As Rachel noted on the show last week, Mitt Romney was asked during the Republican primaries about Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, and he praised it at the time as a “model” for the nation. Yesterday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) – a leading Romney surrogate and possible running mate – was asked about the same law on “Meet the Press.”
“What I’ve said repeatedly is I believe Arizona has a right to pass that bill. I understand why they did it. But I don’t think it’s a national model, and I don’t think other states should follow suit. For example, I don’t want to see a law like that in Florida.”
As a rule, when high-profile surrogates reject their candidate’s arguments on “Meet the Press,” it’s not a good sign.
On a related note, keep in mind, we’re waiting for word from the Supreme Court as to whether Arizona had the legal authority to approve its SB1070. Romney will be campaigning in Arizona today, and if the ruling is issued this morning, expect him to face renewed pressure to defend his support for the law.
And speaking of immigration policy, it’s been 10 days since President Obama announced he would use the executive branch’s prosecutorial discretion to implement many of the goals of the DREAM Act. Does Romney agree with Obama’s move? Would he keep the policy in place if elected? As of now, we still don’t know, and the Sunday shows only muddled the picture further.
Romney campaign surrogates appeared on several talk shows yesterday, and refused to say what the Republican presidential hopeful believes on this policy. Ed Gillespie said Obama’s policy would be “subject to review” – I think we knew that – but the campaign advisor would go no further.
For what it’s worth, Ray Walser, a co-chair of Romney’s Latin American advisory group, said last week that Romney “would probably rescind this directive” if he’s elected, but Walser quickly backpedaled, saying he doesn’t speak for the campaign.
With the fate of hundreds of thousands of people on the line, neither Romney nor his team have the courage to simply state an opinion about a major national issue. We’ll see how long they can keep this going.