Skip to comments.Pete Wilson governor endorses Giuliani in presidential bid
Posted on 09/27/2007 11:59:15 PM PDT by South40
SANTA MONICA Rudy Giuliani picked up the support Thursday of former Gov. Pete Wilson, an endorsement that could be a mixed blessing for the Republican presidential front-runner because of Wilson's hardline reputation on illegal immigration. America needs America's mayor to lead us as president, Wilson said while endorsing the former mayor of New York.
Wilson, who served terms as U.S. senator and San Diego mayor, becomes Giuliani's most recognized supporter in the nation's largest state. But the endorsement represents some tricky political calculus for Giuliani, since the immigration policies Wilson championed as governor in the 1990s are widely blamed for driving Hispanics away from the GOP in California.
Wilson's support could help the former New York mayor lure support in February's GOP primary, in which conservatives predominate. But that could turn against him in the general election in November 2008, when a far larger number of Hispanics would be voting.
It may be good to have the endorsement of any former governor of a large and important state like California, but Pete Wilson comes with a lot of baggage, said Jaime Regalado, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.
He was largely despised by most Latinos, Regalado said.
Wilson appeared with Giuliani at a hotel in Santa Monica.
Wilson is arguably best remembered for his support for Proposition 187, the 1994 California law that blocked illegal immigrants from access to most government services.
The law was quickly overturned by the courts and never took effect but Wilson became its public face. It was credited with helping him win re-election but made him a pariah in the Hispanic community.
Giuliani, in his days as New York mayor, was one of its outspoken opponents. He called the proposition mindless.
In recent weeks, Giuliani has been defending New York's so-called sanctuary policy, which stopped city workers from reporting suspected illegal immigrants.
The policy is intended to make illegal immigrants feel that they can report crimes, send their children to school or seek medical treatment without fear of being reported. It did require police to turn in illegal immigrants suspected of committing crimes.
An estimated half-million illegal and undocumented immigrants live in New York, and only a fraction are deported each year.
What's the best thing to do about that? Giuliani asked in 1996. Put them in a situation in which they keep children out of school? Put them in a situation in which they don't go to hospitals? Or put them in a situation in which they don't report crimes to the police?
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was campaigning in Sacramento on Thursday, criticized Giuliani as a mayor that welcomed illegal immigrants to his city and presided over a sanctuary city.
On the presidential campaign trail, Giuliani has stressed tight border controls and the use of a tamperproof ID card for guest workers.
I think he's gambling that Pete Wilson's endorsement will help him in the Republican primary, especially on immigration, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, who teaches political science at the University of Southern California.
This doesn't help him with most of the Latino electorate, she said. The endorsement is at best a mixed bag.
Birds of a feather...
Sherry BeBitch Jeffe? What’s that! Illegals won’t go to school or hospitals under 187? Sounds good to me. Latino electorate who support the GOP? Illegals?
Well that settles it...I am voting for Rudy....LOL!!
Rinos mate with rinos... who knew?!
What a surprise.
Thanks a bunch, Pete.
Not exactly. There was a long revision of history that took place after Prop. 187 was passed with 40%+ of the Latino vote. Only after history was revised was 187, and by extension Wilson, seen as anti-Latino by any significant number of people.
He’s gambling this will help him in the Republican primary? Just who is going to care Pete Wilson endorsed Rudy while considering it a good thing? It’s not me.
Sounds rational until you peek under the hood. In 2008, Hispanics are forecast to be about 15% of participating voters and conservatives will remain at about 15%. Further complicating the issue, many Hispanics are conservative and many conservatives, of all stripes, will vote for a moderate, absolutely fearing the liberal.
Of course he did.
No surprise there.
He was a RINO as Guv, and he’s supporting a RINO for POTUS.