Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton smiles as she listens to a question during a house party in Windham, N.H., July 16, 2015.
Photo by Charles Krupa/AP

‘Boxcar’ rhetoric rattles right in immigration debate

Updated
The Rachel Maddow Show, 8/27/15, 9:35 PM ET

Hillary Clinton rips Republicans on women's health

Rachel Maddow shares a clip of Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, comparing the Republican views on women’s health to those who
With a growing number of Republican presidential candidates talking about mass deportations, Hillary Clinton argued Friday that the rhetoric is increasingly outrageous.
[Clinton said] it was “the height of irony that a party which espouses small government would want to unleash a massive law enforcement effort – including perhaps National Guard and others – to go and literally pull people out of their homes and their workplaces, round them up, put them, I don’t know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border.”
 
“I just find that not only absurd, but appalling,” Clinton said.
The right responded, not by defending the push for mass deportations, but rather by focusing specifically on the use of “boxcars.”
 
Republican strategist Ana Navarro, for example, called Clinton’s rhetoric “grossly inappropriate” and compared the candidate’s phrasing to Mike Huckabee’s Holocaust remarks.
 
The criticism was loud enough that Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill felt compelled to explain that, no, the Democratic presidential hopeful wasn’t alluding to the Holocaust.
 
And really, the denial was unnecessary. On Capitol Hill, even Republican aides casually refer to the “boxcar crowd” to describe those who support mass deportations. What’s more, just two months ago, Jeb Bush told CNN, “I don’t think our country is going to be the kind of country that puts people on boxcars and sends them away.”
 
Look, I realize at this point in the process, various partisan players are looking for an excuse to feign outrage. But there are Republican presidential candidates talking – in vague and impractical terms – about mass deportation. The agenda calls for quickly moving 12 million people, if not more, out of the United States fairly quickly, no matter the consequences.
 
The practical question deserves an answer. One assumes all 12 million won’t get free trips about the Trump Jet, and human-rights standards probably rules out use of the Trump Catapult. That leaves buses and trains – or put another way, it leaves the options Hillary Clinton described.
 
The problem is not with Clinton’s questions about Republicans’ transportation methods of choice. The real issue here is mass deportations themselves.
 
The other Clinton-related outrage stems from the former Secretary of State speaking to supporters in Cleveland last week about Republican policies targeting women.
 
“Extreme views about women – we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out of date and out of touch policies,” Clinton said to cheers.
 
GOP candidates aren’t pleased. On Fox News yesterday, Chris Christie argued, “That’s a disgrace, and she’s a disgrace. She’s a disgrace for saying that.”
 
So, governor, if you were to summarize your thoughts with a single word….
 
For what it’s worth, Republican officials have compared themselves to terrorists more than once in recent years. The Clinton campaign has said it has no intention of apologizing for last week’s comments.
 

Hillary Clinton

'Boxcar' rhetoric rattles right in immigration debate

Updated