During the closing moments of his interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), CBS’s “Face the Nation” moderator Bob Schieffer referenced Eric Cantor’s defeat in Virginia on Tuesday as it pertained to the issue of immigration.
However, rather than stating how immigration reform was needed to create a path to citizenship for those here illegally, Schieffer instead said there was for a path to citizenship for “Hispanics.”
Transcript as follows:
SCHIEFFER: I can’t let you leave without asking you about Republican politics right now, while the big story was Eric Cantor, the majority leader in the House getting beat last week in a primary.
SCHIEFFER: You had stronger Tea Party force, you had an army, you had four or five of them running against you–
GRAHAM: Say exactly, but who’s counting, yeah.
SCHIEFFER: Six and– and you won.
SCHIEFFER: –and you won by stressing that the Republican Party has to have some kind of path to citizenship for Hispanics, which was one of the big issues in his race.
SCHIEFFER: What as a winner, what is your advice to your party this morning, Senator?
GRAHAM: Number one, I don’t think Eric got beat because of his stand on immigration. I think he got beat because of his lack of defining himself on immigration. I told the Republican Party at home that we’re doing well because the Democrats are doing poorly. This ultra-liberal agenda of President Obama has blown up in their face. We’re going to win in 2014. Conservative values will connect with Hispanics and African-Americans, but don’t be delusional about where we stand. If we become the party except deportation, if that again is our opposition in 2016, we’re going to drive a deeper wedge between us and Hispanics, have pathway to citizenship after you secure the border, control who gets the job, more legal immigration where they have to pass a criminal background check, learn the English language, wait ten years before you can apply for a green card, is sixty-five percent.
Republicans nationally will accept an earned pathway to citizenship if you secure the border for our party to let the thirty-five-percent tell us how to engage with immigration. We will lose a natural ally in the Hispanic community. Bush was at forty-four; we’re down to twenty-seven. You’ll never convince me it’s not because of the rhetoric around immigration. If you solve the immigration problem in a good American responsible way, our party is back in the game and we can dominate the twenty-first century. If we keep playing this game, that self-deportation is the only answer for the Republican Party, we will have destroyed our chances in 2016 and dealt a death blow to our party, because by 2015 majority of this country is going to be African-American, Hispanic, and Asian.
Conservatism is the best hope for African-American children in failing school. Conservatism alliance with Hispanics, they’re hard working, they’re entrepreneurial, they’re prolife, they’re pro military. It will break my heart for my party to go down a road that we did not go. Embrace rational, comprehensive immigration reform that prevents a third wave of illegal immigration and we’re back in the ballgame. If we don’t adjust on this issue, our chances for survival as a party are very bleak and the country needs a vibrant Republican Party and our Democratic friends have put us back in the game. Let’s take advantage of it.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor