Divisive Bill Stokes GOP Anger; Base Rejects Path to Citizenship

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 24, 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Divisive Bill Stokes GOP Anger; Base Rejects Path to Citizenship


Byline: Ralph Z. Hallow, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The bipartisan immigration bill being pushed by the White House and Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, is fracturing rather than "saving" the Republican Party nationally, according to angry party leaders and new poll findings.

Arizona Republican Party officials have received "hundreds and hundreds of calls, e-mails and letters from Republicans angry about the bill," state party Chairman Randy Pullen told The Washington Times.

"They were saying, 'I am going to register independent and not give you any more money' - and that's the base of our party saying that," Mr. Pullen said.

Republican officials also criticized Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida Republican, as being out of touch for his weekend remark on CNN that the immigration bill "could be the saving of the Republican Party."

Chuck Laudner, the Iowa Republican Party executive director, told The Times that Mr. Martinez is "dead wrong because the bill doesn't save the Republican Party - it drives a wedge right through it."

"I don't think the immigration bill is going to save the Republican party," Cindy Costa, the Republican national committeewoman from South Carolina, told The Times. "If you undermine your base as this bill does, I don't hardly see how that can save the GOP."

Mr. Martinez was handpicked by the White House to be general chairman of the Republican Party because he agreed with the Bush administration's goal of reaching out to the nation's growing Hispanic electorate.

"I like Mel, he is a great guy, but his political instincts aren't real good - my Florida friends tell me they're calling him 'Amnesty Mel' down there," Mr. Pullen said.

The measure, whose chief sponsor is Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, would provide illegal aliens a way to gain legal status and eventually citizenship. It is "a Democratic bill," Mr. Pullen said.

"The White House and Jon Kyl are giving Democrats exactly what they need - cover," the Arizona official said. "Democrats aren't going to be out there alone, giving amnesty to 20 million illegal aliens.

Mr. Pullen also criticized Arizona Sen. John McCain, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, for his sponsorship last year of a measure that would have enabled illegals to gain citizenship.

"McCain's position last year was the reverse of what it should have been," Mr. Pullen said.

Mr. Kyl said he's committed to the bipartisan deal in the Senate, and that his only fear now is that Democrats will pull the bill too far to the left for him to support it.

"I have already taken the political hit," Mr. Kyl said. "I have already made my decision to support this legislation, and I will support it to the end if it is not substantially modified.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Divisive Bill Stokes GOP Anger; Base Rejects Path to Citizenship
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?