November 13th, 2007
03:01 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney hits Democrats and Republicans on immigration issues

Romney was critical of his rivals from both parties Tuesday.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took shots at his GOP and Democratic rivals Tuesday, accusing several of them of being soft on illegal immigration.

"There's a sanctuary state of mind that [New York Sen.] Hillary Clinton, and [former New York City] Mayor Giuliani, and [former Arkansas] Gov. Huckabee have," Romney said at a news conference. "They have provided - or support the idea of providing - tuition breaks to illegal aliens to institutions of higher learning, and that sanctuary state of mind flies in the face of the rule of law."

Clinton is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, while Giuliani and Huckabee are challenging Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.

A Giuliani campaign spokeswoman fired back, and criticized Romney for his own track record on the issue of illegal immigration.

"Once again Presidential Trail Mitt Romney completely ignores the record of Governor Mitt Romney," Maria Comella, Giuliani's deputy communications, said in an email statement. "Under Governor Mitt Romney the number of illegal immigrants skyrocketed, while he recommended millions of dollars in state aid to numerous sanctuary cities and to companies employing illegal immigrants, not to mention the illegals working on his own lawn."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. xtina - chicago il

    Gov. Romney is right. The way to deal with illegal immigrants is not to give them drivers' licenses.

    November 13, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. gail f, lexington ky

    Oooooooooooooo he's an evil conservative ... he wants to follow the law

    November 13, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. C_Munkie, Nashville Tennessee

    Man, I really like this guy. Republicans need to wake up, Giuliani is no good for them. They should realize that they need stick with Romney. He has a good grip on things.

    November 13, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Crystale, Vancouver, WA

    "while Giuliani and Huckabee are challenging Giuliani for the GOP presidential nomination."

    Anyone care to edit this? 😀

    November 13, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. MG, Nashua nh

    Mit is right. illegals are illegal and they shouldnt be in our country, i cant blame them for wanting to be here, but i can blame hillary and the others for wanting to give them breaks, or worse licenses.

    November 13, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. wm., marietta , ga.

    What I can't get my mind around is the generosity of the liberals when it comes to illegal aliens. Don't you want our own children to receive the help first?

    November 13, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Jake M, Fredericksburg, VA

    Hey Flip Romney,

    What about all those illegals you hired to mow your lawn? And what about your support of the McCain Amnesty Bill? You, sir, are a liar and 100% fraud.

    November 13, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Pete, T.S. FL

    To much truth in my earlier comment CNN?

    November 13, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. cnn consumer

    Clinton is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, while Giuliani and Huckabee are challenging Giuliani for the GOP presidential nomination
    Cnn you don't even have time to reread your article and see what you are writing has errors?

    November 13, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Dan, Saint Louis, MO

    Romney is dead on about this issue. It is shocking to me how out of touch people like Hillary are about giving benefits to ILLEGAL immigrants. Huckabee and Giuliani have atrocious records on this as well. Rudy basically said he wants illegals to come to New York City to work and he'd give them all these benefits.

    November 13, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Andy, Capitol Hill, DC

    "Clinton is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, while Giuliani and Huckabee are challenging Giuliani for the GOP presidential nomination."


    November 13, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. tim,houston,tx

    If America didn't learn it's lessons, I warn you this is another bush and you should be warned....Don't tell I told you so...

    November 13, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Flagship, Hartford, CT

    First – tuition breaks to illegal aliens to institutions of higher learning means current ESL classes (English as a second language) where anyone legal or illegal can learn English for free as a public service.
    They learn basic concepts like dialing 911 and basic laws.
    I have been working for colleges for several years. NO illegal gets to take any course without legal papers, so this is a LIE the GOP have made up to get you angry.
    Second – remove all the illegals and you will be paying $25.00 in higher food costs every night just eating at home. Are white or black americans ready to go out in the fields and bend over for 8-10 hours per day to pick our food? How much would you need to be paid the do that?
    We need to be logical about what we say.
    Mitt Romney can be dangerous to our current way of life. Do not be fooled.

    November 13, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Laura Tulsa, OK

    Oh Jake M, that's just silly. Do you check the credentials of your lawn service employees or just write the check every month?

    November 13, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Ron G, Stuart, FL

    Have you people ever eaten in a restaurant ? If you boycotted every restaurant that has illegals cooks and busboys, there'd be no restaurants left.

    November 13, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Sharyn, CT

    the same people that are against Illegal Immigration are the same people that shop at Walmart (who employ the most illegals out of any company). These people need to realize that if they really don't want to support illegals, then they shouldn't shop at Walmart.

    November 13, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Kate, Aurora CO

    While I agree with is argument I can't help but doubt his own sincerity. I mean he was busted employing a landscaping company that hired illegal immigrants and many of them claimed he would greet them in spanish. I mean, don't tell me you are going to be hard on illegal immigration while they are at your home tending to your pretty manicured yard. If you are against illegal immigration then don't hire them. If you don't hire them they won't have a reason to be here. Why don't these politians who are so concerned about the welfare of American citizens go after the employers of illegal immigrants??!!

    November 13, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    No matter where you stand on immigration, is it ever a good idea to let anyone come into this country illegally?

    btw, ever notice it's the liberals who have grammar and punctuation errors?

    tim in houston – "it's lessons? should it be "its lessons" – you don't need a possessive in this case.

    "Don't tell I told you so…" – I assume you mean "don't say I didn't tell you..."

    November 13, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. John, Michigan

    Romney has the correct position on this issue. Clinton's position tipped the scale where I don't see voting for her. I did support Tancredo until his priority seemed to become scare Americans and bomb everyone else.

    November 13, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. Jake, Las Vegas, Nevada

    to Jake in VA. Romney didn't support the amnesty bill, and he hired a company to do his lawn. They just happened to have illegals on the staff.

    Do your home work

    November 13, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Brian, Las Vegas, NV

    Mitt did not "hire" illegals to mow his lawn–they were employees of the landscaping company he hired. So according to your logic every product or service we use that was made possible by an illegal makes us a fraud if we want tough immigration policy. There goes me buying food, have a house built, going to a hotel that has been cleaned, you name it. Mitt was one of the candidates who was the most critical of the McCain bill since it gave illegals amnesty. Quit twisting Mitt's positions to fit your obvious dislike for him.

    November 13, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Dan, Washington DC

    Nowadays it is fashionable to score political points using illegals as a punching bag. Since they have no rights, they cannot punch back. Yet, they do the work that Americans do not want to do themselves. Obliterating 15 million people that this economy has absorbed as a sponge is not as easy as Tancredo, Dobbs or Romney want people to believe.
    The critical question about identifying who they are (via driver licenses, legalization or others) is a national security one.
    McCain, Giuliani and Clinton to varying degrees understand that a serious and realistic policy needs to be implemented to address this problem as a whole. It is not serious to continue to deny the problem hoping it will go away as some "anti-illegals" candidates currently do.

    November 13, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit (not the entitlement) of happiness

    Romney's heart is in the right place...following the law. The question is whether or not he understands who to hold accountable for the illegal action. Yes we should protect and tighten the borders, but the bigger picture is to stop the flow at the source by cracking down on the company's hiring illegals.

    November 13, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Greg,Dalton,GA

    They are CRIMINALS and should be treated as such!!!

    November 13, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Newt G, Chicago ILL

    Another Bush? Have you heard Romney talk? He is very articulate. Quite the opposite of Bush.
    Romney would makes a great Presidential Candidate and would hopefully make a great President.

    November 13, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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