Monday, April 16, 2012

Romney on Immigration: Severe Conservative or Closet Moderate?

Remember when the Republican nominee was running in the primaries? If you think back to that way long time ago, you might remember that he:

* said he would veto the DREAM Act as president if Congress passed it,

* said the Arizona immigration law was a model for the nation,

* said that "of course," we should build a fence on the US border with Mexico.

But now, we might be on the verge of an etch-a-sketch moment when it comes to that same candidate's views on immigration. That's because, as EJ Dionne noticed, Romney has "private views" which might be at odds with his public statements.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece on Thursday, the veteran conservative journalist Fred Barnes offered Mitt Romney some advice for improving his campaign, including the sensible (and one might also say humane) suggestion that on immigration, the presumptive nominee “would be wise to move away from his harsh position in the primaries.”

Then Barnes included this fascinating sentence: “According to a Romney adviser, his private view of immigration isn’t as anti-immigrant as he often sounded.”

What exactly does that mean? Does it mean Romney said things that he doesn’t really believe?

That last question is the heart of the problem for Romney. Remember that it was during a discussion in the Republican debates about immigration that he uttered the famous line "I'm running for office for pete's sake." When even Faux News says you're losing the Latino vote to President Obama by 56 points, you've got a problem for pete's sake.

Some might find it a challenge to figure out how to turn on a dime when it comes to some of those statements I linked to at the top. But having watched Mitt's capacity for mendacity for the past few months, I suspect he's up to the task.

I also suspect that its American voters who won't be buying it.


  1. Severe Conservative or Closet Moderate?

    I don't know the answer, and I'm not sure there is an answer. The guy's a wind sock. He'll take whatever position he feels under the most pressure to take, and that changes like the weather.

    Even if he tacks more centrist on this or other issues during the campaign, no one should trust him. If he becomes President he'll have the fundies and teabaggers and other cranks breathing down his neck and watching his every move (remember they've spent the whole primary campaign denouncing him as a closet liberal), and the wind sock will shift direction accordingly.

    1. I don't know the answer, and I'm not sure there is an answer.

      That about sums it up. When there's no "there" there, who knows what he would do?

  2. Romney's apparent position on any issue is "What do you want to hear?" Despite the push by some, and in particular some in the media, the reality is he'll be a pushover for whatever interest group he thinks he needs at the moment.

  3. If Romney thinks he can shake this off thee etch-a-sketch that easily, there's just one thing to say to him.


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