Via the Corner, a perfectly empty non-answer from his guest shot on “This Week” yesterday — but worth blogging anyway. As I write this, with more than 90,000 votes tallied, Walker’s crushing the rest of the field in the Drudge Report’s online poll. He’s at 46 percent; Ted Cruz, who’s in second place, is at 14 percent. It’s well within the realm of possibility that the GOP race boils down quickly next January to Walker versus Bush. So this is a guy whose every pronouncement on this subject is worth paying to, especially since his support for a path to citizenship for illegals is shaping up to be his biggest liability on the right in the primaries. (Amazingly, Martha Raddatz didn’t ask him about that during their exchange.) Obviously he’s going to “evolve” on this issue. But how far? Let’s flag this as the starting point so that we can track it as it happens.
Two points. One: He says he’s not for amnesty, his citizenship stance notwithstanding, but that’s not a new soundbite for Walker. “Amnesty” means many things to many people; to the Gang of Eight, for instance, the fact that illegals would be forced to meet certain requirements (paying back taxes, etc) before qualifying for citizenship meant that their plan wasn’t “amnesty.” Walker’s been insisting for more than a year that he doesn’t support “amnesty” either even though he does support citizenship and liberalizing the rules for legal immigration. Two: He’s quick to tell Raddatz that he’ll lay out his own immigration plan eventually if he becomes a candidate, which is his way of saying “don’t ask me anything too specific right now.” Listening to him here, you would think he didn’t have firm opinions on immigration yet beyond some basic principles like “secure the border.” But that’s not so. Watch him field a question on immigration from 2013 in the second clip below and note what he says about border security at around 1:30. For Walker, securing the border is less a matter of building a fence or hiring 10,000 new Border Patrol agents than it is about relaxing the rules for legal admission to the U.S. His view seems to be that if you want to come here to work, it should be very easy for you to do so — easy enough that you wouldn’t even think of crossing the border illegally, as the legal route would be just as simple. Think you’ll be seeing this in a Ted Cruz attack ad six months from now? I do.