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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reps Dissin'

Didn't watch the debate last night since there would be no real issues discussed.

Looking briefly at the transcript shows one overwhelming fact: the national campaign will be ugly and personal from the start.

Hillary needs to prepare to fight in the streets, point by point. Sadly, rising above the ugliness to talk about real issues may be seen as weakness by voters.

Here's a short excerpt of the transcript [http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/28/debate.transcript/] from Romney and Giuliani to make the point:


Governor Romney, was New York a sanctuary city?

Romney: Absolutely. It called itself a sanctuary city. And as a matter of fact, when the welfare reform act that President Clinton brought forward said that they were going to end the sanctuary policy of New York City, the mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its sanctuary city status.

And the idea that they reported any illegal alien that committed a crime -- how about the fact that the people who are here illegally have violated the law? They didn't report everybody they found that was here illegally.

And this happens to be a difference between Mayor Giuliani and myself and probably others on this stage as well, which is we're going to have to recognize in this country that we welcome people here legally.

But the mayor said -- and I quote almost verbatim -- which is if you happen to be in this country in an undocumented status -- and that means you're here illegally -- then we welcome you here. We want you here. We'll protect you here.

That's the wrong attitude. Instead, we should say if you're here illegally, you should not be here. We're not going to give you benefits, other than those required by the law, like health care and education, and that's the course we're going to have to pursue.

Cooper: Mayor Giuliani?

Giuliani: It's unfortunate, but Mitt generally criticizes people in a situation in which he's had far the -- worst record.

For example, in his case, there were six sanctuary cities. He did nothing about them.

There was even a sanctuary mansion. At his own home, illegal immigrants were being employed, not being turned into anybody or by anyone. And then when he deputized the police, he did it two weeks before he was going to leave office, and they never even seemed to catch the illegal immigrants that were working at his mansion. So I would say he had sanctuary mansion, not just sanctuary city.

Cooper: All right. I have to allow Governor Romney to respond...

Romney: Mayor, you know better than that.

(Laughter)

Giuliani: No ...

Romney: OK, then listen. All right? Then listen. First of all ...

Giuliani: You did have illegal immigrants working at your mansion, didn't you?

Romney: No, I did not, so let's just talk about that. Are you suggesting, Mr. Mayor -- because I think it is really kind of offensive actually to suggest, to say look, you know what, if you are a homeowner and you hire a company to come provide a service at your home -- paint the home, put on the roof. If you hear someone that is working out there, not that you have employed, but that the company has.

If you hear someone with a funny accent, you, as a homeowner, are supposed to go out there and say, "I want to see your papers."

Is that what you're suggesting?

Giuliani: What I'm suggesting is, if you ...

(Crosstalk)

Giuliani: If you're going to take this holier than thou attitude, that your whole approach to immigration...

Romney: I'm sorry, immigration is not holier than thou, Mayor. It's the law.

Giuliani: If you're going to take this holier than thou attitude that you are perfect on immigration...

Romney: I'm not perfect.

Giuliani: ... it just happens you have a special immigration problem that nobody else up here has. You were employing illegal immigrants. That is a pretty serious thing. They were under your nose.

(Applause}