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John Edwards Questions Hillary's Doublespeak

Posted on 1/3/2008 1:43:00 PM

Democrat Hillary Clinton was criticized by rival John Edwards for flip flopping on her stand regarding driver licenses for illegal immigrants in New York. Following a wave of criticism, Clinton retracted her statement, but not before a hopeless display of hesitancy and indecisiveness.

When New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer proposed giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Clinton went on record to say that the plan made a lot of sense. However, when asked about by NBC moderator Tim Russet during a Democrat debate in Philadelphia, Clinton floundered. She argued that Gov. Spitzer was trying to fill the vacuum left by the failure of the administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. There were several million such undocumented workers in New York illegally, she said.

“They are driving on our roads,'' Clinton said. '' The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It's probability." Since no state however well intentioned could fill this gap, she reasoned, there was a need to have federal action on immigration reform.

However, her views did not find many takers amongst the other six Democrats in the debate. Senator Chris Dodd said, "...we're dealing with a serious problem here. We need to have people come forward. The idea that we're going to extend this privilege here of a driver's license, I think, is troublesome."

Clinton retorted, “I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Gov. Spitzer is trying to do it.", but Dodd interrupted her, saying," You said yes, you thought it made sense to do it."

However, when Russet asked Clinton whether she supported the plan, Clinton softened her stance. "Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York we want to know who's in New York. We want people to come out of the shadows. He's making an honest effort to do it. We should have passed immigration reform.''

At this point, Sen. John Edwards said, "Unless I missed something, Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago, and I think this is a real issue for the country".

"I mean, America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them,'' Edwards said, adding "Because what we've had for seven years is double-talk from Bush and from Cheney, and I think America deserves us to be straight.''

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