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VP Beat: Contenders on Arizona Immigration Ruling

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- PORTMAN WEIGHS IN ON IMMIGRATION: ABC News’ Gregory Simmons reported on Sen. Rob Portman’s take Monday night on the Supreme Court’s immigration decision, saying he believed “the federal government has let us down.” 

“They still haven’t done it, and so the answer is to have a sensible immigration plan at the national level to help move the country forward,” Portman told ABC News. “That’s something that we need, a new leader.”  Asked if he’s being vetted for the vice presidential spot, Portman did not deny it, saying,  “I’m happy where I am. I really am. … I’m fortunate to represent our state in the Senate, and that’s where I intend to stay.”  Portman was attending a fundraiser on Romney’s behalf with Rep. Paul Ryan.

RUBIO ON IMMIGRATION: Sen. Marco Rubio released a statement Monday on the Supreme Court’s Arizona immigration law ruling. “Today’s decision on Arizona’s immigration law is a reminder of Washington’s failure to fix our broken immigration system.  If the federal government would do its job and address this issue, states like Arizona would not be compelled to address the violence and lawlessness stemming from the federal government’s dereliction of duty with respect to maintaining the sovereignty of our borders,” Rubio said. “While I maintain that states do have a constitutional right to pass laws to address public safety issues in their communities, I nonetheless believe the best way to solve the immigration issue is at the federal level.  Rather than have states enact their own unique immigration laws – and then spend precious time and taxpayer money litigating these matters, Washington should act legislatively to secure our border, implement a workable employment verification system, modernize our antiquated visa system and responsibly address the situation faced by a limited number of young people who were brought here by their parents as children and now find themselves without any legal status in the United States.”

HALEY CALLS AZ DECISION ‘GOOD NEWS’: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called the Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona immigration law “good news for South Carolina,” a state that has a law that allows  police officers to check the immigration status of people who are detained.  “If the federal government would do its job, the states wouldn’t have to – but that hasn’t happened. In South Carolina, we passed illegal immigration reform that told the rest of the country we’re a tolerant state but also a law-abiding state. That’s what this has been about for us – the rule of law – nothing more, nothing less,” Haley said in the statement. “Today’s court ruling is in part good news for South Carolina law enforcement. Now, they can do their job and verify that those suspected of being here illegally are actually here legally.”

SANDOVAL AND MARTINEZ: NEVADA AND NEW MEXICO DON’T NEED ARIZONA LAW:
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval chimed in on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona immigration law Monday, saying that there’s no place for a law like his neighbor state’s in Nevada, the Las Vegas Journal Review reported.  “I never thought a similar law was needed in Nevada,” Sandoval said. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said she never supported an Arizona-style immigration law in her own border state, NECN reported, and said she understands the “frustration felt by Arizonans” as a result of the federal government’s inaction on immigration reform.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE TALKS POLITICS: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice usually sticks to policy, not politics in her speeches, but as Yahoo News’ Chris Moody reported, Rice pivoted to talking politics and slammed President Obama on immigration during a speech at a fundraiser for ShePAC, a group committed to electing conservative women to Congress.  “This is a truly consequential election. This is perhaps a turning point for the country. I’m very often asked to speak about the foreign policy aspects and there are some key important foreign policy issues before us,” Rice said, according to Moody. “There are many foreign policy issues on the agenda, but we are not going to address any of those international challenges unless we get it right at home. And it’s not right at home right now, and the American people know it.”  Rice later continued to criticize the president’s handling of immigration, particularly his administration’s selective enforcement of immigration laws.  “Americans who come here from other places to be a part of that belief that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things, which is why we need an immigration policy that works,” Rice said. “But, by the way, we need one that the Congress and the president work out together, and we need to do something about access to education.”

N.J. BUDGET SHOWDOWN: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and New Jersey Democrats are set for a budget showdown over tax cuts this week, as the governor opposes the millionaire’s tax cut and the state legislature must pass a budget by Saturday to keep the state government from shutting down, the Wall Street Journal reported.  “New Jersey Democrats pushed through a $31.7 billion budget in a party-line vote Monday, setting the stage for a possible veto by Republican Gov. Chris Christie later this week. The bill substitutes a property-tax credit for Christie’s proposal to cut income taxes by 10 percent, with a delay until revenue figures can be further studied later this year,” the Wall Street Journal’s Heather Haddon wrote.  “Christie has pledged to veto part or all of the Democrats’ budget, arguing that a tax cut shouldn’t be postponed. He said during a town-hall meeting on Friday that he was readying his ‘veto pen.’”

FUNDRAISING VEEPS: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie attends a fundraiser for Romney in Woodbridge, N.J., Tuesday evening, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is part of a lunch for Romney in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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