Romney campaign:  Kobach an 'informal adviser'
April 20th, 2012
04:11 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney campaign: Kobach an 'informal adviser'

Washington (CNN) – Controversial anti-illegal immigration activist Kris Kobach is an "informal adviser" to Mitt Romney, a spokeswoman for the likely GOP nominee confirmed to CNN.

Kobach, who co-authored Arizona's illegal immigration law and currently serves as Kansas Secretary of State, said in an interview Friday that he still considers himself an "informal adviser" to Romney. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul agreed with that assessment in an email to CNN.

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Earlier this week, Kobach's status with the campaign was thrown into doubt after Politico reported a Romney spokesperson described the fierce critic of illegal immigration as only a "supporter."

Romney is coming under increased pressure to moderate his tough positions on illegal immigration. During the primary season, the former Massachusetts governor advocated for the self-deportation of the undocumented and opposed the DREAM Act, a measure that would provide a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

Those positions may be harming Romney's popularity among Latino voters. A recent Pew Survey found Romney trailing President Barack Obama by 40% among Hispanics.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a GOP favorite for vice president, discussed his own version of the DREAM Act at a panel discussion earlier this week. Rubio's measure would offer only a path to legal status, not citizenship.

"I felt we had to find a way to accommodate young people who found themselves in the unfortunate circumstance," Rubio said Thursday about his version of the DREAM Act.

In response to Rubio's remarks, the Romney campaign put out a statement saying the presumptive GOP nominee "will study and consider any proposals on immigration from his Republican partners."

Kobach opposes the original DREAM Act as a form of "amnesty." He said he would have to look at Rubio's proposal before rendering a judgment on the measure.

In an interview with CNN, Kobach said he did not expect Romney to soften his stance on the issue.

"I think it would be unusual for a national presidential candidate to back away from statements he's made in debates and he hasn't shown any sign of doing so," Kobach told CNN.

Kobach said he believes Romney has endorsed the Arizona immigration law known as SB1070 as a model for the country, pointing to the former Massachusetts governor's comments at CNN's GOP debate in February.

"You know, I think you see a model in Arizona," Romney said at the debate.

Romney's aides say he was not endorsing the law as a national model in the debate and was only referring to the state's E-Verify system used by employers to confirm the legal status of their workers.

Saul said Romney backs the Arizona law, known as SB1070, just not as a model for the country.

"Gov. Romney supports the right of states to craft laws that assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws, particularly when the federal government has failed in its duty to enforce those laws," Saul said.

In a videotaped interview posted on the Christian Broadcasting Network's web site on September 15, 2011, Romney does state his support for the Arizona law.

"Well, I support the Arizona law by recognizing what Arizona has done - underscored the failure of the federal government to do its job," Romney said in the interview.

Kobach sees only clarity in Romney's position on the law.

"He stated very publicly that Arizona's law should be a model for how the federal government enforces its immigration laws. And he's correct there too," Kobach said.

Also see:

Romney releases March fundraising figures

Paul campaign touts campaign cash

RNC looks to Facebook for political edge

Biden says Democrats have chance in Arizona


Filed under: 2012 • DREAM act • Mitt Romney
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    Kobach is the real GOP/Tea Party outreach to Hispanic voters. Rubio's proposals are only a smoke screen. Romney is obviously still pandering to the anti-immigration extremists. Romney will have burned all bridges to the middle by Convention time in Tampa. Romney will regret his severely conservative proclamation.

    April 20, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    Go Rmoney, keep feeding the GOBP hatemachine!

    April 20, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Dave

    Yo Kolbach, Whada you think of my slogan for the Race, EVERYTHING SUCKS & EVERYTHING BLOWS!!! Bishop Romney, I think its just MARVELOUS!!!!

    April 20, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. SUBS 4 VOTES/Dutch Bad Newz, VA/GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    "You know, I think you see a model in Arizona," Romney said at the debate.
    ---------------------------------------
    Let me see your papers Willard. Don't you have Mexican roots? How about you self deport yourself.

    April 20, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Dave

    Yo Kobach, make sure you Surpress as many Latino voters as possible,especially in the swing states, Make it real Impossible for them to vote, Bishop, how do I do That?? Just call Rove & he will let you know the plan. OK Bishop.

    April 20, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. American

    Sorry, but the Hispanic communities will not forget xenophobic Romney pushing Kobach's AZ model for the nation. Please roll the tape before Romney tries another flip-flop Etch-A-Sketch.

    April 20, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Ms GOP

    You have got to be kidding!.. between hiding his money offshore, so he doesn't have to pay taxes to this.. Not Voting for my own party.

    April 20, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Severely Moderate

    Hahaha.

    Rmoney is really over his head on several problems he created for himself.

    Some things are hard to Etch A Sketch.

    April 20, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    Kobach should like Rubio's plan, since it does not call for path to citizenship. Maybe Kobach will self-deport when Romney loses.

    April 20, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    It very simple. Democrats support open borders with endless millions of illegal aliens invading the USA to add to the cost of all government services (countless BILLIONS), and some to commit crimes or join drug gangs.

    Republicans support controlled LEGAL immigration and proitecting and defending our borders.

    Republicans support law and order and the USA. Democrats support lawlessness, lower border security and higher government costs to support 10-20 million illegal aliens in the USA.

    The choice is easy.

    April 20, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Tyrone

    Man, this guys got Tabby Nackle written all over his face

    April 20, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. WiredweirdinSF

    Okay all you drug addicts, welfare frauds and corrupt union bosses attack, demean and dimish this person. Oh I see, you already started. Orders from the regime.

    April 20, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Shake shake shake...shake shake shake...shake your policy positions. Meh, yeah yeah, too many syllables, I know.

    DO NOT FORGET THIS: MITTENS USED KOBACH AS "STREET CRED" WITH THE MOST EXTREME OF THE ANTI-IMMIGRANT, ANTI-DREAM ACT, GET-THESE-DEM-VOTING-MEXICANS-OUT-OF-MY-RED-STATE CROWD.

    Kobach was the author of AZ's controversial immigration law that was designed to begin the "route them out and round them up" witch hunt for illegals to put in AZ's private prisons so they could funnel gov't money to that industry and, they hoped, rid themselves of some brown people. The Changeling did everything he could to convince the radical right wing of the GOP/Teatrolls

    April 20, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. bear

    Romney never did any anything when they were his Landscapers.

    April 20, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. CBR

    Isn't that special. How are you an informal advisor? It is more likely that Romney will get this man's help when he introduces the same laws as Arizona.

    Republicans may support LEGAL immigration but they sure do know how to hire illegal aliens to cook, clean, garden, pick crops, etc. Before people complain about illegal aliens, I would hope that would apply for jobs cleaning nursing homes, would join the migrant laborers as they go state to state to do so, and do the jobs that Americans will not do. It is really sad that our children won't do them either. Those working poor will remain that way working for low wages and trying to find housing, pay for groceries, pay hospital and doctor bills, etc.

    Before you side with either party decide just what you would do. Do not label people. It is unfortunate that any American would act this way. All of our ancestors came here to find freedom. Not all were legal immigrants either.

    April 20, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Shake shake shake...shake shake shake...shake your policy positions. Meh, yeah yeah, too many syllables, I know.

    DO NOT FORGET THIS: MITTENS USED KOBACH AS "STREET CRED" WITH THE MOST EXTREME OF THE ANTI-IMMIGRANT, ANTI-DREAM ACT, GET-THESE-DEM-VOTING-MEXICANS-OUT-OF-MY-RED-STATE CROWD.

    Kobach was the author of AZ's controversial immigration law that was designed to begin the "route them out and round them up" witch hunt for illegals to put in AZ's private prisons so they could funnel gov't money to that industry and, they hoped, rid themselves of some brown people. The Changeling did everything he could to convince the radical right wing of the GOP/Teatrolls that he was on board with that kind of thing. Now that it's the general election and hispanic voters would rather give the Changeling a swirly in his golden toilet than vote for him, he's desperately trying to distance himself from that kind of anti-immigrant nonsense. What's perhaps worse is just how insulting it is to the entire Hispanic community that the Changeling thinks they'er all so stupid as to be fooled by that kind of flip-floppery.

    April 20, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. Dutchman

    While we are talking about self-deportation, most of us in Kansas would like to see Kobach self-deport himself to a place far, far away.

    April 20, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    It very simple. Democrats support open borders with endless millions of illegal aliens invading the USA to add to the cost of all government services (countless BILLIONS), and some to commit crimes or join drug gangs.

    Republicans support controlled LEGAL immigration and proitecting and defending our borders.

    Republicans support law and order and the USA. Democrats support lawlessness, lower border security and higher government costs to support 10-20 million illegal aliens in the USA.

    The choice is easy.
    ******************************************************************************************
    That's right, we admit it: we want to have a flood of illegals washing over our shores and borders, looting and pillaging as they go. Once the business community stops hiring these people, and the GOP stops taking their money to water down any attempts to actually deal with the problem, than the GOP has a leg to stand on. For decades they turned a blind eye to it because the business community screamed they "depend" on cheap labor they don't have to pay a decent wage to. Obama has deported more illegals than any other president, including President Shrub: The tales of decapitations are nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of the loony fringe who want there to be lawlessness on the border. By the way, jackwagon, when somone buys something, they are paying a sales tax in one form or another: what do you think helps support the local and state governments in CA, TX, AZ, etc? Their sales taxes. The illegals are contributing, whether you like admit it or not. By the way, what is " proitecting"?

    April 20, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Peggy - TX

    GOP LIE: “Democrats support open borders.” This is NOT true! in fact under President Obama’s substantially more illegal Aliens are being deported then under previous administrations.

    Rather the GOP on the other hand, has no scruples about using skin color as a basis for harassing people.

    April 20, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    yep Mitt this will help get the Latino vote for sure

    April 20, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. nick

    I certainly hope Latinos work to keep full Republican control out of the federal government. The racial profiling and blatant racism of Arizona are not what the rest of us in this once melting pot nation want.

    April 20, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Jake in Omaha

    Why not just come out and say it.

    All illegals should be deported with only the clothes on there backs. Screw the illegals they broke our laws and deserve
    NOTHING. Also those employers that made money hiring these illegals should be jailed.

    April 20, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Uh Oh.

    Watch out Irish, Dutch, Germans, Canadians, Brits -- you're next. Nobody left but mormons and Native Americans as their slaves. The mormons have tried to load the senate and house for years. Seems they crave the WH now.

    April 20, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Hammerer

    Snuffy you have listed all of the oboma talking points so now why not try to list some of the positive things oboma has to his credit, if you can think of any.
    He has been in office for almost 4 years,2 with dem control of all 3 branches of government and what has he done to help America. Don't give that old excuse that repubs blocked his every move.
    The only thing he has accomplished is to pit the takers of gov handouts against the working taxpayers that supply the money for the free ride.
    If you can't think of anything I will understand.

    April 20, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. 1twinsfan

    No one is Az will ask me for papers because I'm as white as a loaf of bread. But should my Hispanic hubby walk to the local Circle K, he'd better have his papers on him! Oh wait, people BORN here don't have papers. GOP definition of Hispanic – all illegal unless it's election day then a potential voter.

    April 20, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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