Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have challenged front-runner Mitt Romney on his conservative bona fides. In South Carolina, the former Massachusetts governor thinks he has an issue that he can use to strike back – immigration, The Hill
Romney has taken a harder line against illegal immigration than former House Speaker Gingrich and Texas Gov. Perry, who oppose deporting every illegal immigrant. And now Romney wants to exploit that gap to his advantage in South Carolina.
He plans to stress his immigration views in an appearance Monday with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who worked with state legislators on Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Earlier this year, the South Carolina Legislature passed a strict anti-illegal-immigration law similar to Arizona’s measure. The Hispanic population has exploded 148 percent in South Carolina since 2000, though Latinos make up only 5 percent of the state’s population.
“Mitt Romney stands apart from the others. He’s the only one who’s taken a strong across-the-board position on immigration,” Kobach told The Hill. “Gingrich and Perry, with their pro-amnesty positions, are not acceptable on their issues to me or the vast majority of Republicans.”
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