Rudy On the Record on Judges and Immigration
Hizzoner was in the Twin Cities last night to raise money for Senate candidate Mark Kennedy. Rudy was the featured speaker at event which also included Sen. Norm Coleman and Rep. John Kline.
This is the second time that I have heard Hizzoner speak at one of these small fundraisers, and I can tell you that he has not failed to impress.
The main point that I hope I can convey here is how, unlike another 2008 frontrunner, Rudy always speaks in terms of what it means to be a Republican. He reinforces our core beliefs and our strengths as a political party. He talks with pride about what it means to be a Republican, and draws sharp contrasts between our party and our opponents.
Rudy spoke of a "clear dividing line" between Republicans and Democrats, and what the consequences of losing in November will mean for the conservative agenda.
The Global War on Terror was the first such issue he discussed. Hizzoner stressed that maintaining a Republican majority would mean the difference between staying on the offense against terrorism, or going on defense and waiting for our country to be attacked.
Next he discussed Taxes, and underscored how Republicans understand that cutting taxes and decreasing regulation lead to more jobs and a stronger economy. Rudy stressed that revenues have increased since the Bush tax cuts, not decreased.
After his speech, the speakers took some Q&A from the assembled guests. What was discussed in this session really gives us insight as to what "Rudy 2008" will look like; and it's not good news for Rudy's 2008 Republican primary challengers.
The first question from the crowd was regarding (no surprise) Illegal Immigration. Rudy essentially gave three steps that need to be enacted in any immigration reform legislation. The first step is to seal the borders. Secondly, there needs to be a mechanism for those who are here illegally to come forward so that we can identify who they are and screen them for criminals and potential terrorists. Thirdly, any immigration reform measure would have to include an English language requirement to foster assimilation into American Culture.
Seems to me that this is exactly what the vast majority of Americans want: Seal the borders first!, Screen out the criminals, the drug dealers, and potential terrorists; and require anyone who stays to learn our language and assimilate.
The million dollar question (in my humble opinion) was asked by myself next- the importance of strict constructionist judges in reforming the federal judiciary.
Rudy absolutely hit this one out of the park. My wife had to talk me down from a ledge upon my return last night after I realized that my audio recorder was broken and I did not get this speech on tape. But rest assured, Rudy is as far to the right on judges as anyone in the American Conservative Movement. Imagine a far more eloquent George W. Bush on the issue.
The money quote:
"I don't understand how you cannot be for strict constructionist judges" (emphasis Rudy's).
Rudy spoke of his time as a federal prosecutor and how he knows from experience the importance of this issue. He spoke glowingly of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito (I believe he mentioned something to the effect of "You have to be happy with the President's choices of Roberts and Alito" [emphasis Rudy's]). He ended this discussion by stressing that law is to be made by legislatures, not judges who base their opinions on how they happen to feel that day.
Last night provided a tantalizing glimpse into Rudy's potential 2008 platform. From what I heard it can be summarized in this way: Stay on offense in the War on Terror; Continue the Bush tax cuts and continue to decrease government regulation on business; Seal the borders first, get rid of the felons, drug dealers, and potential terrorists, and require anyone who stays to learn the English Language; and nominate strict constructionist judges like John Roberts and Sam Alito.
Sounds like a winner to me.