Quote of the Day: After Initial Fumble On SCOTUS Arizona Immigration Law Ruling Romney Begins Moving Towards Center On Immigration Reform
Our political Quote of the Day comes from First Read which notes that after an initial fumble, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has begun to shift on immigration reform in light of the Supreme Court’s slap-down of Arizona’s immigration law, which Romney heartily endorsed during the primaries.
*** Mitt be (not so) nimble, Mitt be (not so) quick: If there is a constant criticism about Mitt Romney and his campaign from both the left and right, it’s that they’re not nimble — especially when it comes to dealing with issues they’d prefer to ignore. And yesterday was a perfect example of this. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law shouldn’t have been a surprise and even though Romney was holding a fundraiser in Arizona (of all places!!!), it took the candidate and campaign hours to finally tell the public what they thought of the decision. First came a press release that didn’t signal if Romney agreed with the decision (and which parts). Then came a seven-minute press scrum in which a Romney press secretary refused to comment on the merits of the SCOTUS decision. And finally came Romney’s remarks at the Arizona fundraiser in which he appeared to disagree with the thrust of the ruling. “I would have preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states not less,” he said, per NBC’s Garrett Haake. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Much of a president’s job is crisis management, and the only way to succeed is being nimble. That Team Romney seems to struggle with this aspect of the job is a potential warning sign for a challenger against an incumbent president.
*** Romney transforms into George W. Bush on immigration? But here is one place where Romney HAS BEEN nimble… Also at that Arizona fundraiser, Romney said — for the first time — that he would tackle immigration reform in his first year as president. “In my first year, I will make sure we actually do take on immigration; we secure our border; we make sure that we grow legal immigration in a way that provides people here with skill and expertise that we want,” he stated. That’s a remarkable transformation for a candidate who has used illegal immigration as a weapon against John McCain (in 2007-2008) and Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich (in 2011-2012). The only recent comparison that comes to mind is when then-candidate Obama used free trade (and NAFTA) as a weapon against Hillary Clinton in the primaries and then has signed free-trade treaties as president.
And so the inching towards the center begins.