Tags: barbour | romney | hispanic | vote

Barbour: Strong Immigration Reform Makes Good Economic Policy

Thursday, 08 Nov 2012 12:28 PM

By Todd Beamon and John Bachman

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Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour tells Newsmax TV that, “Hopefully, we won’t ever have a candidate again who kind of boxes himself in the way that Romney did” on issues affecting Hispanic voters.

“The idea of self-deportation is not a good place to try to attract votes. It’s also not a good policy,” Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “What we need to do is be for good economic policy — and that should be the source of our effort for immigration reform.

Watch the exclusive interview here.

“And remember, only two presidents in the modern era have ever introduced an immigration reform bill: Ronald Reagan, who passed one, and George Bush, who didn’t pass one but tried very hard. Both Republicans by the way.

“Barack Obama’s never proposed an immigration reform bill,” Barbour added. “Despite saying that he would offer up the top of his immigration reform bill, he never did. He tried to put this DREAM Act through Congress during a lame-duck session, which everybody knows is not serious.

“Immigration reform is very serious business, and the next Republican president, if we haven’t already achieved immigration reform, ought to try to do it. Why? Because it’s good economic policy.”

Barbour, who governed Mississippi from 2004 to 2012, echoed similar thoughts when it came to the GOP courting African Americans.

“I’ve observed over 44 years in politics that the closer the office is to the public, the more successful Republicans can be in getting the votes of African Americans. The top of the ticket is the hardest of all.

“As governor, when I was elected the first time, I almost got 10 percent of the black vote, not white,” Barbour added. “When I ran for re-election, I got well over 20 percent – and the reason’s simple: I did what I said I was going to do.

“In fact, one of the two big, black newspapers in the state wrote an editorial my second year as governor – and the editor said that he didn’t know why people are complaining; he’s just doing what he said he was going to do.”

And on the issue of social conservatives, Barbour said: “I am a social conservative, but that doesn’t mean you have to say something stupid or that makes it harder for people to vote for you. You can be a social conservative and show good judgment.

“We have a lot of great social conservatives in our party who are making huge contributions, some of it as elected officials; some in other ways. By nominating strong candidates who have run good campaigns, we’ll elect a lot of social conservatives.”

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