In his first extended exposure to the give-and-take style of New Hampshire primary politics, Rick Perry discovered that immigration is going to be a serious problem here.
Perry faced sharp questions this weekend about the Texas law he signed to give the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates. And over two days of events, those Granite State Republicans who didn’t get to address the issue with Perry brought it up to him afterword or, without prompting, raised it in interviews after he was gone.
“It’s what all my friends keep talking about,” said Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien, a Derry Republican activist, of the tuition rates. “It’s the thing they say they’re not voting on him on.”
Prudhomme-O’Brien, speaking after Perry’s first New Hampshire town hall here Friday, complained that she didn’t get a chance to ask the governor a question about what she thinks is a matter of fairness.
“I can’t go to Switzerland and say I should get a deal here for my daughter,” said the mother of a high school senior. “And I wouldn’t because it’s not playing by the rules. Those of us who do feel like we’re getting played for schmucks. How about not being heartless to people who play by the rules?”
Other New Hampshire Republicans also brought up Perry’s comment in the last debate that those who don’t believe children of illegals should not receive an education don’t “have a heart.”
Prefacing his question about the tuition law in the typically direct New Hampshire way at Saturday morning forum in Hampton, a Republican named Dave Connors said: “I’m gonna kick you in the heart and you know where I’m going.”
Later in the day, at a Manchester house party hosted by conservative leader Ovide LaMontagne, Perry again was confronted with the topic in a fashion that was more demand than question.
Source: Politico.com | JONATHAN MARTIN