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Yesterday, Daniel Strauss at Talking Points Memo exposed a new ad from Karl Rove’s American Crossroads PAC attacking Iowa’s Bruce Braley for supporting immigration reform. The problem? Karl Rove himself is a noted supporter of reform — he wrote this Wall Street Journal piece defending the Senate immigration bill last year. Yet he’s targeting Braley for supporting “immigration amnesty — giving lawbreakers food stamps and medicare.”
The hypocrisy is something that Jason Richwine himself, who is cited in Rove’s ad via his flawed Heritage Foundation study, calls out. As he told Bloomberg Politics in a piece published today:
Seems to me that, if there’s a story here, it’s that Rove and American Crossroads supported the same amnesty that they’re hitting Braley for supporting in that ad.
Here’s the money quote: Rove himself, in that WSJ article from last year, wrote that Republicans should avoid referring to immigration reform as “amnesty”, saying:
It is also important that Republicans avoid calling a pathway to citizenship “amnesty.” Amnesty is the forgiveness of wrongdoing without penalty, something President Ronald Reagan advocated and signed into law with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act…
The current Senate bill has plenty of penalties and hurdles for those here illegally who seek citizenship.
That’s a sentiment echoed by Iowa’s sitting Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Last summer, he told a constituent that the Senate immigration bill is not amnesty:
I don’t use that word. [The Senate bill] is a little bit different than what we did in 1986. I would call the immigration bill in 1986 amnesty.
Karl Rove spent years trying to convince the GOP to support immigration reform as a way to reach out to Latino voters. That hasn’t worked out so well. So, now, he’s running ads 1) attacking Democrats for backing policies he supports and 2) attacking immigration reform in ways he knows will be destructive for the GOP when it comes to Latino voters.