Mark Penn Explains Hillary on Driver’s Licenses

Jason Horowitz has this lengthy-but-fun dispatch from the debate last night in Pennsylvania, where much of the talk focused on Hillary Clinton’s complex answer to the question of whether or not she supports Eliot Spitzer’s plan to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.

After the debate, Horowitz sought out Clinton advisor Mark Penn for some clarification.

From the story:

When asked why the people on stage were confused by her answer on drivers licenses, Penn told the Observer, “Look, I think it is a complex issue. And I think that the issue that she raised about the drivers licenses was, look, she supports the governor of New York in what he’s got to do, but thinks we’ve got to have comprehensive immigration reform. At the end of the day most of the other candidates were not asked to answer the question. Only Senator Obama was asked to answer the question. And he gave almost the same answer word for word.”

But did she support Spitzer’s proposal in New York?

“She thinks he has a good idea. She thinks it’s a good idea have the different kinds of licenses to clear up the problem. She thinks it’s unfortunate he’s got to move to something like this because it is a result of the failure of immigration reform. And that only comprehensive immigration reform is the real answer.”

When pressed if a good idea was necessarily an endorsement, Penn said, “A good idea is what it is. It’s a good idea. Let’s see where that idea goes. I think she said it is a good idea given where the governor’s been handed.”