Mitt Romney: "I'm Running for Office, for Pete's Sake! I Can't Have Illegals!"

It was a strange debate last night, even by the standards of this year's crop of Republican primary candidates. Michele Bachmann (who looked disarmingly like a post- Jedi Princess Leia) promised to build a "double fence" along the length of the United States/Mexico border; Herman Cain slipped into honesty by talking about the "hostages in Guantanamo Bay"; Rick Perry bizarrely said that if you want to know how people will act in the future, you should look at their past; Rick Santorum bragged about being the only person to win a swing state (neglecting to mention he lost Pennsylvania by 18 points in 2006); Newt Gingrich hectored others about following a moral compass; and Ron Paul came off as the sanest person on the stage.

But the real gem of the evening was how Mitt Romney answered a question about his history of hiring undocumented immigrants.

The magic comes at the 50 second mark in the above video, when Romney admits quite freely what he did when he says he learned his gardening contractor was employing undocumented workers:

"So we went to the company, and we said, 'Look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake! I can't have illegals!' "

If a political gaffe is when your most honest, innermost thoughts slip out inadvertently, this is going to be a tough one for Mitt to shake.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher

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3 comments
Phjegood
Phjegood

A very "telling" remark!  On the scale of moral development acting morally because you might "get caught" if you don't, ranks very low. 

Benjamin Watson
Benjamin Watson

Romney's answer was perfect, he hired a well known landscaping company to mow his lawns, the company had illegals as immigrants, Romney explained that's why we need E-Verify so illegals can't receive these jobs. Well, I'm sure Perry's eaten at a few fast food restaurants where in the back an illegal or too made his burger, under Perry's own logic he is guilty for "hiring" illegals too. Come on people! get real! seriously! Romney seemed aggressive tonight. But he was attacked almost relentlessly and he held up with amazing stature! Obama just today told a group that republicans want our kids to drink dirty water and they want bridge's to collapse, 50% of Americans still believe Obama people!, Romney has shown that he can defend attacks! I want Romney on that debate stage with Obama! we will win! GO ROMNEY FOR 2012!!!!

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

Yep, all us normal folks can relate to a guy who has trouble when hiring landscaping companies to mow his mansion's lawns.  Poor, poor plutocrat.

The "illegals" crap?  As usual, it's the most important thing in the world to Republicans to properly hate illegals.  Sane people?  Not so much.  And the ham-handed way the GOP deals with it makes sure that no self-respecting Hispanic would dream of voting for this pack of demi-bigots.

In debates, Obama will have no trouble focusing like a laser on why "Obamacare" was good enough for MA when Romney was Gov, but now not for the rest of the country.

Oh yeah, "Obama just today told a group that republicans want our kids to drink dirty water and they want bridge's to collapse".  When most of the GOP field wants to abolish the EPA and "infrastructure" is a word that has never passed their lips, he's absolutely right.

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