The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Ad Watch

Huckabee Talks Tough on Immigration

The Ad: Huckabee: It ought to be at least as difficult to get across an international border as it is to get on an airplane in our own home town.

Announcer: Mike Huckabee will fight to secure our borders.

Huckabee: We need to make it clear that we will say no to amnesty and no to sanctuary cities. Our borders have to be secured--no amnesty. And our goverment has failed us. Build a border fence. Secure the border, and do it now.

Analysis: Mike Huckabee, who has garnered favorable press attention for a compassionate approach to illegal immigrants, is trying to neutralize criticism that he is "soft" on an issue that looms large in the Republican primary.

This ad, airing in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, fails to mention that the former Arkansas governor praised President Bush's legislation, which provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. It also ignores his proposal to grant in-state college tuition to some high-achieving students whose parents were in the country illegally, which Huckabee recently defended by saying: "We are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did." Huckabee also opposed an Arkansas measure to deny public services to illegal immigrants and said last year that some critics of such immigrants are "driven by just sheer racism."

By focusing solely on the border-security part of the debate--and even omitting his own proposal for making illegal immigrants return to their home countries and reapply for admission--Huckabee is fudging his record and trying to cast himself as what an on-screen graphic calls an "authentic conservative."

A second ad released yesterday shows the preacher's softer side. Beginning with a picture of Huckabee as a young boy, he talks about understanding people's needs "when you grow up and life's a struggle," and boasts of providing health coverage to 70,000 uninsured children.

--Howard Kurtz

Posted at 10:57 AM ET on Dec 10, 2007  | Category:  Ad Watch
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Here's the thing about Huckabee. First of all, his "tough talk" on securing the border is NOT inconsistent with his position that the CHILDREN of illegals should not be punished for something that they had no choice in or control of. Secondly, when Mike Huckabee speaks on a subject I believe him. Everything about who he is and what he has and hasn't done contributes to his believability. That is why I trust him more so than any other candidate to actually RESOLVE the immigration problem.

Posted by: michaelLitz | December 11, 2007 6:54 PM

Huckabee is actually proposing touchback amnesty. Search on "within days" Huckabee amnesty and the like or "120 days". On Fox Sunday and in the Univision debate, Huckabee was saying he would have instant visas for all those here when they touchback and for anyone who wants to come here.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | December 10, 2007 2:50 PM

Arkansas News Bureau has a free online archive from 2000+
It was interesting to read through that.
Huckabee was close with LULAC apparently.

"Gov. Mike Huckabee offered the Mexican government the offices when he took a trip to Mexico recently, Bob Trevino, an aide to the governor, said after the conference. Trevino is president of the Arkansas chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens."

"Amigo Awards were given to several elected officials and community leaders for their efforts to help the Hispanic community." ... Others selected for the award were Huckabee;"

Posted by: win1 | December 10, 2007 2:12 PM

I would Love to see more coverage of the fair tax,that Mike Huckabee supports. That alone buys my vote.I beleive there is a lot misleading information.We should be able to get the story on the fair tax,good and bad.Thanks Michael Shiver'

Posted by: terrishiver | December 10, 2007 1:12 PM

Howard Kurtz:

Please compare your sentence about "high-achieving students" with the actual bill as voted on, which was for any illegal alien who met mild requirements such as living in AR for three years. It also didn't have anything to do with the status(es) of their parents; it was for those who were themselves illegal aliens without regard to their parents' status(es):

Maybe you could review his statements during the CNNYoutube debate, review the text of all the versions of the bills, and then ask him whether he was intentionally trying to deceive.

The "fudging" part I agree with, and in an interview yesterday Huck even said that former illegal aliens who left could come back within "days, maybe weeks":

He also suggested that the U.S. "outsource" granting work permits during the UnivisionDebate, a la the MikePence scheme. That'd be just great for U.S. security.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | December 10, 2007 1:10 PM

Huckabee supported scholarships for illegals and driver's licenses for illegals while governor of Arkansas.

Now he wants to "talk tough" on immigration. Whatever.

Posted by: Razorback1 | December 10, 2007 11:02 AM

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