Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) struggled to explain how her immigration beliefs have evolved since 2008.
Gillibrand, who is running for president in 2020, has called President Donald Trump’s immigration policies “racist.” As IJR previously reported, Gillibrand holds some extreme immigration views, including calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
But she hasn’t always been this far left on immigration. Many of her positions from 2008 echo the policies that President Trump champions today.
According to a report by CNN, Gillibrand advocated for more deportations, closing the border, making English the official language in the United States, and expanding detention facilities at the border. All of these positions were included in her campaign materials in 2007 and 2008 when she served in the House of Representatives.
During an interview on “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper pressed Gillibrand on her massive change in position.
“If Trump’s immigration positions are racist, were they racist when you held some of those positions, as well?” Tapper asked.
Gillibrand floundered as she tried to distance herself from Trump’s “racism.”
NEW: On @CNNSotu, Kirsten Gillibrand was asked about the mailer I reported on her office sent out bragging about her votes to increase and speed up deportations of undocumented immigrants.
“I did not think about suffering in other people’s lives,” Gillibrand said. pic.twitter.com/ee9yePjDNZ
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) 20 January 2019
Gillibrand now considers herself a fighter for all families, saying, “I’m not going to stand by and do nothing for families that are suffering in my state.”
The New York senator is not the only Democrat to have been caught doing a flip-flop on their immigration policies. As IJR reported, President Trump has called out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and former President Barack Obama for supporting tougher illegal immigration policies in the past.