Conservative Mitt Romney is slip-sliding away with yet another flip flop. Dizzy yet?
Mitt Romney’s courting of the conservative Republican base has ended with a stealthy, morning after slide out of bed and run for the door. Don’t worry, he’ll call you.
If you believe that, you also believe that Romney is going to be “conservative” when elected. But hey, he knows you have no choice. You have to vote for him because no one else is going to ask you out at 11PM on a Thursday night, and if all you can get is a Mitt Ro booty call, well, you have to take it.
Watch the flip flopping starting with today:
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign reiterated on Thursday that the candidate had never endorsed Arizona’s contested immigration law, noting that he meant only that its employee status verification provision should be a model.
But wait, that’s not what he told his base as he smoothly slipped their clothes off during the primaries…
He led them to believe that when he said Arizona should be a model for immigration legislation, he meant what he said. After all, Arizona is infamous for having the strongest anti-illegal immigration law in the country, not merely for E-verify. The Arizona law riled up critics as racial profiling because:
The Arizona law makes it a misdemeanor crime for an immigrant to be in Arizona without carrying their papers, requires that state law enforcement officers attempt to determine an individual’s immigration status during a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” when there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is an illegal immigrant, bars state or local officials or agencies from restricting enforcement of federal immigration laws, and cracks down on those sheltering, hiring and transporting illegal aliens. (see analysis here: NCSL.org)
The Arizona law seeks to embody an “attrition through enforcement” doctrine.
The New York Times reported:
The law, which proponents and critics alike said was the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status.
Even Joe Scarborough took issue with the law, noting its objectionable points, “It does offend me when one out of every three citizens in the state of Arizona are Hispanics, and you have now put a target on the back of one of three citizens who if they are walking their dog around a neighborhood. If they are walking their child to school, and they are an American citizen or a legal, legal immigrant can now put a target on their back and make them think that every time they walk out of their door, they may have to prove something. I will tell you that is unacceptable, and that is un-American.”
One assumes it was this aspect to which Romney was referencing when he said he would use Arizona’s immigration law as a model for the country, and not just E-Verify. Romney called the contentious Arizona law a “model for the country” and attacked Obama for challenging it in court.
In February, as he wooed conservatives, he said,
“I will drop those lawsuits on Day One,” Romney said in response to a question on illegal immigration during a GOP candidate debate in Mesa, Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the bill, was in the audience.
“I’ll also complete the fence, I’ll make sure we have enough Border Patrol agents to secure the fence, and I will make sure we have an E-Verify system and require employers to check the documents of workers,” he added.
By “I’ll also” we can assume that he meant in addition to endorsing the controversial law, he would also do E-verify. But now he says he never meant that. The media is just passing along Romney’s “clarification” with no fact checking. How else are they going to get a horse race if they don’t make Mitt palatable?
Last night conservatives got into bed with papers first, racial profiling Romney, but this morning they woke up with E-verify Romney. Since E-verify is a national, bi-partisan effort put into place by the federal government in 1997 run by the DHS and not singular to Arizona by any stretch of the imagination, you can imagine how betrayed conservatives must feel. In fact, the federal government mandated E-verify in 2007 for all government agencies. It has not been successfully implemented by all government agencies yet.
There are several states that require the use of E-Verify for employers, including Alabama, Georgia, Colorado, Mississippi and more to varying degrees. If Romney meant E-Verify, why didn’t he say he was going to use the federal program as a model, or make it mandatory for all states? (This brings up the states rights issue, but we realize consistency is not a value for conservatives.)
So Romney is pushing something already established by the evil feds, and he’s pretending that this is what he meant when he referenced Arizona’s infamous, contentious immigration law. It’s what Romney meant by saying he would drop the lawsuits and “also” implement E-verify. Today, that means he JUST meant E-Verify. Hee Haw, shake that etch-a-sketch and watch the puppet dance.
That’s what conservatives get for taking Mitt Ro at his word. When he says north, you need to look south. When he tells you he’ll call you, it means he got what he wanted and he’s just not that into you. All conservatives can do is hope that they get a midnight convention call from a rogue conservative who likes to carry on behind big daddy’s back.
Follow Sarah Reese Jones on Twitter.
Additional source: Arizona SB 1070, PDF
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.