Former Republican National Committee Chair Removes Immigration Reform Support From Website

Ed Gillespie with President George W. Bush CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RON EDMONDS
Ed Gillespie with President George W. Bush CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RON EDMONDS

One day before the Senate passed a sweeping comprehensive immigration reform bill in June 2013, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie expressed support for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But as Politico reported on Tuesday, that video clip was noticeably scrubbed from Gillespie’s website, as rumors swirl that he may make a Senate run in Virginia.

The missing video clip showed Gillespie touting the Senate immigration’s bill’s benefit to the economy, and calling the border security amendment “very strong.” Notably, he supported the “five specific proposals” included in the bill, which would ensure border security. He also noted that “conservative economists” praised the immigration bill because it would “foster economic growth, would result in job creation, and bring down the deficit. And those low-end employees do … migrate upward in the economy.”

It shouldn’t be terribly surprising that Gillespie changed his position with the political winds. In urging the Republican party to support reform after low 2012 Latino support, Gillespie said reform was “an opportunity that should be taken” out of a “survival instinct.”

Gillespie is not the first politician to soften his image on immigration reform, nor is he the first to entirely scrub his website of his viewpoint. For a brief period in 2014, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) “Immigration Reform” webpage dropped any mention of “amnesty,” even though between 2012 to 2013, Goodlatte was blatantly against granting “amnesty to those who have broken our laws and entered the country illegally.” And in 2012, at least three Republicans had milder immigration stances on their Spanish-language webpages on immigration reform than on its English-language counterpart.