GOP unity against in-state tuition deserved more emphasis in debate coverage

The Durango Herald got it right Thursday by leading its report on 9News’ gubernatorial debate with the news that “three Republican candidates for governor said they would probably repeal a law passed last year granting in-state tuition to students who immigrated illegally.”

News coverage of the debate among Republican gubernatorial candidates, minus no-show Tom Tancredo, should have put more emphasis on the in-state tuition issue, because all the GOP candidates came out against in-state tuition.

No one wavered much, and no one thinks Tancredo will do so, meaning the GOP gubernatorial field is unified on an issue on which Republicans must “improve” or “die,” according to GOP guru-pundits Josh Penry and Rob Witwer, writing in The Denver Post just after the last GOP bloodbath:

Penry and Witwer: We’ve forgotten that politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. And here’s some more math: 50,000 Latino kids turn 18 every month in this country. These kids grow up in households where parents work hard and attend church on Sunday. These are American values. But yes, some of these kids — through no fault of their own — were not born American citizens.

We’ve seen the arc of the immigration debate, and through our own personal experiences, we’ve also seen that it must now be resolved at all costs. This is a human issue, with moral (and biblical) implications. It’s time to bury the hatchet and forge bipartisan agreement on immigration reform.

Here’s the 9News’ exchange in the “lightening round” clip:

9News Political reporter Brandon Rittiman: Would you sign a bill repealing in-state tuition for college students in the country illegally?

Bob Beauprez: Yes.

Rittiman: That was a yes.

Mike Kopp: I would. I’ve, In fact, led the Senate effort against that the first time it went through.

Scott Gessler: Probably yes. Of course, you want to look at them. But probably yes.


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