Mitt Romney will air a second ad drawing distinctions with John McCain on immigration, campaign aides said last night. Here's an exclusive preview:
The ad dispenses with the friendly "both good men" sentence and gets right into the details. It's not a negative ad -- McCain's the one who dropped the "phony bomb"-- but some of the details are misleading.
McCain did not favor extending Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants -- only that, when a certain percentage of them were given legal status after paying a penalty, that they then become eligible. The vote in question would have permitted regularized immigrants to claim Social Security credit for some work they did while illegal -- not exactly the same thing as extending benefits to illegal immigrants. And before he ran for president, Romney was more congenial to the approach he now excoriates, and had nice things to say about McCain's comprehensive reform proposals.
Remember, these ads aren't designed to pull folks away from McCain -- they're designed to keep folks comfortable with Romney.
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "I'm Mitt Romney and I approved this message."
ANNOUNCER: "Mitt Romney and John McCain on immigration.
"McCain championed a bill to let every illegal immigrant stay in America permanently.
"He even voted to allow illegal immigrants to collect Social Security.
"Mitt Romney said 'no' to driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
"'No' to tuition breaks for illegal immigrants, and he authorized his State Police to enforce federal immigration law.
"On illegal immigration, there's a big difference."