Presumed Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that any immigration overhaul must include a path to “full and equal citizenship.” It was one of her many flip-flops in recent years.
“This is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistake, today not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one,” Clinton said, adding, “When they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status.”
Clinton’s stance may or may not differ with her potential 2016 opponents, but it definitely differs from what she said to radio commentator John Gambling in 2003. The passage below is from an article published by Newsmax in November 2004 called, “Hillary Eyeing Immigration as Top 2008 Issue.” It shows Ms. Clinton as anti-illegal immigrant.
Unnoticed by the big media, Sen. Clinton has been cultivating the immigration issue since last year.
In a February 2003 interview that went unreported except by NewsMax, Clinton told WABC Radio’s John Gambling, “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.”
“Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country,” the top Democrat warned. “And one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry and exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them.”
Taking a position far to the right of the Bush administration, Sen. Clinton said she would support “at least a visa ID, some kind of an entry and exit ID. And, you know, perhaps, although I’m not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens.”
The former first lady also railed against business owners who employ undocumented workers:
“People have to stop employing illegal immigrants,” she told WABC. “I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx [and] you’re going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work.”
The Hillary Clinton who ran for reelection to the Senate in 2005 had many different positions from her stances today. As the New York Times reported in July of that year:
In the last few months, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly confounded the expectations of people who judged her from her White House years. She has appeared publicly with Newt Gingrich, her onetime political foe. She has called abortion a “sad, even tragic choice.” [But she remains pro-abortion.] She has stood fast in defense of her vote authorizing President Bush to go to war in Iraq.
This is what the Times reported Clinton saying in January 2005 about abortion:
Then came her speech on abortion this January, at a time when some Democrats felt they lost the 2004 presidential race because the party was seen as too liberal on social issues. In a speech to New York family-planning advocates in Albany, she used nuanced language about abortion to try to convey that she was no champion of the procedure itself.
She called abortion a “sad, even tragic choice” and reached out to opponents perhaps more unequivocally than ever before, judging from a review of several of her speeches and remarks on abortion over time.
“I, for one, respect those who believe with all their hearts and conscience that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available,” she said in January.
Toward the end of the same speech, she even described a possible future where “the choice guaranteed under our Constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances.”
So which Hillary is the real one, the Hillary who was positioning herself to run against a Republican in 2008, or the one who is trying to fend off challenges from the left in 2016? We can’t tell for sure. All I can say is I wouldn’t take a check from (or trust) either Hillary.
Cross-posted at The Lid