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To listen to Paul Ryan and John Boehner, you would think that House Republicans are gearing up to pass immigration reform next year — there are just pesky Democratic obstructionists in the way. Please. That’s the line that Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), the Republican challenger for Mark Udall’s Senate seat in Colorado, is taking as well. He’s becoming a master of re-writing history.
Gardner is running in a state where the electorate is 13% Latino, which is probably why his current tagline is — necessarily — “a different kind of Republican.” Two days ago he gave this interview to KDVR Denver, where he talked about immigration reform, claimed his longtime support of it, and blamed Democrats for not taking action on the issue. As Gardner said:
We do need immigration reform, that’s why I’ve supported immigration reform and testified before the House Judiciary Committee on immigration reform…when the House conference met, I spoke in favor of reform…but let’s just step back and see why we’re in this mess. We’re in this mess because Mark Udall and Barack Obama have failed to lead…
I look forward to working with people who are interested in solutions instead of just politics…I think there are a lot of Republicans who support immigration reform, and I look forward to working with them to find a solution in the next several months…The House has put forward 5 immigration bills that has passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. We can do more, there’s other steps that need to be taken and I look forward to taking them.
There are a few things wrong with Gardner’s claims:
Republicans are clearly in all-out spin mode. GOPers have spent this entire Congressional session citing one excuse after another — President Obama, the Democrats, fiscal issues, the legislative calendar, immigration reform advocates themselves, the election — for why they can’t pass immigration legislation. Advocates even gave them a deadline by which Republicans needed to show some good-faith intent to take action, which they didn’t. Now the GOP is pretending that a window for passing legislation is right around the corner, when it’s not. Republicans — House Republicans like Cory Gardner in particular — havenever demonstrated any real intention to pass reform, and haven’t bothered to lift a finger to further legislation. Gardner is trying to claim that he will be “a different kind of Republican” if elected to the Senate, but when it comes to his record on immigration, he is exactly the same as the Steve Kings, Bachmanns, Ryans, and Boehners of the House — all of whom have furthered anti-immigrant legislation, while doing nothing for real immigration reform.