So, what do you do when you’re running to be the Republican candidate for president in 2016 and you possess neither the conviction nor the intestinal fortitude to discuss one of the most important issues now faced by this country? That being of course, illegal immigration. Oh, that’s easy, you simply hammer the one guy who does possess the aforementioned conviction, and intestinal fortitude, to not only bring up the issue, but to call it what it is. And you appear to take great pleasure in doing so.
While seeing such behavior from some really came as no surprise, I was, to say the least, quite disappointed to see it coming from others, those whom I had once thought were above such petty partisan behavior. And hearing what was really nothing more than the typical election-year rhetoric coming from those whom I had some level of respect for and had considered as being potential candidates worthy of my support now has me reconsidering their viability as potential 2016 candidates.
So it is then that we appear to now have what is a growing number of Republican candidates working very hard to distance themselves from billionaire Donald Trump’s comments on how illegal immigrants fuel crime, even as Mr. Trump doubled down, citing last week’s San Francisco shooting to bolster his case. First it was Jeb Bush who, while at an Independence Day parade in Merrimack, New Hampshire, said Mr. Trump “doesn’t represent the Republican Party or its values.”
The reaction to Trump’s remarks was fodder for most of the Sunday talk shows, during which Republicans were repeatedly asked by various members of the state-controlled media to either disavow the comments or stand by them. Rick Perry, who had been a favorite of mine, said, “I will stand up and say those [comments] were offensive, which they were.” And it was on ABC’s ‘This Week’ that Perry also said, “The fact is, I’ve said very clearly that Donald Trump does not represent the Republican Party.”
Perry went on to say, “I was offended by his remarks. Hispanics in America and Hispanics in Texas from the Alamo to Afghanistan have been extraordinary citizens of our country and our state, they have served nobly, and to paint with that broad a brush as Donald Trump did — he’s going to have to defend those remarks.” Such remarks have, at least for the present, diminished Perry’s appeal, as far as I’m concerned, although I have yet to settle on any one candidate.
In interviews and posts on Twitter, however, Trump has continued to defend the comments from his June 16 announcement for the Republican presidential nomination, when he said illegal immigrants from Mexico are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime.” He added, “They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.” But let’s be honest, ‘good people’ wouldn’t come here and purposely break our laws. ‘Good people’ would be coming through the front door, not sneaking in the back door.
Trump cited the shooting death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle on Wednesday. Arrested in connection with the shooting was Francisco Sanchez, 45, who had been deported five times and was released in March by San Francisco officials, consistent with the city’s “sanctuary policy” despite the federal government’s request to detain him. And I have to wonder that if it was one of their own family members who now lay dead instead of Ms. Steinle, would their warped opinion be any different?
Not all Republicans, however, were critical of Mr. Trump. Deliberately avoiding the Trump pile-on was Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who said he refused to participate in “Republican-on-Republican violence” and that liberal journalists were only trying to make a talking point and to stifle discussion of immigration. It was during an appearance on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ that Cruz said, “I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration.” As do I!
Cruz went on to say, “The Washington cartel doesn’t want to address that. The Washington cartel doesn’t believe we need to secure the borders. The Washington cartel supports amnesty, and I think amnesty’s wrong. And I salute Donald Trump for focusing on it.” He said Mr. Trump “has a colorful way of speaking. It’s not the way I speak. But I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans.” And that, my friends, is as it should be.
Rick Santorum said, “People who are coming illegally, obviously, are coming with a bad intent. Let’s just be honest. They’re coming with the clear intent of breaking the law. I don’t think we can sugarcoat that, but that doesn’t mean that everybody who’s coming across is a rapist or a murderer or anything else.” He said, “While I don’t like the verbiage he’s used, I like the fact that he is focused on a very important issue for American workers and particularly legal immigrants in this country.”
And RINO, Marco Rubio, issued a statement Friday calling Mr. Trump’s comments “not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive.” He went on to say, “Our broken immigration system is something that needs to be solved, and comments like this move us further from — not closer to — a solution. We need leaders who offer serious solutions to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system.” All this coming from a former member of the ‘Gang of Eight’. Remember them?
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump proceeded to follow that old adage that the best defense is an even better offense. He called Mr. Rubio “very weak” on immigration during a CNN interview and criticized Mr. Perry on “Fox & Friends” for not doing more to shore up the border during his 14-year term in office as governor of the state that holds the largest part of the Mexican border. Perry was quick to fire back by saying, “I don’t think he understands the challenge, obviously.”
And apparently not wanting to be left out, Christ Christie recently added his two cents into the conversation, saying that while he is not offended by Trump’s recent statements on Mexican immigrants, he did describe the statements as being “inappropriate.” He went on to say, “I think what he said was wrong. It was inappropriate and I don’t think it has any place in the campaign.” Christie said, while calling Trump a “good friend”, Trump is someone who tries to provoke a reaction with his opinions.
These politicians who now seem to be so determined in their attacks on ‘The Donald’ are going to need to tread somewhat lightly in their endeavor to go after Trump, because the bottom line here is that Trump is making some very valid points that do seem to be resonating with a great deal of Americans who vote. What we have here, at least in my opinion, is a case where there is far more interest in shooting the messenger than paying attention to what I think is a very important message.
Instead of focusing on Trump those on our side really should be focusing much more on the Democrats and the liberal/progressive policies which they support that are smothering this country, than on attacking Trump in an effort to score what are so obviously cheap political points. While such a tactic may, I suppose, look good in the short term, there is potential for doing some long term damage. And that’s the problem with those on our side, they rarely really consider the consequences.
So why is it that those who apparently consider themselves worthy of being elected president, continue with the attacks on Trump? After all, he’s right, simply check out the statistics! The numbers speak for themselves, it’s a terrible price being paid by more and more Americans every single day. And it’s a price that’s not only measured in dollars but also in lives being lost as well. And yet these presidential wannabes continue to attack Trump instead defend Americans. What’s up with that?