillow at night and asks Him if he did the right thing that day. He may SAY what it takes to get elected, but I don’t see him compromising too much on those kinds of principles. I think he’s a liar, but he’s probably justifying it for the greater good he can spread across the land once he is in office (bangs head against the wall repeatedly).

RW Wacko on November 30, 2007 at 9:20 AM

Big S, those statements together start to hint at a kind of foot-in-mouth disease that we can’t afford.

No, they aren’t horrible things to say, but they aren’t very smart either. And they’re nicely twistable!

MamaAJ on November 30, 2007 at 9:28 AM

MamaAJ on November 30, 2007 at 9:28 AM

That’s what I’m worried about. I’m sure Bain Capital (the private equity firm Romney founded) has also employed “illegal immigrants” in the past as well; any foreigner who comes to work there and overstays his or her visa qualifies for that designation. Giuliani has made this point a few times in discussing the problems with federal enforcement in NYC (that they would focus on deporting a professor who overstayed and not the violent criminal in jail.) Romney better do his best to fight the automatic metal association of “immigrants” with “Mexicans” no matter how true it may be in many cases, or Democrats and race hustlers will find a way to demagogue him over it.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 9:37 AM

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 9:37 AM

Why would you imagine that a private equity firm has employed illegal aliens?

Jaibones on November 30, 2007 at 9:45 AM

Jaibones on November 30, 2007 at 9:45 AM

I imagine that any large firm has at some point had an employee whose status was not legal at some point or another. I work in a very international industry in NYC (science stuff), and there are people from China, India, and parts of Eastern Europe who very often have issues relating to lapsed work visas. For the period of time that they don’t have a valid permit to work here, they are “illegal” or “undocumented” immigrants, even though they may have come over here legally. Talking about immigration as if it’s just a problem with swarthy, funny-accented people coming across the Southern border ignores the larger problem, and makes the person who brings it up look a little bit racist. I defended Mitt’s comment in the debate, and I have no knowledge of his firm’s specific practices. My point is that people slip through the cracks in many ways, and that he seems to have mentally backed himself into a corner on immigration that may cause trouble for him in the general election. That’s all.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 9:53 AM

Big S, those statements together start to hint at a kind of foot-in-mouth disease that we can’t afford.

No, they aren’t horrible things to say, but they aren’t very smart either. And they’re nicely twistable!

MamaAJ on November 30, 2007 at 9:28 AM

No worries MamaAJ. The Dems can try to make an issue out of something truly innocent and well meaning like that if they want to fire up their base but as far as the election is concerned it will backfire on them. Political strategy 101. The independents who decide the election are far more reasonable then the Dem base. They will hear Romney’s words for what they were and they will see an attempt to distort them into something they are not for what it is. An independent, politically unafiliated VOTER will here those words and their simple response will be, “whats wrong with that? He was just saying that its wrong to discriminate based on race and accent alone.”

The Dem base will go nuts though. The only reason the Dems will attempt to make an issue out of that would be to fire up their base. In case you havn’t noticed, their base consists of a bunch of lunatics. Their really is no need to lose too much sleep over what they think.

Zetterson on November 30, 2007 at 9:53 AM

Zetterson on November 30, 2007 at 9:53 AM

I disagree. Republicans have had issues with their image with respect to race issues since the 1960′s when they sided with segregationists on states’ rights grounds. Even current republicans who weren’t old enough to be involved in those debates, or who were on the right side of the Civil Rights issues, still suffer from the old “Southern Strategy.” Like the questioner in the YouTube debate said, there’s a lot of agreement on issues between many African Americans and modern mainstream Republicans, but we can’t get more than 10% of them to vote for us, since there’s a (somewhat correct) popular perception that the Republican party has embraced racists. There are real problems, and off-handed comments like Romney’s, no matter how well meaning they are, just compound them.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 10:01 AM

Why would Huck scare them more than Rudy? NYC was a sanctuary city.

jgapinoy on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

I saw Rudy on CSPAN few nights ago asked about this, he was able to give a long explanation and its very reasonable.

basically, NYC had around 500k illegals while he was mayor. The federal govt. was only deporting 2k a year, which left him with tons of illegals. So he was confronted with what to do with what he was stuck with….deny School to them and put well over 100k plus kids in the streets to create mischeif(Crime) or let them go to school. Deny the illegals access to hospitals or let them get treated so they aren’t out in the street spreading communicable disease….etc.

its easy to understand what he was forced to do, from a governing standpoint.

jp on November 30, 2007 at 10:03 AM

Groups that support a crackdown on illegal aliens haven’t settled on their champion in the race for the White House, but there’s little doubt which Republican scares them most — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

I don’t know why he would scare them.
He sounds wonderful on illegal aliens on his great web site.

Huckabee on illegal “immigration” from his web site

Maybe they don’t believe him.
I wonder why that would be.

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 10:16 AM

“When ______ becomes law, it will be like waving a magic wand releasing us from pain and unfairness.”

-From Huck’s website.

I’ll leave you to guess what goes in the blank, but this kind of talk sounds silly to me, and makes me think less of Huckabee.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 10:20 AM

Perhaps you are right Big S but I don’t think so. I have more faith in the American voters ability to recognize a truthful, harmless statement then you do. I wish their was a way to put a bet on this. I guess we can. Gentelmen’s bet. I’ll bet that when the Dems inevitably play this slimy card their base will go nuts but independents will be either unswayed or they will slightly move right and give a slight boost to Romney’s poll numbers. You can take the position that Romney’s numbers will be damaged shortly after the Dem’s big “funny accent” expose. How’s that?

Zetterson on November 30, 2007 at 10:24 AM

NYC was a sanctuary city.
The Earth revolves around the sun.

jgapinoy Galileo on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

False.

Buy Danish The Inquisition on November 30, 2007 1638 at 8:51 AM

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 10:20 AM

Fair Tax?

No matter what it is, yeah it is silly to me, too.

RW Wacko on November 30, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Zetterson on November 30, 2007 at 10:24 AM

I don’t think this one, manufactured “incident” is going to sway many people. However, if I start needing both hands to count the number of quotes or incidents that political opponents can use to create a “narrative” that Romney is racist. I understand that the plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence,” but it sure seems to function that way some times. I guess we’ll see.

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 10:28 AM

You can take the position that Romney’s numbers will be damaged shortly after the Dem’s big “funny accent” expose. How’s that?

Zetterson on November 30, 2007 at 10:24 AM

I didn’t think it was a big deal, either. Ay ay ay ay ay ay arriba arriba!

Seriously, though, it didn’t strike me at the time, but “funny accent” might offend a very small part of the population, yes. They would be unlikely to vote for Mitt anyway, and those people aren’t concentrated in areas that would really hurt Mitt. Florida, perhaps, but don’t see advertising dollars being spent to target Mitt on this; wouldn’t be a very good bang for the buck, unless it was VERY targeted, like in Miami or something.

RW Wacko on November 30, 2007 at 10:29 AM

However, if I start needing both hands to count the number of quotes or incidents that political opponents can use to create a “narrative” that Romney is racist he may find it quite troublesome in a general election, if not the primaries.

fixed

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 10:30 AM

“Now the contrast is there with the record that Mayor Giuliani has on the issue. The statements couldn’t have been more clear where Mayor Giuliani said ‘if you are an undocumented worker, if you are an illegal immigrant, we want you here.’

Trying to have a rational discussion with the Rudybots is like arguing with a Truther about what brought down the WTC. There is nothing you can say which has the slightest impact.

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 10:32 AM

Fair Tax?

No matter what it is, yeah it is silly to me, too.

RW Wacko on November 30, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Correct!

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 10:34 AM

It’s like trying to convince the moonbats that Bush did not lie about the intelligence. Facts and reason simply bounce off these people.

It’s like a cult, and Rudycrapo is their Rosie O’Donnell.

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 10:36 AM

It’s like a cult, and Rudycrapo is their Rosie O’Donnell.

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 10:36 AM

I’m cultish in my antipathy for all the candidates. Who is your guy? I’ll guess Tanc?

RW Wacko on November 30, 2007 at 10:43 AM

Dumb, dumb, da-dumb, dumb, dumb.

Hening on November 30, 2007 at 10:44 AM

Dumb, dumb, da-dumb, dumb, dumb.

Hening on November 30, 2007 at 10:44 AM

South Park reference?

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 10:51 AM

I’m cultish in my antipathy for all the candidates. Who is your guy? I’ll guess Tanc?

RW Wacko on November 30, 2007 at 10:43 AM

Jeff Sessions/Tommy Franks, but I will settle for Tom Tancredo/Lou Dobbs

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 10:52 AM

NYC was and is a sanctuary city.

jgapinoy on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

Fixed that for you.

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju85287.000/hju85287_0f.htm

Local police can and should report immigrants to the immigration service in some situations. The decision to contact the immigration service, however, should be a matter of police discretion, not a federal requirement.

And the police are told to do what?

right2bright on November 30, 2007 at 11:18 AM

Why would Huck scare them more than Rudy? NYC was a sanctuary city.
jgapinoy on November 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM

For quite a few reasons. Huckabee remains in the open borders camp. Huckabee advocated more forcefully for illegals than Rudy did. Rudy just went along with the open borders position because it was useful as mayor of NYC–not out of any great intellectual commitment. And Rudy wouldn’t want to piss off his base by being pro-illegal after seeing what happened to Bush. I’m even opposed to most legal immigration, and Rudy does worry me there, but not about the illegals.

thuja on November 30, 2007 at 12:20 PM

Huckabee is closer philosophically to clinton then he is to Ronald Reagan. Way closer. He kept 15 department heads in the Arkansas state government that clinton appointed. When his successor took over (sorry can’t remember his name) he kept the same people and when questioned about it said, “They weren’t Huckabees people, they were Clinton’s.”

peacenprosperity on November 30, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Big S on November 30, 2007 at 8:55 AM

Correct. See JP at 10:03 AM for more.

its easy to understand what he was forced to do, from a governing standpoint.
jp on November 30, 2007 at 10:03 AM

Exactly right.

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 10:25 AM

And you live on another planet.
Seriously, that was pathetic. The Inquisition? That’s what you’re doing with Rudy.

Look, if you don’t like his immigration policies, fine, you’re entitled to your opinion, although much of it is superficial and does not reflect the sitation on the ground in NYC when he was Mayor.

However, your attempts to not credit him for a single thing he accomplished as mayor just sounds like so many droning left wing talking points. He was a fantastic mayor. Period.

The only people who don’t like him are uber libs who didn’t like what he did to reform welfare and replace it with workfare, his Broken Windows philosophy, his refusal to bow to the multi-culturalists, his crime initiatives, his union concessions, and so forth.

Buy Danish on November 30, 2007 at 6:22 PM

The only people who don’t like him are uber libs .

Buy Danish Rudycapo’s Madre Ciega on November 30, 2007 at 6:22 PM

That makes no sense as he is basically one of them.

Why would they dislike their own.

MB4 on November 30, 2007 at 9:39 PM