Bush Officials: Amending the 14th Amendment Would Hurt the GOP
Republicans continue to pile on calls to hold hearings on 14th Amendment — Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle said yesterday she thinks Congress should act to end birthright citizenship — creating something of a message mess for the GOP. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has carefully tried to frame the issue in terms of “birth tourism,” a less contentious cousin of the supposed “anchor baby” or “drop and leave” problems of women coming the the U.S. to have babies. But other Republicans aren’t always on message, which some Republicans say is hurting the party’s reputation.
Two Bush administration officials have come out against any efforts to reconsider the 14th Amendment, Politico’s Scott Wong reported last night:
Cesar Conda, who served as domestic policy adviser to Cheney, has called such proposals “offensive.” Mark McKinnon, who served as media adviser in Bush’s two presidential campaigns, said Republicans risk losing their “rightful claim” to the 14th Amendment if they continue to “demagogue” the issue.
“The 14th Amendment is a great legacy of the Republican party. It is a shame and an embarrassment that the GOP now wants to amend it for starkly political reasons,” McKinnon told POLITICO. “Initially Republicans rallied around the amendment to welcome more citizens to this country. Now it is being used to drive people away.”
The phenomenon shows how much the party has changed since Bush was in office, according to Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen:
But the fact that these rifts are occurring at all serves as an interesting reminder — as disturbing as Republican politics was during the Bush era, it’s clear that the GOP’s excesses have gotten considerably worse since.