RUSH: The New York Observer today, a story by Jason Horowitz: “Senator McCain Worked Blue on New York Stage. Behind Closed Doors, Republican Works in Material: ?I?d Tell Shiites and Sunnis, ?Stop the Bulls[–]t??; Fresh From Falwell, Attacks Right-Wing Nativism.
“For all the national attention surrounding John McCain?s two highly anticipated, protest-ridden commencement speeches in New York last week, the Senator actually saved some of his best material for the crowd that gathered on Friday behind closed doors in the back of the Regency Hotel. In a small, mirror-paneled room guarded by a Secret Service agent and packed with some of the city?s wealthiest and most influential political donors, Mr. McCain got right to the point. [McCain impression] ‘One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, “Stop the bulls[–]t,?’ said Mr. McCain, according to Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, an invitee, and two other guests. The exclusive audience included R.N.C. Finance Chair Lewis Eisenberg, Blackstone Group co-founder Peter G. Peterson, former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman and Gail Hilson, the politically influential socialite who has organized events for Mr. McCain in the past.”
He said, “What kind of a country do we want to be?” The table here was shaped like a horseshoe, and he walked around in the middle of the table talking to these august country clubbers and blue blooders. He then “cautioned against ghettoizing immigrants, which he noted has brought about disastrous results in France, and criticized elements in his own party as ‘nativist’ before lambasting the punditry of Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs and [others] for helping to ‘fuel the problem,’ according to two of the sources.”
All right, so now I’m a “nativist.” What did Brooks call me? A “restrictionist.” Lou Dobbs is the same thing. He’s out there hobnobbing with country club blue blooders, and I’m nativist and so are you. But what this all adds up to, folks, is that McCain looks out across the countryside, and he sees you the way liberal critics of this program see you: a bunch of mind-numbed robots. Why, you’re unable to think for yourself! Why, you simply get up every day and turn on this radio program and get your marching orders. You’re told what to think, and until you’re told, you don’t think. You’re told what to do and until you’re told what to do, you don’t do it. You don’t act. It is just amazing when you look at who he’s wooing and who he’s trying to distance himself from and the wedge that he is trying to drive here. Nativist? Of all the people I know on my side of the aisle who have an opinion about illegal immigration, “nativist” is the last thing we are. I have bent over backwards on this program to not do what he charges is being done.
I have told you about my grandfather and how immigration has been an ongoing debate in this country. It was his high school debate topic back in 1904. I even praised the president’s speech and talked about how it was a great speech dealing with a terrible problem, and he was trying to balance the various issues. I was not highly critical of the president. I have focused on the illegal aspect of this. You know, it’s real simple, senator. You’re making this so much more complicated than it needs to be. What the people on my side of the aisle want is something very, very simple: Tell us how many legal immigrants we’re going to permit to come into this country every year, and tell us how you’re going to enforce that number. We want to know what you’re going to do to stop this flood and how you’re going to protect the borders, and then enforce the laws that you pass.
There’s a fascinating column today in the New York Times by Ed Meese. Ed Meese, in the Reagan administration, back in the eighties. He compares the Simpson-Mazzoli Bill language with the current Senate “compromise” bill. It is astounding how it is the same thing! They just keep recycling the same things over and over and over again. Now, we sit here and we’re flattered that Senator McCain considers this program to be an obstacle in his plans. But I am amazed at how he tries to lump me with people who don’t think like I do on this. He tries to lump me with people in a way that will cause my credibility and image to be damaged in the process. In doing so he totally misstates or mis-implies to people in this small room of august Republicans at the Regency Hotel, what my position on all of this is. So McCain is taking the same tack that the left takes. Rather than deal with the substance of the ideas presented on this program, and rather than respond that way, he tries to miscast what happens on this program — misstate it, mischaracterize it — for the purpose of discrediting me and others who hold this position.
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