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Romney Attacks Himself in Illegal Immigration Ad

August 21, 2007

With former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani in his crosshairs, 2008 GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney has begun running radio ads focusing on illegal immigration. Attacking sanctuary cities like Rudy's New York, Romney hopes to galvanize the fired-up anti-immigrant Republican base against Giuliani. As it turns out, Romney himself provided aid and comfort for illegal alien workers at his posh Belmont, Massachusetts estate.
The new Romney spots try to paint Giuliani as weak on illegal immigration during his time as New York mayor. After a voice-over intones "Immigration laws don't work if they're ignored," Romney chimes in:

"Legal immigration is great. But illegal immigration, that we've got to end. And amnesty is not the way to do it."

But as the Boston Globe reported last December, Romney hired a landscaping firm that routinely utilized illegal alien workers to tend to his 2-1/2 acre family residence just outside of Boston. The firm also tended to the grounds of his one of his five sons, Taggart. The Globe team interviewed four undocumented workers in Guatemala who confirmed that Romney never asked for them or their employer to produce immigration papers.
Confronted by Globe reporters, Romney offered a Romneyesque response:

Asked by a reporter yesterday about his use of Community Lawn Service with a Heart, Romney, who was hosting the Republican Governors Association conference in Miami, said, "Aw, geez," and walked away.

While the Romney camp blasts Giuliani over his 1994 statements ("If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city"), Rudy's supporters like Rep. Peter King (R-NY) accuse Romney of turning a blind eye on his own sanctuary cities while Governor of Massachusetts.
Having flip-flopped on abortion, stem cell research, government investments in Iran and even his own state of residence, Mitt Romney might want to stop beating himself up over illegal immigration.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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