UPDATE:: From MSNBC, here’s how a smart Republican candidate handles this question:
“While I don’t believe Arizona’s policy was based on anything other than trying to get a handle on our broken borders, I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with ‘reasonable suspicion,’ are going to put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly difficult position,” said Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio in a statement Tuesday, adding that the law could “unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens.”
Another Floridian, former governor Jeb Bush, agreed with Rubio’s assessment in an interview with POLITICO, saying that the Arizona law is not “the proper approach” to solving the problem of illegal immigration.
Republican Meg Whitman, the front-runner in California’s gubernatorial primary, declined to say whether the law is “racist” – as some critics allege – but told The Associated Press that Arizona’s law does not offer the most effective strategy. “I think there’s just better ways to solve this problem,” she said.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis seems hell-bent on derailing his own campaign. On Monday, McInnis told a radio show that his charitable giving included killing an elk and giving the meat to the needy — an absurd statement meant to show that he was a big contributor to charities.
McInnis went on the Peter Boyles show and basically announced that he doesn’t want Hispanics to vote for him. Click here for the audio of McInnis endorsing Arizona’s controversial new immigration law that makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.
We won’t get into the many, many problems with Arizona’s law that would be a nightmare for Colorado (but for just one example, consider the fact that we are already letting people out of prison early — where would we house all these new “criminals” while they wait for deportation?) The bigger question here is why McInnis would so boldly stand behind a law that is incredibly unpopular among Hispanics, who just so happen to represent a sizable chunk of voters in Colorado.
Democrat John Hickenlooper didn’t have a natural base of Hispanic supporters that were already in his corner…but he probably does now. McInnis made this issue very, very easy for Hickenlooper, who can now say just about anything in response to a question about the law and still sound like the more moderate candidate.
People that agree with McInnis are likely to already support him anyway, so there’s not a big upside to such a strong declaration. McInnis says in the interview that a poll in Arizona shows people favor the new law, but even if that’s true, this isn’t Arizona. Because Colorado is not a border state, voters don’t have the same level of interest in illegal immigration as a political issue.
Maybe it would be best if McInnis’ campaign just locked him in a closet for the next five months. No more talking.