UPDATE: Rubio comes out against the AZ law. Crist still quiet.
Of the three men who want to be the next U.S. Senator from Florida, a figure who presumably could one day have to vote on immigration reform, only
one has two have bothered to comment on Arizona’s headline-grabbing new immigration law, and his name is neither Marco Rubio nor Charlie Crist. I mean, I know the Reblican (for now) contenders are both busy men — Crist is dealing with the last week of session (though he keeps finding time to publicly bask in the adulation of “the people” like, daily,) Rubio’s father is ill and he’s probably been pretty busy getting his tax records together (though he has made time for Dick Cheney — which is probably a smart move since Cheney always packs the potential to shoot a person …) you’d think their campaign staffs have heard enough about the law, just from Comedy Central alone, to get the boss’ takes.
Rubio’s silence is especially telling, since he is the designated savior of the demographically challenged GOP, (he should ask Michael Steele how that worked out for him) and given the fact that he has already been crowned the first Hispanic president by the slobbering media (who apparently don’t get that there’s kind of a difference between Cuban-Americans and the Hispanic majority of Mexican-Americans (or Puerto Ricans) and that the two won’t necessarily just jump in the tank for one another out of blind obedience to the media narrative…) Shouldn’t Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, at least take a position?
I emailed both campaigns at around noon on Monday. The Florida Democratic Party is asking too, as I assume several reporters around the state have. Still no answer from our two (for now) Republican candidates. Tick tock, fellas!
Here’s the statement Team Kendrick put out Monday afternoon:
“We need common sense immigration reform. The kind of measure signed into law in Arizona last week is neither fair nor practical. It encourages police to question people who have done nothing wrong, and it does a disservice to people in this country who are employed, paying their taxes and are good citizens of their communities. That is not fair. As a former Trooper in the Florida Highway Patrol, I know laws like these will also hamper law enforcement efforts and make it harder to find people who will speak out as witnesses to crimes. This law is impractical and will not make anyone safer. While new immigration laws should be tough, they should be enforceable and not driven by a philosophical agenda,” said Kendrick Meek, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
Other issues we’d like to hear from our GOP (for now) friends on:
Financial regulatory reform (BTW our pal Meow-Meow joined the GOP Senate pack and voted against cloture on Monday, just days after enjoying a tooootally coincidental but awfully nifty little fundraiser with bank lobbyists. Nice …
The redistricting “poison pill” amendment voted through by House Republicans Monday (HJR 7231) I know it’s a state, not a federal issue, but it would be interesting to know where these guys stand.
And since he was the only one to bother to react to the goings on in the body he wants to join, here’s Rep. Meek’s finreg statement:
“By shielding Wall Street banks from common-sense, pragmatic financial reform, Republican leaders in the Senate have cast their lot with the same irresponsible firms whose risky behavior caused this financial mess in the first place. Massive Wall Street investment firms played Russian Roulette with the college savings and pension funds of hard working, middle class Florida families and they must be held accountable for their actions. We need to crack down on Wall Street excess, not protect it. Floridians need leaders who put their interests first and big money special interests last. I will continue to fight for reforms that protect middle class Florida families and prevent another financial collapse.”
Thanks for caring, Congressman.
BTW, one reason Rubio may be reticent to respond: he has in the past been suspected of being soft on illegal immigration, and the last thing he needs, with the sprint to the GOP nomination looking like a lock, would be to rile up the nativists in the tea party crowd by going off script (minorities in the GOP are expected to demonstrate, as often as possible, maximum disdain for their own ethnic group — it’s kind of an entrance requirement …) or even worse, to upend his “Hispanic savior of the GOP” cred with the media by going all Clarence Thomas on them. It would take real, John McCain pre-2008 election courage to stand up to that crowd, the way Gen. Collin Powell in-your-faced the 2000 GOP convention. I rather doubt Rubio will go that route. Instead, he’ll probably just keep his head down and say nothing. It’s not like hasn’t done it before…
Crist is in a somewhat similar bind, having blundered into a rejection of then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor (back when he was the “inevitable” GOP nominee) that could come back to bite him in the ballot box in November, should he run indie. Correction: that WILL come back to bite him, if Team Kendrick has anything to say about it.
In other words, it’s complicated …