“Republicans’ intransigence has created an obvious opportunity for Hillary to rip off our arms and beat us with the bloody ends. She’s expertly exploiting our party’s internal problems.”
Wincing in abject human sympathy is probably fair. So is former New Hampshire Republican Party chairman Fergus Cullen’s assessment. As David Nakamura and Robert Costa explain for the Washington Post:
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fighting words on immigration this week, designed in part to provoke Republicans into a reactionary counterattack, instead drew an unusual early response from several top-tier GOP presidential candidates: silence.
Two days after Clinton vowed to expand on President Obama’s executive actions to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was one of the only leading Republican 2016 contenders to strike back, calling it a “full embrace of amnesty” that is “unfair to hard-working Americans.”
By contrast, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not weigh in publicly on the remarks Clinton made Tuesday at a campaign stop in Las Vegas. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), one of Obama’s most vocal critics on immigration, waited to make a late evening post on Facebook, writing that Clinton “wants to expand and continue” Obama’s programs and “lawlessness.”
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told MSNBC that Clinton was wrong, saying the country needs to focus on border security first.
This is, as the WaPo duo put it, a “relatively subdued GOP reaction”. Typecast tinfoil and tuneless, tin-can triviality are hardly the stuff of candidates aspiring to show their presidential leadership, but they are hallmarks of the Republican clown car.
And while Jeb Bush might not have responded directly to Hillary Clinton, at least the offered up a Cinco de Mayo message … in Spanish. As platitudes go, that one apparently counts as creative; or, as such, Jeb Bush hopes to be the serious clown.
Nakamura, David and Robert Costa. “Why Clinton’s immigration speech left many Republican rivals speechless”. The Washignton Post. 7 May 2015.
DelReal, Jose A. “Here is Jeb Bush’s Cinco de Mayo message to Mexican-Americans”. The Washington Post. 5 May 2015.