Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan

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Romeny and McCain not best of friends

Posted by Stephen on May 22, 2007

It started well before the campaigns were in full swing. It is showing no signs of changing its tone. “It” is the relationship between two of the front runners for the 08 GOP presidential nomination.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain don’t like each other and any suggestion otherwise is disingenuous. Whether this is a good thing for the Republican Party or the nomination process is anyone’s guess, but it is probably going to become much more combative as the campaign rolls on.

On Monday McCain suggested that the former Massachusetts governor’s solution to the immigration problem might be “to get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn.”

Romney dismissed McCain’s remarks stating that he has “respect for Sen. McCain,” and adding “That shows you that even when he is wrong, he is amusing.”

The exchange comes as Romney turns up the heat on McCain’s position on immigration, specifically his position on the new compromise bill that passed the Senate earlier this week that calls in part for putting illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States on a path to citizenship.

McCain responded by continuing to comment on what he calls Romney’s habit of changing his position on some issues. McCain said he would “wait a couple of weeks and see if the winds change and Mitt comes back around.”

Romney brushed aside McCain’s comments explaining that “I am best off to describe my positions.”

McCain, for his part, sees the immigration issue as crucial to his credibility. “I think it’s a matter of national security, and to do nothing, to leave the status quo, would be an abrogation of our responsibilities to the American people,” he said at a campaign event in Houston. “If they’ve got another proposal that will pass the Congress of the United States, then let’s hear that.”

Romney responded with a plan of his own. “I would like us to secure the border,” he added. “I would like us to have an employment verification system so we know who is here legally and able to work and who is not. I would also like to make sure for the 12 million who are here illegally today that while they have an opportunity to apply for citizenship and permanent residency that they don’t get any advantage in them coming here illegally.”

While the jury is out on whether the conflict between these two political heavy weights will be good for the party and the race, it’s clear that if it leads to a presentation of ideas and solutions to problems than it shouldn’t be considered a bad thing.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.


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