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The Spanish-language panderfest, sprinkled with Ron Paul’s Blame America act (“We create the Chavezes of the world, we create the Castros of the world”)

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 10, 2007 09:35 AM

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The Wall Street Journal has posted an English-language transcript of last night’s Spanish-language panderfest. Let me sum up the questions:

What are you going to do for Hispanics?

What are you going to do for Hispanics?

What are you going to do for Hispanics?

What are you going to do for Hispanics?

While Tom Tancredo smartly boycotted the debate, he was there in spirit. Every candidate promised to “secure the borders.” Former shamnesty crusader John McCain performed his “I learned my lesson” routine. Giuliani cross-dressed as a border enforcer.

For the most part, the Republican candidates played along and failed to reject the underlying identity politics premise that Hispanics are a monolithic voting bloc (as if anti-Castro Republicans in Florida share anything in common with reconquista punks in southern California). Duncan Hunter notably challenged the Hispanics-love-open borders premise:

MODERATOR: The vast majority of Hispanics, four out of five, are either legal residents or American citizens. Many of them feel affected by the negative tone of the immigration debate. How would you — what would you do to curb this anti-Hispanic sentiment?

MODERATOR: First of all, Congressman Hunter…

HUNTER: You know, I represent a district in San Diego, California and Imperial County, California, and that county for many, many years is a majority Hispanic and two-to-one Democrat. And I’m known as the guy who built the double-border fence that lowered the crime rate so dramatically, that stopped all the drug trucks from
coming through, that stopped the smuggling of people and narcotics by more than 90 percent.

You know what you do? You look people in the eye and you talk to them frankly.

I would say this: I got more votes from the Hispanic community — known as the guy who built the border fence — from the Hispanic community, than anybody running for office, whether it was President Clinton on a presidential year, or one of the local or the state assemblyman or U.S. Senators.

That means that the Hispanic community in the United States does not agree with the idea of having open borders. They do agree with the idea of having order on the border and having a regulated system where this lady of freedom standing behind me, the Statue of Liberty, says: Come in, but follow the rules.

You can trust Duncan Hunter on immigration and border security. But what about the other Johnny-come-latelys? Here’s Rudy “I supported sanctuary before I was against it, but my sanctuary policy wasn’t really sanctuary” Giuliani:

GIULIANI: Well, I think the entire group of questions and answers indicates the fact that this is a situation in which none of us have been perfect, all of us have been struggling with this for quite some time. And the reason is we really haven’t followed the advice of a great man, Father Hesburgh, who said, “We must close the back door of illegal immigration in order to preserve the front door of legal immigration.”

And the question is not what mistakes were made in the past by any of us.

The real question is: Who can fix it?

Yeah. That is the question. Giuliani is not the answer. Neither is Mike Huckabee:

Governor Huckabee, how can we curb that anti-Hispanic sentiment?

HUCKABEE: Well, I was governor of the state that is the second fastest growing state for Hispanics in the country, and we faced that.

Quite frankly, when we fix the situation and make the border secure and people are here legally, a lot of the sentiment goes away.

HUCKABEE: And I think we forget sometimes that it’s not just that it’s the people feeling that the illegals are coming in such great numbers that we can’t deal with it. But it’s a terrible thing when a person who is here legally, but who may speak with an accent, is racially profiled by members of the public, and people assume that they may be illegal.

There are far worse things than someone being “racially profiled” as an illegal immigrant. Like catch-and-release policies that fail to detain criminal aliens who go on to commit more heinous crimes because politically correct politicians and police chiefs are more concerned with being accused of “racial profiling” than protecting the public. Huckabee released an expedient, tough-sounding immigration plan last week to deflect from his open-borders record. I’m not buying it.

In between panders and paeans to Hispanics, Ron Paul found an opportunity to insert a “Blame America” rant (video here):

MODERATOR: It’s the presidential forum, the Republican one. We’re going to talk about something else. Now we’re going to talk about Latin America. A week ago, exactly a week ago, Venezuela rejected changes to the constitution, but the president, Hugo Chavez…
(APPLAUSE)

President Hugo Chavez has insisted that he’s going to propose them again. Many consider him a threat to democracy in the region. If you were elected president, how would you deal with Chavez? Let’s start with Congressman John Paul — Ron Paul, sorry.

PAUL: Well, he’s not the easiest person to deal with, but we should deal with everybody around the world the same way: with friendship and opportunity to talk and try to trade with people.

(AUDIENCE BOOING)

PAUL: We talked to — we talked to Stalin, we talked to Khrushchev, we’ve talked to Mao, and we’ve talked to the world, and we get along with people.

PAUL: Actually, I believe we’re at a time where we even ought to talk to Cuba and trade and travel to Cuba.

(AUDIENCE BOOING)

(APPLAUSE)

But let me — let me tell you — let me tell you why — let me tell you why we have a problem in South America and Central America: because we’ve been involved in their internal affairs for so long. We have been meddling in their business.

(APPLAUSE)

We create the Chavezes of the world, we create the Castros of the world by interfering and creating chaos in their countries, and they respond by throwing out their leader.

(AUDIENCE BOOING)
(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: Thank you, Congressman.

And here are the closing statements:

MODERATOR: Thank you.

Well, we have the last question for all of you. Hispanics are the biggest minority in the United States, and by 2050, we’re going to be 25 percent of the population. Three months ago, I asked the same thing to the Democratic candidates.

What would you think would be the biggest contribution from Hispanics, but we want to ask you what is the role — what role do you think Hispanics will play in the development of our nation and our society?

We’re going to start with Governor Huckabee.

HUCKABEE: On our coins, it says, “E pluribus unum.” It means out of many, one.

Ronald Reagan said it best. He said that if we go to Germany, we’re not Germans, and if we go to Italy, we’re not Italians. But anyone who comes to America is an American.
HUCKABEE: One of the great aspects of this nation is that when people come here and unite with us, they share not just our borders and our boundaries. They share our hopes and our dreams and our aspirations.

And if there’s any one reason that this country is a magnet for people, and clearly a magnet for many Hispanics who have found hope and opportunity here, it’s because they see in this country what we ourselves who live here see. And that is that here, we can dream great dreams and actually can see them.

Our equality is not based on our ancestry, our last name, it’s not based on how much money we make. It’s based on the intrinsic worth and value that every one of us have. It’s why we share something else, and I think that this nation is basically pro-life because we recognize that intrinsic worth.

And I think what we offer is an opportunity to raise families and to live dreams and to be free.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)
Congressman Hunter, what would be — what role would Hispanics play in the future of our society?

HUNTER: Well, first, I want them to play a role as Republicans. And I want to invite, again, all the young people who are — registering to vote — tonight — to just remember a couple of things. One thing is that that lady in El Salvador who stood there in the line for the elections after a Republican president, Ronald Reagan, had protected El Salvador and provided for free elections, and she had a bullet hole in her arm and she was asked, do you want to go to the aid station, and she said, yes, but first, I vote.

So, remember, Republicans stand for freedom.

Secondly, I want you to remember the Republicans stand for life, that the man who founded our party, Abraham Lincoln, did so on the basis of the value of human beings.

And lastly, I’d like you to remember that, you know, Democrats think this is a great country because of what government does for people, while Republicans think this is a great country because of what free people do for themselves.

HUNTER: I think Hispanics have a great role with this great nation.

(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: Thank you.

Senator Thompson, you — how far can Hispanics get in this country?

THOMPSON: I think to help us be as strong as we can be and as good as we can be as Americans, I think the most important thing for Americans to be thinking about tonight is our national security, our future prosperity, for the children coming up behind us and our values.

The Hispanic community is traditionally strong in defending liberty and defending our nation’s honor. They have had to fight their way, in many cases, just to come here and become a part of our society.

The Hispanic community is well-known as having a work ethic that is second to none.

THOMPSON: They ask for very little and contribute very much.

The Hispanic community is known for their values. They know that marriage is between a man and a woman, for example. They know that the family…
(APPLAUSE)

They know that the family is at the center of societies, and strong families build better societies. Those are things that they share with all other citizens of the United States…
MODERATOR: Thank you, Senator.

THOMPSON: … and will make for a stronger country.
(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: Senator McCain, your vision of Hispanics in the future.

MCCAIN: My vision of America in the future when Hispanics are a very large percentage of our population is that we will be enriched. We will be enriched by their music, their culture, their food, their language, and most of all, their love of America.

Most of these people came from places where they were deprived of human rights, whether it be a terrible place like Cuba, or a country like Venezuela, where you have a two-bit dictator, depriving them of their opportunities to move forward.

MCCAIN: I know what it’s like to be deprived of one’s human rights, and I know that one of the things that Hispanics will do is love this country and defend it, and defend the great beauty and wonder of this nation, and keep it a shining city on a hill.

(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: The most important thing Hispanics can do is what all Americans do: Join us in our effort to restore our Constitution and our great country. We have lost our way. We have lost our way. We have deserted our traditions on our foreign policy, on our economic policy, our education policy, our monetary policy, and this country is
looking for help. And people are joining us now to restore this.

PAUL: And this is not a Hispanic issue, it’s an American issue. What we want is the rule of law so we all have opportunity once
again. But we have to not only restore the Constitution, we have to first read it and understand it and what it means to be free in this
country once again.

(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: Mayor Giuliani?

GIULIANI: Hispanic Americans have already reached great heights in America. They’ve contributed so much. I saw that in my city. They pushed us to be better. They have the basic values that make us better, values of family, values of hard work, getting a good job, education as the way to success.
Even when you asked that question, “What are Hispanics concerned about?,” they’re concerned about a good education for their child,
they’re concerned about having an opportunity to work.

These are basic American values. It’s what the Cuban-Americans have done, coming to this country. It was wonderful for us that we had Cuban-Americans come here, it made us better, it made us better Americans.

I see that with all the different Hispanic populations in New York that are very, very diverse.

This is one country, but it’s a country that’s informed by all these great traditions.

And when you say Hispanic, we also should recognize this is a diverse tradition. It’s from many different countries. They share
these common values, but they’re coming here to be Americans, and they’re making us better by being here in America.

GIULIANI: And I think — I think we do the right things; we have the right approach; we have the right leadership, the sky’s the limit for Hispanic Americans.

But, you know something, the sky’s the limit for all Americans if we have the right kind of leadership.
(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: Thank you.

Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: America needs all Americans. We’re in a time of real need. We’re the strongest nation on Earth; we’re the hope of the Earth. But we face some extraordinary challenges — global jihadists, violent jihadists, who want to bring down our nations and other nations.
We face, as well, tough new competition coming from places like China and India, unlike anything we’ve known before.

We spend way too much money in Washington, particularly on entitlements that are growing more and more weighty on us.

ROMNEY: We have extraordinary challenges culturally as people are deciding to have kids without being married. There are all sorts of challenges in our country. And right now, we need to do what Ronald Reagan did, which is call on America’s strength. As he faced the difficulties of the last century, he said, let’s
have a strong military and a strong economy that can outcompete the Russians. And let’s make sure we have strong values and confidence in
ourselves. The Hispanic community, like all other communities in this great nation, need to come together and strengthen America. Because this is
the land of the brave and the home of the free. And Hispanics are brave and they are free, as are all of the people of this great
nation.

Thank you.
(APPLAUSE)
MODERATOR: Thank you.

Thank you very much to all the candidates for being here with us tonight — and Univision. Thank you so much for coming. Thanks a lot.
END

Ok, when’s the Tagalog-language Filipino debate? Vietnamese-language debate? Hindi, anyone?

***

Big Lizards compares and contrasts MSM coverage of the debate.

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