It was a strange debate last night, even by the standards of this year’s crop of Republican primary candidates. Michele Bachmann (who looked disarmingly like a post- Jedi Princess Leia) promised to build a “double fence” along the length of the United States/Mexico border; Herman Cain slipped into honesty by talking about the “hostages in Guantanamo Bay”; Rick Perry bizarrely said that if you want to know how people will act in the future, you should look at their past; Rick Santorum bragged about being the only person to win a swing state (neglecting to mention he lost Pennsylvania by 18 points in 2006); Newt Gingrich hectored others about following a moral compass; and Ron Paul came off as the sanest person on the stage.
But the real gem of the evening was how Mitt Romney answered a question about his history of hiring undocumented immigrants.
The magic comes at the 50 second mark in the above video, when Romney admits quite freely what he did when he says he learned his gardening contractor was employing undocumented workers:
“So we went to the company, and we said, ‘Look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake! I can’t have illegals!’ “
If a political gaffe is when your most honest, innermost thoughts slip out inadvertently, this is going to be a tough one for Mitt to shake.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 18, 2011