The New York Times has a precious–and painful–interview with Harold Ford, Jr., Tennessee’s favorite New York Senate aspirant. Some highlights:
Q. Have you been to Staten Island?
A. I landed there in the helicopter, so I can say yes.
Q. Let’s talk about abortion.
A. I want more jobs in New York…..
Q. And we are going to get to that. But first, we know you describe yourself as “pro-life.”
A. No, no. Let’s be clear.
Q. O.K., walk me through this.
Q. O.K. Let’s discuss a few votes. You voted to ban partial-birth abortion and require consent for minors who want an abortion. Do you stand by those votes?
A. I do. I hope the Lord blesses my wife and I with a daughter some day. And if my daughter — if a situation befalls her where she has to make that choice, I would love to know and I stand by that vote.
Q. You would love to know what?
Q. Can I briefly talk about immigration? I want to talk about illegal immigrants, a topic of enormous importance to Mayor Bloomberg. You voted for legislation that would allow local enforcement agencies to investigate and arrest illegal immigrants. I am sure you are familiar with the debate around that bill, how it changes the relationship between cops and the people they are supposed to protect. People fear they will be reported as illegal, and get deported. The secure fence act of 2006, which sealed the border. Can you explain these positions, and do you stand by them?
A. No. 1, put this in perspective: In the campaign in ’06, I argued for what was then, the McCain-Kennedy legislation, which really worked to provide a path to citizenship, which you could probably go back and find the language. I supported that, and was criticized for it.
No. 2, I know that Mayor Bloomberg and I differed back then. We don’t differ now. I have come to better understand the issue. . .
Q. D.C. and New York have done a lot to restrict gun laws, and they are among the toughest in the country. You opposed D.C.’s effort to put restrictions on guns — one of the measures you opposed would require a gun at home to be unloaded and disassembled. Why do that?
A. I don’t think I did oppose that part. That was part of a broader bill… well, I take your word for it. . . .
Read the entire interview here.