There continue to be conflicting rumors, supposition and generally unfounded tea leaf reading about whether Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor who is popular with Republican fundraisers, will run for president.
We flashed back Monday to earlier this spring when Christie told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that he didn’t “feel ready in his heart” to be president.
Feelings can change, however, as they often do when candidates decide to run.
What could be more difficult for Christie in a Republican primary than his not being ready is his stance on issues such as immigration.
Today, a flashback to Christie’s appearance on “This Week” with Jake Tapper back in July of 2010, when he wholeheartedly embraced a pathway to citizenship for people who are in the country illegally.
“The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people,” Christie told Tapper back then.
Immigration is the very subject that has some Republicans rethinking Rick Perry, who instituted a program in Texas to help the children of illegal immigrants with their college tuition. Perry also opposes building a fence along the entire border with Mexico. Such positions have some single-issue conservatives mobilizing against him.
Tom Tancredo, the former Colorado congressman, presidential candidate and anti-illegal immigration activist, is using his “Team America” Political Action Committee to oppose Perry’s bid for the presidency. He points to Perry’s support for state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, his opposition to the fence and his support in 2006 for a guest-worker program.
Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor who is neck-and-neck with Perry atop Republican polls, has also criticized Perry and tried to lump in him in with Democrats and President Obama.
It would be hard to imagine Christie, who spoke a little more than a year ago in favor of a pathway to citizenship, faring much better in Tancredo’s eyes, or the eyes of many Republicans to whom illegal immigration is a major issue.
You have to go back to 2006 to find any record of Romney speaking favorably about a pathway to citizenship.
When ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked about a pathway to citizenship in February of 2007, Romney said this: “Well, I don’t recall that particular language. I didn’t say they should be rounded up,” Romney said in 2007.
“Well, what I said is that those people should go to the back of the line, that those people who are here illegally should not get any benefit by being here.”
But he did not say that people in the United States illegally should have to go to another country before applying for citizenship.
“Everybody in the world has a path to citizenship,” he said. “Everyone in the world can go to apply to the United States and apply for citizenship.”