Romney Taking Immigration Pointers from Pat Buchanan

Immigration reform is sharply dividing the Republican electorate, as right-wing activists and commentators take increasingly harsh pot-shots at President Bush and other Republican supporters of a comprehensive reform bill being considered in the Senate. Dissent in the ranks over the issue was blamed when the Republican National Committee laid off its entire telemarketing staff last week. And pressure is high among presidential candidates who otherwise agree on most issues: In particular, John McCain, a sponsor of the Senate bill, has been duking it out with Mitt Romney, whom McCain accuses of being newly hardline in his stance on immigration.

According to the American Spectator, Romney has been taking tips from staunchly anti-immigration commentator Pat Buchanan:

If former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney suddenly sounds tougher and pithier on immigration issues, thank pundit and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan for it. According to Romney insiders, the man who has flip-flopped on immigration sat down privately with Buchanan late last week to discuss the issue.

Buchanan, of course, is a long-time proponent of the view that Mexican immigrants are causing the “death of the West.” What kind of political advice is Romney taking from Buchanan? The former insurgent presidential candidate has recently warned Republicans that “pandering” to Hispanics has cost them white votes, and just two weeks ago he wrote of the current immigration bill,

What is happening to us? An immigrant invasion of the United States from the Third World, as America’s white majority is no longer even reproducing itself. Since Roe v. Wade, America has aborted 45 million of her children. And Asia, Africa and Latin America have sent 45 million of their children to inherit the estate the aborted American children never saw. God is not mocked.

And white America is in flight.

Perhaps Romney feels that by embracing Pat Buchanan-style nativist sentiment, he can occupy the narrow political space currently owned by Rep. Tom Tancredo – the GOP’s one-issue anti-immigrant candidate whose campaign is run by Buchanan’s sister Bay. While Tancredo is picking up a small number of fervent supporters, polls show him mired at one percent.