Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Associated Press
TROY, Ohio - Mitt Romney in an interview aired Sunday repeatedly refused to say that he'd overturn President Obama's new policy allowing some young illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. He claimed Obama's decision was political, while senior White House adviser David Plouffe said the move wasn't motivated by politics.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop in Troy, Ohio, on Sunday.
The Associated Press
The Republican presidential candidate was asked several times in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" whether he would overturn the executive order issued Friday if he's elected. He refused to directly answer.
"It would be overtaken by events," Romney said when pressed for the second time by moderator Bob Schieffer during the interview taped Saturday while Romney's bus tour stopped in Pennsylvania.
He explained the order would become irrelevant "by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution, with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals such that they know what their setting is going to be, not just for the term of a president but on a permanent basis."
Romney's Rust Belt tour swept through Ohio on Sunday, where he appeared with House Speaker John Boehner at the speaker's hometown in Troy. Protesters shouted throughout his abbreviated campaign speech there, yelling "Romney go home!" as campaign staff moved speakers into the group in attempt to drown them out.
The protest came just a few minutes after top Obama adviser David Axelrod posted a tweet saying he's opposed to efforts to shout down Romney's bus tour.
Obama's Chicago campaign has been helping distribute information about protest events -- former Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., held a protest outside a Wawa convenience store Saturday that prompted Romney to shift his tour to a different Wawa than originally planned.
"I strongly condemn heckling along Mitt's route," Axelrod tweeted. "Let voters hear BOTH candidates and decide."
After the protests, though, Romney's event Sunday ended on a high note -- he climbed into a 1961 Rambler, the car that helped his father turn around American Motors. George Romney's picture was in the old brochure still with the car. Romney sat in the front seat with the owner, Michael Scheib, 20, who leaned over to tell Romney to "scare 'em, press the horn."
Romney honked, and the surprised crowd laughed.
Earlier in the day, Romney attended a Father's Day pancake breakfast with two of his sons and five of his 18 grandchildren. He told a rain-soaked crowd that the weather was a metaphor for the country and that "three and half years of dark clouds are about to part."
At a second event, in Newark, near Columbus, Romney told a cheering crowd that the president's slogan had changed.
"Last time when he was running for president his campaign theme was hope and change. This time he's hoping to change the subject because the American people are not happy," said Romney, speaking for about nine minutes as Occupy Wall Street protesters yelled from a nearby sidewalk.
In the TV interview, Romney suggested that Obama's decision on immigration was motivated by politics. "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 half months before the general election," he said.
Plouffe, the Obama adviser, sent by the White House to four of the talk shows, contended that Obama's action, which appeals to Hispanic voters who are critical to the president's re-election effort, was not "a political move."
Still, he acknowledged that Obama's team expects an extraordinarily close election. "It's going to come down to a few votes per precinct in a few states," he told NBC's "Meet the Press."
His comment underscores the reality that a small number of extra votes from Hispanics could make the difference in some key states like Nevada and Colorado.
Obama's order has put Romney in a difficult position, forcing him to decide between possibly alienating Hispanic voters with tough talk or stoking anger within a conservative GOP base that was slow to warm to him during the primary process.