I'm hard-pressed to understand why a producer for the Laura Ingraham Show would misleadingly push an audio clip of Ann Wagner on her show today
discussing illegal immigration as seemingly damaging.
In the first place, Ingraham is certainly savvy enough to know an RNC Chair has nothing to do with policy formulation. She's had Chairman Steele on often enough to know that. Nevertheless, she apparently felt compelled to go into the details on policy with Wagner. Okay, fine. But under the circumstances, it strikes me as calcualted more to inflame, than inform.
Formulating policy, immigration or otherwise, simply isn't in any Chairman's job description. They are there to support the party's platform and the positions of GOP candidates running against Democrats, for the most part. It's an administrative arm of the GOP in that sense.
Asked for a statement in response to the non-flap, Wagner offered, "My record of opposition to illegal immigration is unquestioned. Anyone who listens to the interview will recognize this is false advertising. The Congress should debate these issues, but we can't do anything until we first secure the border."
As far as I can tell from what's provided, Wagner is totally in line with the basic conservative Republican position. She calls for border security first, opposes the DREAM Act and amnesty. She's also in favor of debate around the 14th Amendment and if circumstances today serve the Founder's intentions. That's pretty much as far as I would want to see any RNC Chair go, lest they come under fire from the Hill for formulating policy.
Chairman Steele even made that point in yesterday's debate
. He was criticized for it early on. To her credit, the advice appears to have not been lost on Wagner. I believe she mentions it, saying she supports Congressional debate.
When it comes to citizenship, she says, you go to the back of the line
. How that suddenly becomes "Wagner supports path to citizenship" isn't very clear. Why this might be an issue for Wagner is beyond me. But Ingraham's producer evidently felt it was. In fact, I'd wager if Wagner faced off against all the other challengers in the race for the Chair, the subject would either be a wash, or she'd come out on top with the base.
It's important for all the Right's radio hosts to remain independent. And when Republicans get it wrong, they deserve to be called out for it. But if they're going to be cheap-shotted by overzealous producers in search of ratings and dramatic straw man-questioning from the host, some of their microphones may eventually become not worth the time.