Rep. Walt Minnick (D-ID), a conservative Democrat who was elected in a deep-red district in 2008, has employed a new maneuver we don’t normally see: A Democrat coming out with an ad attacking his Republican opponent, who is Latino, for working as an immigration lawyer.
“Illegal immigration’s good business for Raul Labrador,” the announcer says. “Over half of his work is helping illegal immigrants stay in the United States. He even ran RapidImmigration.com, with ‘easy to understand’ advice for illegal immigrants seeking amnesty.
“What does Raul think of our broken immigration system?” the announcer asks, followed by a quick sound-byte of Labrador speaking: “Now I like it because I make a good living because of it.”
As the Idaho Statesman reports, the full context of Labrador’s comment shows some clear sarcasm: “Our system is broken and this is where I work with the system all the time. I’m trying to get people to go through the legal immigration system. They have to pay me thousands of dollars just to bring somebody to the United States. That’s ridiculous. Now I like it because I make a good living because of it.”
Also, as the Statesman reports, Labrador fired back hard in a new statement:
“Before today I have been telling the people of Idaho that Walt Minnick was an honorable man who was simply wrong on the issues. I can see now that I was 100 percent wrong to think Walt Minnick had any honor at all.
“The level of hypocrisy he has stooped to is callous in the extreme, but a man who can lie about serving in Vietnam can lie about anything. This is a disgusting, disgraceful, shameful ad that bald-faced lies and succeeds in only twisting and editing my words into quotes that are blatantly untrue and will be obvious to those who originally wrote them and to those that were there to hear them, including the writers and editorial board of the Idaho Statesman. That newspaper should join me in demanding the removal of this sleazy, degrading ad immediately.
“Finally, I would like to take this moment to ask if Walt Minnick remembers the young adoption and immigration attorney in the mid-1990s that worked at the same law firm that helped finalize the international adoption of his foreign-born child. That would be me. Walt Minnick should be ashamed of himself.”
The Statesman dutifully fact-checked not only Minnick’s ad, but also Labrador’s allegation about Minnick and Vietnam:
The Vietnam statement refers to a biography of Minnick posted last spring by two Idaho Democrats who challenged Minnick’s account of his Vietnam-era Army service. Minnick says he was a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the war, though his campaign literature and website do not say that he fought in Vietnam itself.
“Walt has never lied about his military service,” spokesman John Foster said.
(Via Greg Sargent)