Dick Armey: Issue of immigration needs to be handled with sensitivity
Though NumbersUSA would like to be considered as part of the Tea Party movement, the Tea Partiers are keeping their distance. Dick Armey recently made the point that negative rhetoric on the topic of immigration by Tom Tancredo, a NumbersUSA A-ranker, is what helped alienate Latinos from the GOP and led to disastrous election results for conservatives and republicans in federal, state and local races in 2008.
Armey says the issue of immigration needs to be handled with "sensitivity." He described the hard-edged, immigrant-bashing rhetoric of former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, who spoke at a recent Tea Party convention in Tennessee, as "destructive."
"Republicans have to get this right and get off this goofiness," Armey said. "Ronald Reagan said 'tear down this wall.' Tom Tancredo said 'build this wall.' Which is right?"
With Latinos forming the fastest-growing electoral bloc in the nation, Armey says the GOP seems to be saying, "Let's go out and alienate them."
This will be an important concept for Republicans to embrace this Sunday at the March For America protest in D.C. to pressure Congress to work on an immigration reform bill. Numbers USA has already discussed strategies to counteract the March for America, with the groups advocating an anti-immigration stance that targeted Latina women and even children. This is exactly the kind of negative rhetoric that Dick Armey was referring to!