Latino Politics

Perry views on illegal immigration increasingly taking a more “heartless” turn

Perry views on illegal immigration increasingly taking a more “heartless” turn

LatinaLista -- Try as he might, Texas Gov. Rick Perry just seems to continue being the butt of jokes of his own making.

The latest "oops moment" bound to be heard tonight on late-night monologues is Perry's mistake before a group of New Hampshire college students today.

[caption id="attachment_14025" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="(L-R) Sheriff Joe Arpaio officially endorses Gov. Rick Perry for the GOP nomination. (Photo by: Gage Skidmore / Todd Wiseman)"][/caption]

At a town hall meeting at the Institute of Politics at New Hampshire's Saint Anselm's College Tuesday, Rick Perry asked that all of the college students in the crowd who will be 21 by Nov. 12 support his bid for the presidency.

The voting age in the United States is, of course, 18. And the 2012 election will be held on Nov. 6, 2012. (The New Hampshire Republican primary, which brought Perry to the state, will take place on Jan. 10).

It's reported that his mistake triggered some giggling among the students but no one called him out on the mistake.

That's not the same story for his second "oops" which was priding himself on his endorsement from Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

With a little more than a month to go before the New Hampshire primary, the Texas governor is trying to shore up his credentials on immigration: On Tuesday he won an endorsement from one of the nation's most outspoken and controversial public officials on that issue: Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., who unabashedly calls himself the "toughest sheriff" in the country.

In trying to prove just how "tough" he would be on undocumented immigrants, Perry announced -- with Sheriff Joe looking approvingly on -- that he would back a federal policy "to detain and to deport every illegal alien that we apprehend."

His staff quickly made it known that he didn't mean rounding up ALL undocumented immigrants. He meant only those who were found to be undocumented after they were picked up by the police. These immigrants would be deported after an "expedited" hearing.

In Texas, "expedited" is code for nothing more than the gavel hitting the desk as the judge roars deport!

It's an odd statement from a governor of a state that may have the second highest number of undocumented immigrants within its borders in the nation. Yet, this is the game Perry wants to play to win the GOP nomination.

Whether it's acting arrogantly silly when asking for money from donors or forgetting his own platform postiion during a debate, or making threatening remarks against the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or thinking that the endorsement of a guy, who has been the subject of several lawsuits, is going to help him win, Perry is blazing a new political career for himself as the "gaffe candidate."

The newly released Gallup Positive Intensity Score rating bears this out.

In the beginning of the GOP race, when Perry was seen as the Golden Boy who could steal the nomination from Mitt Romney and even Herman Cain, the Positive Intensity Score shows Perry badly trailing the only other candidate who stood shoulder to shoulder with Perry on the debate stage in defending a more humane way to treat undocumented immigrants/students -- Newt Gingrich.

The former speaker's score ... has now reached 20 for two weeks in a row. This is Gingrich's highest score of the year, is currently higher than the score of any other candidate by an 11-point margin, and leaves Gingrich as the only candidate with a double-digit score.

Three Republican candidates -- Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain -- have led or been tied for the lead in the Positive Intensity Score rankings at times this year, with scores well into the 20-point range. All have now dropped back into the single digits.

It seems "heartless" candidates are a dime a dozen but the "humane" ones are those standing out from the pact.

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