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  • 14

    Martinez chides GOP candidates
    General; Posted on: 2007-08-16 10:44:45 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    He wants voters to demand concrete ideas on immigration.

    By ADAM C. SMITH, Times Political Editor

    ST. PETERSBURG - Sen. Mel Martinez, the head of the Republican National Committee, took a swipe Tuesday at the leading Republican presidential candidates for not offering solid solutions to America's immigration crisis.

    The first-term Republican from Orlando, who absorbed enormous criticism mainly from within the GOP for pushing an immigration overhaul that included letting illegal immigrants become citizens, turned the tables on some who had been most critical.

    "Presidential contests are about leadership. ... It's about leading on the tough issues," Martinez told the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. "It was easy to say, 'This wasn't good enough, this isn't right, I don't agree with Martinez.' ... But at the end of the day what is your answer? How would you solve this?"

    In his remarks, Martinez did not directly refer to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, but he later suggested both candidates, who were critics of the controversial Senate immigration proposal, had mischaracterized the plan.

    He also urged audience members to pin down the Republican candidates on immigration when they come to St. Petersburg for the YouTube/CNN Republican presidential debate Nov. 28.

    "What Mayor Giuliani is offering is an exactly concrete proposal to solve this immigration crisis, and it begins with securing the borders," said Elliot Bundy, a spokesman for Giuliani who in South Carolina on Tuesday fleshed out his immigration proposal.

    News Source: sptimes.com


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