During an interview that aired on CBS' "Face the Nation" earlier today, the Romney immigration policy still remained shrouded in mystery. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was asked three times during the interview with CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer if he would overturn President Barack Obama's new executive order, which allows some young illegal immigrants to remain and work in the US. Romney would not provide a direct answer to the question.
"It would be overtaken by events," Romney said when pressed during the interview taped Saturday, while the former Massachusetts governor's bus tour stopped in Pennsylvania. As the discussion continued, Romney immigration policy was presented as what appeared to be a vague concept. This was further borne out with Romney's additional explanation.
The executive order would become insignificant, as Romney continued, "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." This response offers a textbook example of how and what a politically safe statement should accomplishÂ—provide the listeners with little or no detail and offer no real opinion on the issue, but make it all sound very sensible.
Clearly, Mr. Romney recognizes the need to tread cautiously here. If he chooses to voice strong opposition to the executive order, he risks further alienating Hispanic voters. If he appears weak or supportive of the order, he risks alienating the GOP conservative base. As a result, Romney immigration policy may remain somewhat clouded until the election.
In the interview, Romney criticized the political nature of the president's decision. "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 a half months before the general election," he said.
With this point, Mr. Romney echoed what many of the president's critics voiced after Friday's announcement. This raises serious questions regarding the president's actions. Should an executive order be used during an election year simply for political gain? More importantly, has the president over-reached his Constitutional authority in bypassing Congress?
The American people would certainly benefit if elected officials and candidates were more forthcoming with their views. Crafting policy for political gain is disgraceful and this appears to be at least one of the president's motives. On the other hand, Romney's rebuttal should be made clear. His response to the president's actions are also guided by potential political consequences.
True leaders are those that make decisions based upon their core values.
Mitt Romney speaks at CPAC (May 14, 2012)
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