July 12, 2010
Dem Gov's. WARN: OBAMA SUIT VS. AZ IS 'TOXIC'
At the National Governors Association meeting, from left, Phil Bredesen, Deval Patrick, Joe Manchin III and Bob McDonnell.
In a private meeting with White House officials this weekend, Democratic governors voiced deep anxiety about the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona’s new immigration law, worrying that it could cost a vulnerable Democratic Party in the fall elections.
While the weak economy dominated the official agenda at the summer meeting here of the National Governors Association, concern over immigration policy pervaded the closed-door session between Democratic governors and White House officials and simmered throughout the three-day event.
At the Democrats’ meeting on Saturday, some governors bemoaned the timing of the Justice Department lawsuit, according to two governors who spoke anonymously because the discussion was private.
“Universally the governors are saying, ‘We’ve got to talk about jobs,’ ” Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a Democrat, said in an interview. “And all of a sudden we have immigration going on.”
He added, “It is such a toxic subject, such an important time for Democrats.”
The administration seemed to be taking a carrot-and-stick approach on Sunday. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in town to give the governors a classified national security briefing, met one-on-one with Jan Brewer, the Republican who succeeded her as governor of Arizona and ardently supports the immigration law.
About the same time as that meeting, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on a taped Sunday talk show that the Justice Department could bring yet another lawsuit against Arizona if there is evidence that the immigration law leads to racial profiling.
Ms. Brewer said she and Ms. Napolitano did not discuss the current lawsuit. Instead, in a conversation she described as cordial, they discussed Arizona’s request for more National Guard troops along the border with Mexico, as well as other resources.
The Democrats’ meeting provided a window on tensions between the White House and states over the suit, which the Justice Department filed last week in federal court in Phoenix. Nineteen Democratic governors are either leaving office or seeking re-election this year, and Republicans see those seats as crucial to swaying the 2012 presidential race.
Republican governors at the Boston meeting were also critical of the lawsuit, saying it infringed on states’ rights and rallying around Ms. Brewer, whose presence spurred a raucous protest around the downtown hotel where the governors gathered.
“I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that almost every state in America next January is going to see a bill similar to Arizona’s,” said Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, a Republican seeking re-election.
But the unease of Democratic governors, seven of whom are seeking re-election this year, was more striking.
“I might have chosen both a different tack and a different time,” said Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. of Colorado, a Democrat who was facing a tough fight for re-election and pulled out of the race earlier this year. “This is an issue that divides us politically, and I’m hopeful that their strategy doesn’t do that in a way that makes it more difficult for candidates to get elected, particularly in the West.”
The White House would not directly respond to reports of complaints from some Democratic governors.
But David Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, said on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the president remained committed to passing an immigration overhaul, and that addressing the issue did not mean he was ignoring the economy.
And the heads of Mr. Obama’s national debt commission — Alan K. Simpson and Erskine B. Bowles — were on hand here on Sunday to press the economic issue.
The nation’s total federal debt next year is expected to exceed $14 trillion, and Mr. Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, and Mr. Bowles, a Democrat and the White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, offered a gloomy assessment if spending is not brought under control even more.
“This debt is like a cancer,” Mr. Bowles said. “It is truly going to destroy the country from within.”
Immigration was not the only topic at the Saturday meeting between Democratic governors and two White House officials — Patrick Gaspard, Mr. Obama’s political director, and Cecilia Munoz, director of intergovernmental affairs.
But several governors, including Christine Gregoire of Washington, said it was a particularly heated issue.
Ms. Gregoire, who does not face an election this year, said the White House was doing a poor job of showing the American public that it was working on the problem of illegal immigration.
Wild Thing's comment.......
These Democratic Governors got what they wanted, they knew what Obama and his people were and are. Which is totally against all things goodo for America.
Note too these dems are not concerned with how wrong it is for Obama or any president to sue a State for wanting to obey a law of our land, NO, instead they worry only about their own glutes in an election year.
“It is such a toxic subject, such an important time for Democrats.”
“...makes it more difficult for candidates to get elected, particularly in the West.”
There are many reasons to depsise these evil self-aggrandizing Demonrat scum, but their central focus and interests are always on themselves rather than the country. Collectively as a group, their “beliefs” have been, and always will be, perverse.
That is the heart of it. Their greatest concern isn’t for our country, or for their state, or for the Rule of Law, but that Arizona’s example might endanger their their re-election chances, and that they might be forced to pass similar legislation, which would be a poison pill for them with their liberal supporters. Talk about being painted into a corner.
And not forget how this news was released - by an Obama appointee, Hillary Clinton, to a dignitary in a foreign country!
This Administration has its own agenda, and it has nothing to do with the wishes of the majority of Americans.
Posted by Wild Thing at July 12, 2010 08:55 AM
One would think that instead of a lot of hot air on the subject, the Dem. Govs. up for re-election would adopt a similar stance as Arizona's and propose similar bills in their state.
Why? Well depending on which poll you read,50 -70% of the population are in favor of the Legislation.If that is the case, what better way to get votes.
This is probably too simple, as it does not go along with the Dems. agenda.
Posted by: Sean at July 12, 2010 10:21 AM
Of course these Dem governors are thinking primarily of keeping their political careers. And Sean is right. If they had some common sense they would support and emulate the Arizona bill. Hopefully there will be a lot more Repub governors next Spring.
Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at July 12, 2010 10:59 AM
Common sense and the democrat party is a non sequitor. But isn't it amazing how they worry about their own re-election and not about what impact this would have on the country. None of these people ever put their country first, it's always me, me, me.
Posted by: Mark at July 12, 2010 09:09 PM