I just don’t believe this. Here’s what Mitt Romney has to say about Rudy Giuliani on immigration:

Mayor Giuliani hopefully will explain why there’s such a dramatic departure from his position as mayor, where he said he welcomed illegal aliens to New York, and that they would be in a zone of protection in New York City,” Romney told the Herald-Journal today. “His sanctuary city policy is one of the very problems that’s led to 12 million or more illegal aliens coming into this country.”

Now, it is true that Rudy is flip-flopping on Immigration. No disagreement with that.

But can Mitt Romney really be the guy to say that? The guy who has flip-flopped on abortion, gay-rights, taxes, guns, embryonic stem-cell research, Ronald Reagan, the Contract with America, his draft-dodging, education, immigration, and campaign finance-reform?

It is perfectly clear that in Mitt Romney’s mind, the rules don’t apply to him. Ted Kennedy’s flip-flop on abortion was important, but Romney’s isn’t important. Rudy Giuliani’s flip-flop on immigration: devastating. Romney’s? Won’t even admit to it.

UPDATE: I’ve gotten some pushback, just as my friend Marc Ambinder did, from the Giuliani campaign about this. He has the right response:

One cannot listen to this excerpt of Giuliani, taken from an apperance before the Kennedy School of Government in 1996, and conclude that, in the back of his mind, Giuliani was somehow arguing that if only our law enforcement techniques got better, we’d be able to solve the problem. He was making an affirmative argument that solving the problem itself could be more harmful than preserving the status quo So — clearly — Giuliani’s argument has changed.


3 Comments

jack · August 16, 2007 at 2:16 AM

Please explain how this is a flip-flop. It’s a change in his concept of the feasibility of restricting illegal immigration from a practical standpoint, and a change in priority, but he has been saying pretty much the same thing, philosophically, for as long as he’s been an elected official. You ‘re not satisfied with his own press release on the topic? Check out the full text of the speech at the Kennedy School for reference, or if you like, the PBS interview linked below it.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/rwg/html/96/ken.html

http://youtube.com/watch?v=W8Y2RJBIza8

eye · August 16, 2007 at 4:49 AM

You can’t “solve” immigration to you can’t “solve” immigration.

So in 1995, he said that the federal government can do it. Then in 1996 he said that they can’t?

Not buying this.

jack · August 16, 2007 at 4:30 PM

No, he said they need to try harder, even though he’s not sure if it’s possible. The “flip flop” everybody’s howling about is his conversion from “not sure if it’s possible” to “it’s possible.” This isn’t exactly a huge philosophical shift; he still thinks immigration is good for the country, that the federal government needs to do more to stop illegal immigration (since it’s a security issue), and that we should reach some sort of deal to regularize the more honest and hard-working illegals who are already here.

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