Photo: Gage Skidmore on flickr
Leading Republicans and cable news pundits are already dismissing President Obama’s surprise immigration policy shift as simple election year politics, designed, in part, to back Republican nominee Mitt Romney into a corner on the issue of immigration reform.But the Romney campaign appears determined not to let the President force their hand.
“The Governor’s going to focus very intently on the issue of the economy,” Romney senior advisor Kevin Madden told MSNBC’s Chris Cilliza this afternoon. “I think the message that he has [for] Latino voters, Hispanic voters, will be related to what he can do to put the country on the right track and how it can help, how it will help folks who want more opportunity in this country.”
Reporters following Romney’s swing state bus tour today have so far been unable to get any reaction to the President’s announcement from the candidate or his staff. The campaign did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Romney, who has come under fire for taking some fairly extreme immigration positions during the Republican primaries, has not unveiled any details about his immigration policy since the general election began. In recent meetings with Latino voters, Romney has mostly stuck to his standard stump speech on the economy, and rarely, if ever, mentions the immigration issue.
This strategy could have some merit, as polls routinely suggest that Latino voters care more about the economic issues than they care about immigration. Still, immigration reform is a central issue for Latino activists, who hold the keys to the kingdom when it comes to mobilizing Latino voters.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: The Romney campaign just emailed over this statement from the candidate:
“I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis, so they know what their future would be in this country. I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, just a short-term matter – it can be reversed by subsequent presidents. I’d like to see legislation that deals with this issue, and I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he looked at this issue. He said that this is an important matter, that we have to find a long-term solution, but that the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult. If I’m president, we’ll do our very best to have that kind of long-term solution that provides certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of the action of their parents.”
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