Mitt Romney in an interview aired Sunday repeatedly refused to say that he would overturn President Barack Obama’s new policy allowing some young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. He claimed Obama’s decision was political, while senior White House adviser David Plouffe said the move wasn’t motivated by politics.
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 in the fall. 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 the former Massachusetts governor’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.”
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.
Romney’s comments represent a further softening of his rhetoric on immigration since the GOP primary campaign ended.