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Casey’s misleading ad about Santorum’s Spanish language website June 25, 2006

Posted by papundit in Uncategorized.

Casey is pro-amnesty for illegal immigrants, and Santorum is against amnesty for illegal immigrants. The Santorum campaign has been running radio ads exposing Casey's pro-amnesty position. As the popular support for Geno's Cheesesteaks demonstrates, a pro-amnesty position is not popular even in a Democratic stronghold like Philadelphia. Perhaps this is why the Casey campaign has decided to strike back against Santorum by running the following ad:


“On his English language website, Santorum talks tough. But on his Spanish language website, Rick Santorum is soft. Rick Santorum is not only talking out of both sides of his mouth. He's doing it in two different languages. That shouldn't be a surprise from a guy who tried to fool us about where he lives.”

Let's evaluate this ad on two key points: truth and relevance.

Truth: Casey's claim isn't true, but it would be impossible for anyone who does not know Spanish to compare the websites and disprove Casey's claim. I know both languages and have confirmed that Santorum's English language website matches the Spanish language website. A recent article by the Philadelphia Inquirer also confirmed that the Spanish language website matched the English language website. (See my posts on this subject- here.) Also, Casey is repeating a disproven lie about Santorum's PA residency. (See my posts on this subject- here.) It is also suspicious that Casey would repeat the residency lie since he strongly denied any connection with the two Democratic activists who trespassed on Santorum's property in order to peek into the windows and report to the Post-Gazette that they didn't think Santorum lived there.

Relevance: Do voters really care about how quickly the Santorum campaign can translate the English website content into Spanish? Judging by the number of articles about Santorum's Spanish website, the media thinks so. Yet the same reporters who insist that Santorum's Spanish website is a big deal tell us that immigration is not a "big issue" in PA.

Here's a typical example of that kind of reporting (my bolds and comments inline):


(KDKA) PITTSBURGH Both Republican Rick Santorum and Democrat Bob Casey were in Pittsburgh today and there's one issue that's getting most of the attention and it may surprise you.

KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano reports illegal immigration is not exactly a red-hot issue in this part of the country, or even in this part of Pennsylvania, but Senator Rick Santorum thinks it may help him win reelection. (papundit: If Jon Delano thinks immigration is not a red-hot issue, where's his proof? Let's see the poll numbers. How many American citizens support amnesty for illegal immigrants? How many American citizens think our porous borders could enable terrorists to enter the country? Or am I just supposed to take Jon Delano's word for it? After all, he's supposed to be an impartial journalist. Most readers wouldn't take the time to do a thorough Google search in order to discover that Jon Delano was the Chief of Staff for Rep. Doug Walgreen, the incumbent Rick Santorum defeated in his first run for Congress.)

That's because he's taken a tough stand against any bill that would offer citizenship to any of the estimated 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. And, he says, that's what Pennsylvanians want. (papundit: Why should 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants be rewarded for breaking the law? Why should they get to cut in line ahead of the people who wait to enter the country legally? Does Jon Delano really believe most Pennsylvanians would support amnesty? See my other posts on immigration- here.)

“I've heard more about this issue than any other issue we've dealt with in years,” said Santorum.

Here in Western Pennsylvania, the issue of illegal immigration may not seem to be particularly high on the radar screen but Santorum is making it a center-piece in his campaign for reelection. (papundit: Delano insinuates that Santorum is out of touch by making an issue nobody cares about a center-piece in his reelection campaign.)

In a new Santorum campaign ad, Santorum states: “Some today enter this country with more sinister intentions. That's why I fought so hard to add thousands of guards to beef up our borders and add high-tech surveillance. To do anything less is dangerous and an insult to those who came to America following the rules.”

But Santorum's opponent, Democrat Bob Casey, has fired back with his own radio commercial, accusing Santorum of, well, hypocrisy.

In the ad, Casey states: “On his English language website, Santorum talks tough. But on his Spanish language website, Rick Santorum is soft. Rick Santorum is not only talking out of both sides of his mouth. He's doing it in two different languages. That shouldn't be a surprise from a guy who tried to fool us about where he lives.” (papundit: Two lies in one ad. Yet Delano does not challenge Casey's assertion. He does not note anywhere in the article that the English and Spanish websites have the same message on amnesty. Nor does he note that Santorum is a legal resident of PA and that the Post-Gazette's accusation Santorum didn't live in PA was disproved when a prank postcard was delivered to Santorum and reported about in the Philadelphia Inquirer.)

Casey says Santorum's campaign ads are a cover-up for his votes against those who hire illegals and strengthening the borders.

“Unfortunately, with him, he's voted seven times against it,” said Casey.

But Santorum says Casey favors amnesty, and adds, “I think that's why you see my opponent fire back and use extraneous votes that have no real consequences to try and muddy the water.”

Casey responds. “Senator Santorum is continually trying to distract attention away from his 98 percent voting record with the president, to anything but his voting record.” (papundit: Note how Delano gives more space to Casey's accusations than to Santorum's comments. Delano prints Casey's charge that Santorum's ads are a cover-up, but he introduces Santorum's comment on amnesty as if it were unrelated. Delano never questions whether Casey's ad is an attempt to distract voters from his support of amnesty by raising two irrelevant and unproven accusations.)

Casey says that issues like health care and families are really more important than illegal immigration but Santorum says the immigration issue is one of playing by the rules. (papundit: Delano makes the paraphrased remarks appear parallel– as if Casey and Santorum were both answering the same question. According to this logic, Casey cares about "families," but Santorum is concerned about "playing by the rules." Unless you truly believe that- if asked- Rick Santorum would say that he cares more about illegal immigration than "families," this type of sentence structure is dishonest and demonstrates either bias or sloppy reporting.)

With the media campaign getting into gear, you can expect a lot more back and forth in the 20 weeks left in this campaign.




1. papundit - June 26, 2006

Santorum’s Spanish and English language immigration webpages are identical. You can check them out yourself here:

English: http://www.ricksantorum.com//Issues/Read.aspx?ID=6
Spanish: http://www.ricksantorum.com//Espanol/Read.aspx?ID=6

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