Romney Moves Center: Says He Won’t Overturn Obama’s Immigration Order
I wonder if many of the old and new media conservative Republican pundits who lambasted Barack Obama for his immigration order will give Republican nominee Mitt Romney a pass on this one? How much of the past ringing declarations and anger were part of the (tiresome) political chest-beating ritual and how much involved principles that don’t evaporate as soon as you really need to get votes?
After months of dodging the question, Mitt Romney said on Monday night that he would respect the executive action President Barack Obama put into place granting certain groups of undocumented immigrants a reprieve from deportation.
The former Massachusetts governor has steadfastly refused to address the issue, insisting that he would achieve comprehensive reform quickly enough so as to make the Obama policy a moot point. But in a sit-down interview with the Denver Post, Romney went a step further.
“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney said. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”
The announcement from Romney is a move toward a less rigid stance on immigration that the candidate has also taken in the past. It also risks offending some of the more ardent anti-immigration voices within his party, some of whom have called the Obama deferred action policy race-baiting. Some members of the party have urged Romney to reverse the policy as president.
Still, there are other Republicans who have argued that it’s a matter of political necessity for Romney to adopt a more open stance on immigration. Obama’s policy was based mainly off of a proposal that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had designed for the Senate.
Romney needs to move to the center and he needs to woo Hispanic voters. But it’s problematical whether he can do it at this late date. And, to be sure, the GOP has been split on this issue with the Marco Rubios, John McCains sounding quite different than some other GOP politicians and new and old media types.
Reality: the GOP has to adapt to the new landscape and national consensus. Reality: if Republicans were wise they would veer their party towards it.
So again the question will be not “What would Ronald Reagan do” but “What will Rush and Sean say?”
On the eve of the debate? I suspect their comments and outrage will be similar to what happens to a strong conventional wisdom. It’ll be: “Never mind!”
But note the changes:
–Repeal Obamacare day one has now become repeal parts of Obamacare and leave other parts.
–The harsh immigration stance taken during the primaries is being finessed.
*** A Tale of Two Mitts: So, on the one hand, you have Romney saying in recent interviews that he won’t revoke Obama’s executive action on young illegal immigrants, that he’s the “grandfather of Obamacare,” and that he’s empathetic because he was able to get all Massachusetts residents health insurance. But on the other hand, one of us saw — firsthand — all the conservative red meat he gave at his rally in Denver last night. Solyndra. Card check. Keystone. Even a shout-out to Focus on the Family. Indeed, you can see his stump speeches as his play to the base, while his media interviews are his courting of the middle. Perhaps that’s the correct balance, but the courting of the middle is still only VERY recent.