Grand Junction Sentinel, from yesterday’s GOP gubernatorial debate in Grand Junction:
The two Republican candidates for Colorado governor gave virtually the same answers on such things as protecting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, balancing the state’s budget and appointing conservative judges to the bench, but they differed on the details for each.
McInnis said if a similar bill to Arizona’s controversial new law requiring police to check the legal status of immigrants landed on the governor’s desk, he would sign it.
Maes said he wouldn’t wait. He would require police in Colorado to enforce laws already on the books, such as verifying the legal status of anyone getting a job or asking for state aid, and make sure police turn illegal immigrants arrested for other crimes over to the federal government…
[McInnis] took the opportunity to attack his GOP opponent as once favoring amnesty for illegal immigrants, something Maes denied, prompting an attack of his own.
“Did you hear an answer? Did you hear a strategy?” Maes said of McInnis’ response to the Arizona law. “If an Arizona law came across his desk, if it came across his desk, he would sign it. I’m not saying, ‘If someone were to put something in front of me,’ I’m saying if I were your governor, I’d be doing that right now.”
Unfortunately for Dan Maes, there is this Denver Post story from last month titled “GOP gubernatorial candidate Maes’ immigration stance ‘evolving.'” Maes claims in that story it was a conversation with Tom Tancredo that started to ‘change his mind,’ but it’s pretty hard to go from there to denying you ever supported “amnesty;” he clearly did support what Tancredo calls “amnesty” at one point.
We continue to believe that Republicans’ glomming all over Arizona’s new law is a demographic land mine they could sorely regret stepping on by November, but in this GOP primary–as you can see–it’s a race to out-embrace it.
The other piece of this story that we find particularly interesting is the fact that McInnis is openly attacking Maes. Obviously McInnis is more than a little concerned about losing votes and supporters to Maes — you don’t go on the attack against your Primary opponent if you aren’t overly worried about him.