State Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley on Thursday accused Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of changing her position on immigration now that she is in a tight reelection battle.
Bradley, a former U.S. House member and current supporter of fellow Republican Scott Brown’s Senate bid, said Shaheen had been a supporter of President Barack Obama’s “pro-amnesty” policies, but is now opposing a “piecemeal” approach to the addressing the crisis.
Shaheen and her supporters say that she has been a consistent supporter of comprehensive immigration reform.
Bradley said that immigration “has been a top-tier issue in New Hampshire for years” and is among the areas in which is vulnerable, along with her support for the Affordable Care Act, what he views as Obama’s ineffective foreign policy, the “sluggish economy” and her letter, along with six other senators, to the IRS asking that certain groups be scrutinized.
The Brown camp has been hitting Shaheen on immigration for weeks, beginning with a television ad in late July.
Bradley said Shaheen voted twice against a border fence legislation, opposed sending National Guard troops to the border and voted for the 2010 “DREAM” Act, which would have provided conditional residency to children of illegal immigrants.
Bradley noted that Shaheen called Obama’s 2012 implementation of DREAM Act provisions by executive order “the right thing to do.”
But this week, locked in a tight race with Brown – should he win his GOP primary against Bob Smith and Jim Rubens – her spokesman told the Washington Post she “believes Congress must address our broken immigration system with a comprehensive fix, and would not support a piecemeal approach issued by executive order.”
“This is election rhetoric designed to win an election but not something that will address our immigration problem,” said Bradley.
Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard said that as a law enforcement official, be believes, “We have a President and a senator who do not want to support the law.”
He said Brown “does not favor a piecemeal approach and believes Congress should act.”
Bradley said the change by Shaheen can be attributed to the fact that Obama’s unfavorable rating is high in the state while his favorable rating is at an all-time law, and Shaheen is trying to distance herself from the President.