Rep.Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) called out the Republican Party on Wednesday for falling prey to the Democrats’ tactics, which, he said, are not going to win any votes.
“In fact, the biggest mistake we can make as conservatives is to pander to the Hispanic community and to think that the only way we’re going to get votes is to vote a certain way on immigration,” Labrador said at the monthly ‘Conversations with Conservatives’ event. “Because what we start doing is, we start pandering and we start giving goodies out to people, then we’re going to get into a bidding war with the Democratic Party.”
Labrador said that inciting a bidding war with Democrats over issues such as immigration would only result in Republicans losing because “Democrats are always more willing to give goodies to a certain group than we are.”.
The congressman went on to say he wishes that Republicans would stop basing legislation and policies off of politics because the American people want immigration legislation based on the principle of a secure border.
“I just wish Republicans would stop talking about this on political terms because I think they’re going to lose,” Labrador said. “If they are just pandering to a minority group, what they’re going to end up doing is making themselves look bad and they’re not going to get the votes they need anyways, but the votes will come if they do the right thing.”
Labrador refused to call out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, which he co-sponsored, conceding that the dynamic in the Senate is different than that in the House.
But Labrador did say that the Senate’s legislation doesn’t do enough to cut down on illegal immigration. The first priority, according to the Idaho congressman, should be to protect the country’s borders and interior — a sentiment which his Republican colleagues in the Senate have advocated for.
“It’s about time that Republicans became statesmen on this issue and we actually stop pandering to groups, that’s what differentiates Republicans from Democrats,” Labrador said. “Democrats pander, the Republicans should never pander. We should do things because it’s the right policy.”