Weatherman Mark Ronchetti is living proof that so long as you hate immigrants and Democrats, Fox is happy for you to be in charge of a state’s health, education, agriculture, homeland safety and emergency management and veterans services departments. Because who cares if people die so long as the GOP can have more power?
Yesterday, was just one of several Fox News platforms for the debate-ducking former TV weatherman who thinks his politics, alone, qualify him to run the state.
Last week, in one appearance he did make, Ronchetti told a Republican forum for candidates vying for the GOP nomination, “I'm not somebody who has deep knowledge of what is failing you."
Fox host Pete Hegseth considerately avoided mentioning Ronchetti's admission that he is not only unqualified but that he doesn’t care.
Instead, war-criminal advocate Hegseth opened by attacking New Mexico’s current governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, for signing a law “allowing COVID-19 relief funds to be used as college scholarship money for anyone, including illegal immigrants.” Only on Fox News would expanding scholarship money be demonized, especially in one of the poorest states in the country. New Mexico has the third highest poverty rate in the country, according to the U.S. News last summer. But maybe transplant Ronchetti’s knowledge doesn’t go that deep.
HEGSETH: So not only is it tuition for illegals but it’s money that was supposed to be spent on COVID. How are they going to get away with this?
RONCHETTI: Well, Pete, it’s a one time thing, right? So, in other words, you have money for reoccurring costs that you pull out of COVID dollars here. And this is nothing new, unfortunately, for this governor and for, especially, our state legislature here. What they regularly do is start to stuff things into bill and make things and create incentives for people to cross illegally. And this is just the latest, Pete.
Ruh Roh, weatherman Ronchetti’s ignorance is showing here. Or maybe it’s just dishonesty. FACT CHECK: Nobody can just cross the border and get tuition money. The tuition benefit requires a 12-month residency in New Mexico or graduation from a high school in New Mexico, with some exceptions, like for members of tribes which are partly based in New Mexico or Texans who live within a certain radius of the institution. Students can lose eligibility if their grade point average drops below 2.5 or if they drop below credit hour requirements for each semester, The New York Times reports.
Also not mentioned, either by Ronchetti or Hegseth, is the fact that New Mexico is far from the only state to offer tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants. 19 states, including Texas and Florida, do, too. But I’ll bet you won’t see anyone complaining about Florida's Republican Gov. DeSantis being soft on “illegals” on Fox News.
But Ronchetti seems to care about trolling and, probably, Fox News appearances, not policy. The tuition assistance was passed with bipartisan support, The New York Times notes and it’s not just a giveaway. State Senator Cliff Pirtle (R) told the Times he supported the law because, among other reasons, the state needs people to get training in areas like nursing, truck driving and maintenance of electricity systems.
Ronchetti didn’t offer any ideas for improving either education opportunities or strategies to solve nursing or trucker shortages. Nor did Hegseth ask. Instead, Ronchetti pivoted to demagoguing immigration.
RONCHETTI: This is just the latest, Pete. Remember, we’re talking about a governor who gave stimulus checks to people here illegally, when 40% of our small businesses went out of business here in New Mexico as we were one of the most locked-down states in the country. And we’re also now offering stimulus checks to people here illegally to help pay for gas.
Ronchetti’s diatribe skipped over the fact that most of the beneficiaries of both the tuition and stimulus monies are surely legal residents of New Mexico who need help. But he didn't offer any solutions for them, either.
RONCHETTI: What ends up happening is, we get a draw that pulls people into the state, with an overwhelmed border and a border patrol that can’t handle it.
He got a thumbs up from Hegseth.
HEGSETH: Well said. So, effectively, the policy of the Democrat party in New Mexico and elsewhere is full services for illegals, they just have new pots of money to do it now.
You can watch it below, from the April 17, 2022 Fox & Friends.