Supporter: Romney is not anti-Hispanic

11/30/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

A key advisor on Mitt Romney’s Florida campaign team says he hopes the media begins hammering Rudy Guiliani on his habit of making misleading comments.

Al Cardenas is the chair of Gov. Romney’s Florida Steering Committee. Speaking to reporters on a conference call this morning, Cardenas addressed the fallout of Wednesday night’s opening exchanges between Romney and Guiliani, in which the candidates ripped each other for being too soft on illegal immigration.

WMNF asked Cardenas if he believed that the lengthy exchange about who was tougher on undocumented people ended up making both candidates look less than presidential.

Romney accused Guiliani of making New York City a ‘sanctuary’ for illegal immigrants. Romney said that during Guiliani's term as mayor, he did not turn in illegal immigrants who used city services or broke laws.

Guiliani responded that Romney ran a ‘sanctuary mansion,’ because he employed undocumented people. Cardenas said Guiliani’s insinuation was simply Un-American.

In recent days, Guiliani has endured a series of potentially damaging stories. One was a story published just hours before Wednesday’s debate by on how hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses for his mayoral security detail were billed to obscure city offices instead of the police department back in 2000 when Guiliani at times was vacationing with his then mistress, Judith Nathan.

Friday’s New York Times contained a story claiming that Guiliani has made a number of incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong statements as he campaigned to reduce New York City’s crime rate and the country’s health care system.

Cardenas says the media should focus on this latest story.

The intensity of the Republican campaign against illegal immigration has moved so far to the right that Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, a fringe presidential candidate most known for his harsh rhetoric against illegals, cheered his colleagues on Wednesday night.

Cardenas strongly denied that there could be a Latino backlash against Romney.

Jim Delgado is a Manatee County based attorney and an advocate for immigrant workers. He calls Wednesday night’s discussion on illegal immigration comical, and said much of the most recent animus toward illegal immigration is being spread by conservatives.

The discussion on illegal immigration has grown so toxic that New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer recently dropped his plan to provide undocumented immigrants with drivers licenses after the idea was panned by a majority of New Yorkers.

The next scheduled Republican debate is a Spanish language forum in Miami that will be broadcast on the Univision network.

Also, there will be a discussion on immigration tomorrow in Sarasosta at the Sudakoff Center on the New College of Florida campus from 2 to 4 p.m.

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