Ted Cruz has always been on the right in the immigration debate, but lately he's had to insist he is on the right of....Mr. "Build a Wall and Make Mexico Pay For It" Donald Trump?
Analyst Peter Grier says yes:
During an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Monday the Texas senator tried to leap to the right over rivals Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida and Donald Trump on an issue that’s fast becoming a litmus test for what it means to be conservative in America.
In the past he hasn’t sounded as if he’d be eager as president to actually hunt down the undocumented. In January he told CNN, “I don’t intend to send jackboots to knock on your door.”
Ted Cruz has changed his tune this month:
“Both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio would allow those 12 million people to become US citizens,” Cruz said to O’Reilly. “Donald says once he deports them he’d let them back in as citizens. I will not.”
Cruz’s leap rightward...may reflect some frustration that he’s losing his grip on his key constituencies: Evangelicals and self-defined very conservative voters.
He’s losing the former to Trump, and close to losing the latter. Unless he deepens his base he might get swept out of the race with a poor showing on Super Tuesday on March 1.
Yep, Canadian-born Ted Cruz is having a very bad week. Maybe he should adopt Mitt Romney's idea, self-deportation, for himself?
Here's a transcript:
BILL O'REILLY: Here's a policy question I need you to define for me tonight. 12 million illegal aliens here in America. Mr. Trump says he would deport them forcibly. The federal authorities would round them up and send them back home. Costs a lot of money but he says it's worth it because we just can't allow the law to be broken this way. Would you round up 12 million illegal aliens here and if so, how?
TED CRUZ: Listen. We should enforce the law. How do we enforce the law? Yes, we should deport them. We should build a wall. We should triple the border patrol. And federal law requires that anyone here illegally that is apprehended should be deported.
O'REILLY: Would you go look for them though? Mr. Trump would look for them to get them out. Would you do that if you were president?
CRUZ: Look. Bill, of course you would. That's what ICE exists for. We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the laws, that apprehends them and deports them.
O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait. Just let me get this straight, because this is important, very important. So, I use the same example. So, Tommy O'Malley from County Cork in Ireland is over here and he overstays his visa and he's got a couple of kids and he's settled into Long Island. And, you, President Cruz are going to send the feds to his house, take him out and put him on a plane back to Ireland?
CRUZ: You better believe it. Now right now we actually can't do that, because we do not have a biometric exit-entry system. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/22/16]