Mitt Romney‘s campaign just held a conference call, like many others thus far during the campaign, on “President Obama’s continuing record of failure on the economy.” When Romney campaign representatives were done speaking, the focus of the call quickly shifted to another topic: immigration.The campaign got three questions from reporters. All three dealt with immigration. All three were shut down, and then the campaign cut off the conference call because of the lack of “on-topic” questions.
Since Obama announced a shift in his administration’s policy on deporting some younger illegal immigrants last Friday, Romney has remained mostly silent on the issue in a delicate balance. Romney and the Republican Party have made a huge push to court Latino voters, but he shifted far right on immigration during the Republican primary season. Polls taken after the administration’s announcement have shown Latino enthusiasm growing for Obama.
Appearing Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Romney refused to answer questions about whether he would repeal the Obama administration’s policy if elected. From the transcript:
BOB SCHIEFFER: Sure, but would you repeal this?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution with– with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals, such that they know what their– their stat– setting is going to be–
BOB SCHIEFFER (voice overlapping): But would–
MITT ROMNEY: –not just– not– not just for the term of the President, but on a permanent basis.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I– I won’t keep on about this but just to– to make sure I understand, would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or would you just repeal it?
MITT ROMNEY: We’ll– we’ll look at that– we’ll look at that setting as we– as we reach that. But my anticipation is, I’d come into office and say we need to get this done on a long-term basis, not this kind of a stopgap measure. What– what the President did, he– he should have worked on this years ago. If he felt seriously about this, he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate, but he didn’t. He saves these sort of things until four and a half months before the general election.
On Wednesday, Romney policy director Lanhee Chen took the first question from Wall Street Journal reporter Laura Meckler about immigration, and he quickly shifted the topic to how the economy and how it has “really failed the Latino community.” After two more questions that dealt with immigration, the campaign shut down the conference call.
Chen did give a glimpse of when Romney could finally address the issue: Thursday, in a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
“He will have a few more things there to say about immigration,” Chen said.
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