Immigration: Richardson Sees McCain Going Squishy If Re-Elected

July 7th, 2010 8:13 PM

Seriously: is Bill Richardson trying to wreck John McCain?  

Ask yourself: what would be the one thing most likely to undermine McCain with Arizona Republican Senate primary voters? Surely it would be the possibility that if re-elected, born-again immigration hawk McCain would revert to the squishiness that led him to partner with Ted Kennedy on a "path to citizenship" for illegals. Yet on this evening's Ed Show, that's exactly what the New Mexico governor—twice—imagined McCain might do.  

Schultz set the stage, describing McCain's recent adoption of a hard line on immigration as "the biggest flip-flop of the year."

Then came Richardson, imagining a McCain re-reversal . . .

BILL RICHARDSON: My view is that he is in a tough re-election, in a primary against J.D. Hayworth, and this is such a hot issue in Arizona. My hope Ed is after he gets re-elected that he will come back to his old position, which was as you said the Kennedy-McCain bill which has increased border enforcement but also has a path to legalization, a guest-worker program, cracking down on illegal hires, but most importantly a path to legalization.

And later . . .

RICHARDSON: If you're going to get into immigration reform, you got to have some Republicans, and right now it doesn't seem we have any.  Maybe Lindsey Graham. Maybe John McCain after he gets re-elected.

So what was Richardson up to? Offering honest analysis, or slipping the shiv into McCain by suggesting his new-found harder line on immigration is a farce?