This year’s presidential candidates are taking a different approach to their campaigns: they’re going to avoid mentioning important yet sensitive topics that Americans can’t handle. Like immigration.
Or at least, that’s how election season would play out if former Senator Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) had his say. Last week, he generously bestowed his personal advice to Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney: “The immigration issue is too difficult to deal with in the public context,” said Martinez. (The Hill, Aug. 29, 2012)
Martinez, who was announced in June as a National Advisory Board member of Romney’s Hispanic Steering Committee, eagerly spoke on behalf of the presidential hopeful. (Boston Globe, June 6, 2012) “I think [Romney’s] decided that he’s going to deal with this issue as president and not as a candidate,” said Martinez, who, according to The Hill, also encouraged immigration reform discussions to be held in private, away from the watchful public. (The Hill, Aug. 29, 2012)
It’s not surprising to hear Martinez encourage Romney to put off immigration talks until after he’s secured the oval office. After all, Martinez is likely hoping Romney will support pro-amnesty policies—something voters don’t want to hear.
Martinez, referred to by some as “Amnesty Mel,” spent his entire term as a Senator pushing “pathway to citizenship” policies, before becoming a lobbyist for international business interests. (Orlando Sentinel, Sep. 10, 2009) Martinez also had a run as the President of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 2006-2007, brought on to help carry President Bush to a “comprehensive immigration reform” victory. (RealClearPolitics, Nov. 16, 2006) Those initiatives failed, as have countless other pro-amnesty pushes in Congress.
Unfortunately, that isn’t deterring Martinez from attempting to reignite that particular wing of the Republican Party. He already has allies from his home state: Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who compiled their own versions of the DREAM Act earlier this year. Rep. Rivera’s bill can be viewed here, though Sen. Rubio’s bill admittedly was shelved after being upstaged by President Obama’s decision to grant deferred action and employment authorization to nearly two million illegal aliens. (The Hill, June 18, 2012; see also FAIR Legislative Update, June 19, 2012)
Vice Presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis), recently gave a big hint that he subscribed to that blog, praising “Marco Rubio’s leadership on this issue.” Ryan said, “Marco Rubio was on the cusp of introducing the bipartisan solution to immigration problems.” (FLDemocracy2012, Aug. 19, 2012)
Despite this harbinger that Ryan might be open to amnesty discussions, Romney’s policy positions will be the ones that prevail in their campaign. Hopefully Romney will listen to the voices of the American people and leave the failed amnesty agenda in the past.