Numbers USA — an organization that supports “Attrition Through Enforcement” immigration policy and wants “lower immigration levels” — blames Rick Perry’s results in the Florida straw poll on his weak stance on immigration enforcement.
Not by design, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is proving that appearing to be more concerned about illegal-alien workers than about unemployed Americans doesn’t work in Republican primaries. Widely expected a week ago to run away with the Florida Straw Poll yesterday, he finished in a virtual four-way tie for second, more than 20 points behind the winner.
As always among American voters, there were surely several factors behind Florida’s most energized Republican voters deserting Gov. Perry. But most commentators and pollsters have included his seeming softness on illegal immigration during the Florida debate Thursday night as a crucial reason.
Numbers adds that Perry “has been given opportunity after opportunity to show some concern for the victims of illegal immigration, but instead he spends his time talking about his compassion for illegal aliens, including suggesting that those who don’t share his compassion don’t have a heart.”
The Miami Herald reports today that “the Florida Tea Party is not going to forget immigration. It was Rick Perry’s Achilles’ heel and the Florida Republicans are going to be under tremendous pressure to pass immigration legislation this session.”
Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolis, R-Merritt Island, said last week his chamber would pass the same immigration bill it passed in the 2011 session. At this year’s RedState Gathering, an event for conservative politicians and organizations, Gov. Rick Scott said that an immigration enforcement bill “will happen this session.”