Cruz defends his 2013 immigration proposal: ‘It’s called “calling their bluff”’

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A tipping point for the Cruz charade?.

LAS VEGAS — Sen. A South Dakota-based political action committee that’s endorsing Donald Trump for president is threatening to file an ethics complaint against a communications staff member in North Carolina Republican Sen.Fox News’ Bret Baier pressed Cruz on the claims the GOP presidential hopeful made in 2013 — when he supported a measure granting a pathway to legalization for illegal immigrants — to his current position, which is the opposite. “I’ve never supported legalization. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) defended his role in the 2013 immigration battles Thursday, telling reporters at a rally here that the Republican “establishment” was misleading people about why he introduced an amendment to penalize workers in the United States illegally. “Let me use a Las Vegas analogy, from poker,” said Cruz. “It’s called ‘calling their bluff.’ Listen, the Democrats and the establishment Republicans who supported the Gang of Eight — they claimed they cared about the people who were here illegally.

But thanks to attacks in Paris and then San Bernardino, the U.S. immigration conversation has shifted from fears over jobs to fears over personal safety. The politician most reviled by his colleagues for painting them as sellouts and who struts around with an air of superiority is now caught in a web of inconsistencies and downright misrepresentations on foreign policy and his favorite issue, “amnesty.” On foreign policy, it has not escaped notice that by zigzagging between dog whistles for the followers of Sen.

That amendment called their bluff,” Cruz told reporters gathered in Las Vegas on Thursday. “What they were interested in, what Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama wanted was very simple: they wanted millions of new Democratic voters,” he went on to say. “There’s a reason why I think the new politically correct term is no longer illegal aliens, it’s now undocumented Democrats.” Cruz has been on the defensive after his rival Marco Rubio turned his own vulnerability on immigration into an attack on the Texas senator. The PAC, called Veterans for a Strong America, is riled by a post on Twitter from Burr’s communications director, Becca Glover Watkins, that evidently was in response to a comment from Sen.

But on Wednesday, he looked as vulnerable as he ever has on Fox News as host Bret Baier methodically confronted him with a long trail of seemingly contradictory statements on immigration reform. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and trying to mimic Donald Trump’s tough talk, he’s created a foreign policy that “is part isolationist, part realist and part pipe dream,” as my colleague Michael Gerson puts it. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) That amendment, briefly forgotten after the Republican-run House of Representatives blocked the immigration bill, has gained new fame since Tuesday’s Republican debate. Cruz said the new USA Freedom Act would let national security officials have access to “nearly 100 percent” of cellphone numbers as they investigated possible threats.

Marco Rubio’s bipartisan immigration bill in 2013 that would have stripped its citizenship component without removing its path to undocumented immigrants receiving work permits and green cards. I want immigration reform to pass,” he said. “And so I would urge people of good faith from both sides of the aisle that if the objective is to pass common sense immigration reform that secures the borders, that improves legal immigration and that allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadows, then we should look for areas of bipartisan agreement and compromise to come together.” Cruz tried to clarify his comments during an appearance on “Special Report with Bret Baier” and said his support of the amendment would not have provided legal status but instead said that he was “leading the fight against amnesty.” Cruz’s campaign has said in the past that the amendment was intended to be a poison pill to the overall bill and was created to illustrate that those pushing for immigration reform only cared about granting illegal immigrants citizenship.

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the wittiest and bluntest of the 2016 contenders, observed, “Ted Cruz’s carpet-bombing comments made no sense, and I’ve been in the Air Force for 33 years. I oppose legalization,” Cruz said. “I always have and I always will, and I challenge every other Republican candidate to say the same thing or if not, to stop making silly assertions that their records and my records on immigration are the same.

The post garnered 49 retweets and 61 “likes” on the social media site – and plenty of criticism from people who took issue with the suggestion of wrongdoing. Many of the replies to Watkins’ post took a sexist tone, with some people calling her derogatory names and others asserting the information Cruz had shared wasn’t classified, pointing out that it had been previously published.

That section allows the president (with the input of the secretary of state and the Department of Homeland Security) to designate entire groups of people who could be eligible to come to the U.S. as refugees. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a refugee advocacy organization. “That’s different because the Refugee Act of 1980 says the president can say he wants to bring in 10,000 Syrians, but each Syrian has to prove” their case for needing to be admitted as refugees. My question to you is, looking back at what you said then and what you are saying now, which one should people believe?” You are not in a good spot when you are forced to answer if you were fooling the rubes then or now.

Twenty-thirteen, he said paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, was a time for choosing. “Now, Marco Rubio is a friend of mine, he’s a wonderful communicator, he’s a charming individual, he’s very well-liked in Washington. From there Cruz sputtered on (“I introduced five amendments, a whole series of amendments, they illustrated the hypocrisy of the Democrats.”) As hard as he twisted and turned, Baier’s hook had snagged him.

The U.S. might, for example, be particularly willing to accept refugees fleeing a major international opponent. “It is not accurate to describe [this section] as giving the president ‘blanket authority,’ as the section spells out specific criteria that people must meet to be designated as refugees under the section,” wrote Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the immigration-policy program at the Migration Policy Institute, in an email to NPR. During the debate, Rubio did not claim that Cruz had disclosed sensitive or classified information but said he wanted to be careful himself not to discuss classified material. If Cruz sounded a different note on the bill in every contemporary speech and interview than what he now claims is his actual one, that makes it impossible for voters to properly evaluate him on the issue.

I think that is the fundamental DNA of America.” That is not what the talk radio crowd and the rest of the anti-immigration-reform crowd want to hear. The group wants Burr and the Intelligence Committee to punish Clinton over allegations that she sent classified information via email over a home computer server.

He has, he did, he is on the record repeatedly back in 2013 supporting legalization for the 11 million.” Cruz thinks he is the smartest guy in every room. The contradiction is coming back to haunt Cruz in right-leaning media, and giving Rubio a surprising opening to deflect from his own, far more significant, break with conservative “amnesty” opponents. Rubio has been pounding away at these themes for a few weeks, but now that they have spread across conservative and mainstream media, Cruz will face persistent scrutiny, just as the voters in Iowa are making their final decisions.

It’s left Cruz having to claim he was saying one thing in public, while actually meaning another – something that sounds a lot like the argument Cruz routinely levels against Republican leaders in Congress. “This is the sort of slimy behavior that we expect from Bill Clinton or Harry Reid, not from the straight-talking, Churchillian foe of all that is unholy about Washington,” National Review columnist Charles W. He took a major step to resolving that confusion at Tuesday’s debate when, for the first time, he and his campaign appeared to rule out legalization – putting him in line with Mitt Romney’s 2012 “self-deportation” approach. “To this day, he supports granting citizenship to 12 million people here illegally,” he told reporters. “Last night was the first time he admitted it, and admitted not only on Spanish-language television but on English-language television. Rubio may not like to talk about his support for earned citizenship much these days, but as recently as last month he confirmed to NPR – in English – that it was indeed still his position.

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