The Corner

You Won’t Be Surprised To Know…

… that in response to Mitt Romney calling Huckabee’s Foreign Policy piece “unRepublican,” Fred Thompson’s campaign sent out a

Mitt Romney Has Decided To Be The Arbiter Of What’s

“Republican” or Not, How Ironic…

e-mail this afternoon.

Meanwhile, just a bit ago, I got an e-mail from Team Huck responding to Romney:

Once again, Governor Mitt Romney has highlighted his willingness to do an “about face” on the serious issues facing the American people – especially those involving the nation’s foreign policy.

Today, Governor Romney attacked Governor Huckabee’s latest article in Foreign Affairs. In doing so he attempts to distance himself from his previous positions on the war in Iraq. Earlier this year Governor Romney endorsed setting “timetables and milestones” for Iraq policy but called for keeping them private — an approach introduced by Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Senator Pryor was so enthused to have Romney’s support that his office publicly commended the Massachusetts’s Governor, stating, “At the end of the day, the president doesn’t have an exit plan.” Michael Teague, a spokesman for Pryor, said in an interview. “We think [President Bush] should be forced to develop that, and we’re happy to see Mitt Romney feels the same way.”

“I am disappointed by Governor Romney’s attempt to label me as a “Democrat” because of my tough approach to foreign policy,” said Governor Huckabee. “Perhaps he should read the article in its entirety before making such ill-informed comments.”

In contrast to Governor Romney’s claims that the surge was not working and that we needed to set a timetable for withdrawal, Governor Huckabee has been steadfast in his support of victory in Iraq and the nation’s “War on Terror.” He remains confident that the gains our Armed Forces are making in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to increased security both at home and abroad.

In the same e-mail, the Huckabee campaign accuses Thompson of lying about Huckabee’s immigration record:

As is typical for his campaign, Sen. Thompson is mailing out inaccurate attack ads to the voters in Iowa. Here are responses to the two main claims he makes in the mailing:

Claim: “As Governor, Mike Huckabee championed an effort in Arkansas to give in-state tuition at state colleges and taxpayer-funded scholarships to illegal immigrants.”

Fact: In Arkansas Governor Huckabee supported broadening a particular merit scholarship — not in-state tuition – to include high-achieving children who were applying for citizenship. This put these students on the same footing as permanent resident aliens, who have always been eligible for the scholarship.

The proposal to make children of illegal immigrants eligible for in-state tuition was not part of the Governor’s plan and did not pass.

The scholarships were intended to encourage all Arkansas children to work hard and excel academically. Since Arkansas has a constitutional obligation to educate all students, illegal and legal, through 12th grade, Governor Huckabee believed it was in the best interest of the state to encourage a select few (roughly 30 students would have been eligible) to continue their education. Unlike tuition discounts, the scholarship was merit-based and, because of the strict academic and financial need criteria, only open to a small number of students.

Any illegal students who wished to participate in the scholarship application process had to submit their application for U.S. citizenship. Having these students continue to their education would have enabled them to become “tax-payers” for the state rather than “tax-takers.”

This debate once again highlights the difficult position that our nation’s governors have been put in by the failures of the Federal Government. If immigration laws already in place had been enforced, governors would not be required to make decisions on how to simultaneously slow the inflow of illegal immigrants into their state while also trying to ensure that they are not left with increasing numbers of “tax takers.”

Claim: “Huckabee also opposed legislation to require proof of citizenship in order to obtain public benefits and vote.” (Associated Press, 2/3/05)

Fact: Thompson appears not to have read the entire Associated Press article. Governor Huckabee opposed this bill, because the issues addressed in the bill were already established by current law:

“But Huckabee said it’s just not true that illegal aliens are receiving welfare, food stamps and other public services.

‘Anyone aware that they are should alert the attorney general’s office or the prosecutors office, because that’s fraud,’ he said.” (Associated Press, 2/3/05)

The Governor’s point was that illegal immigrants were already prohibited from receiving state benefits, thus there was no need to rehash the issue. The only point of the legislation was to inflame passions against Hispanics.

No illegal immigrants were able to receive “public benefits” from the state of Arkansas. Governor Huckabee specifically pointed out that if anybody knew of that happening, they should turn the illegal immigrants in for violating the law.

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