Juan Williams' dumb question for Mitt Romney (immigration, Mexico, booing)
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WILLIAMS: Governor Romney, your father was born in Mexico. You still have family there, yet you have taken the hardest line of anyone on this stage on immigration reform, including opposition to key parts of the DREAM Act, which is supported by 80 percent of Latinos in this country. Are you alienating Latino voters that Republicans will need to win the general election?
1. Some have tried to claim that some in the audience were booing the mention of Mexico itself. However, as can be heard on the video below, that started well after the mention of "Mexico" and it seems like the reaction was based more on some in the audience knowing where Williams was going. (Other cases of audiences reacting are more clear cut).
2. Williams is trying the same trick that massive immigration supporters have tried with New Mexico governor Susana Martinez and other Latinos who fully or partly support our laws. Except, in Romney's case it's even more absurd since he has no ethnic relationship with the vast majority of Mexicans. Williams asked Romney to support bad public policy: putting some sort of solidarity (but, in Romney's case, a non-ethnic solidarity) ahead of what might be best for the U.S.
3. Williams unwittingly mentioned one highly negative side-effect of massive Latin American immigration in his question. Mostly out of ethnic solidarity, some number of Latinos (perhaps even the 80% that Williams mentioned) support the anti-American DREAM Act. That bill would let the illegal aliens covered by it deprive some citizens of college. A large number of Hispanics would take scarce educational resources away from U.S. citizens (including other Hispanics) to give them to foreign citizens who are here illegally. Those DREAM Act supporters are siding with the interests of foreign citizens against the interests of U.S. citizens and - in addition to the other negatives of the DREAM Act - it's horrible public policy to enable that as Williams and others do.
4. If Williams and others in the establishment media did their jobs, the percentage of Hispanics who support the DREAM Act might fall. Instead, the media prints PIIPP stories (see the link) and consistently refuses to tell the truth about the impacts of the DREAM Act. It would be very easy for a reporter who has access to him to discredit Dick Durbin (and many, many more) over their support for that bill. Instead, the media consistently covers up how the bill would harm Americans.
5. Williams' questions and all the others asked in all the debates so far are a public disservice, pushing the U.S. further down the road to Idiocracy. The candidates for president of the U.S. have consistently been asked weaker questions than Fox News interns are asked. The candidates for president should be given the toughest job interviews of anyone, yet the establishment media asks weak, open-ended questions that simply allow the candidates to repeat their stock speeches. Unfortunately, those outside the establishment media aren't filling in the gaps, despite how easy it would be to both make the media look bad and raise the level of debate in the U.S. See Question Authority for what you can do, and also promote a better format for political debates.
 Romney's response was yet another stock speech containing nothing he hasn't said before. Some of it was good, some of it was bad; his position on this issue will be discussed in a future post.
ROMNEY: You know, I think Latino voters, like all voters in this country, are interested in America being an opportunity nation. People come here because they believe they want to have a brighter future and that’s been the story of America. The president looks out across the country and says it could be worse. I can’t believe saying that. The American people recognize it’s got to be better.
In my view, as long as we communicate to the people of all backgrounds in this country that it can be better, and that America is a land of opportunity, we will get those votes.
Now with regards to immigration policy, I absolutely believe that those who come here illegally should not be given favoritism or a special route to becoming permanent residents or citizens that’s not given to those people who have stayed in line legally. I just think we have to follow the law, I think that’s the right course.
ROMNEY: And I have indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act to say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents.
I think that’s a mistake. I think we have to follow the law and insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else.
Look, I want people to know I love legal immigration. Almost all of us in this room are descendants of immigrants or are immigrants ourselves. Our nation is stronger and more vibrant by virtue of a strong legal immigration system.
But to protect our legal immigration system we have got to protect our borders and stop the flood of illegal immigration and I will not do anything that opens up another wave of illegal immigration.
2/2/12 UPDATE: The video that was here (Youtube ID yX1parDBWwQ) was deleted because the account it was in was terminated by Youtube due to copyright claims by CNBC, CNN, and BigThink. I've attached a full video.