Thursday, June 08, 2006

The lesson of CA-50

Here's some great reporting from Joe Curl of (ahem) The Washington Times:
California Republican Brian Bilbray ... credited his comeback to his tough stance on immigration, which mirrors the stern House bill that would reject any sort of amnesty for illegal aliens. ...
"To the Bush administration, to the Senate, flat out: My opponent ran on your ticket on amnesty; I ran against it, on no amnesty," Mr. Bilbray said on San Diego's KOGO radio Tuesday night. "The message ought to be that now, and here, is the time to take care of this problem. ... What don't you get about the word 'illegal?'"
Mr. Bilbray strayed so far from the Republicans' Washington leadership that Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is one of the main authors of the Senate immigration bill, canceled a fundraiser last week for him after the candidate publicly attacked Mr. McCain's plan to grant what some see as amnesty to illegals. ...

"Look, you've had one election since the Senate bill passed," [Newt] Gingrich told The Washington Times yesterday. "You had a person who was pro-illegal immigrant and pro-amnesty; she lost. You had a person who was for controlling the border and against amnesty; he won. In any city in the world except Washington, that would be a hint."
"What the Bilbray campaign proved was, this stuff's real."
And, at Politics in Focus, Tom LeMasters sez:
"Busby was barely able to improve on the 44% showing she had in the primary, pulling in a 45.46% share of the vote in this campaign. ... What did it for Republicans? $5 million certainly didn't hurt. ... However, what saved the GOP was their base. ... The lesson is that .... if Republicans in targeted districts run to the right this fall, at least some of them are likely to survive. Probably enough to foil the Democrats' hopes of retaking Congress."
-- McCAIN

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