Romney bus tour's immigration detour
June 15th, 2012
06:27 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney bus tour's immigration detour

Milford, New Hampshire (CNN) – As he embarked on a carefully crafted bus tour through six battleground states, Mitt Romney found when it comes to driving the day's agenda, sometimes it's the man sitting in the White House who's behind the wheel.

The president's move Friday to halt the deportations of young illegal immigrants didn't change Romney's first campaign event at Scamman Farm, the same place in Stratham where he launched his presidential bid last June.

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Romney focused instead on Barack Obama's economic record. He did not respond to questions about the change in White House policy when he was greeting voters afterwards.

"As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can't get a job, the soldiers who return home to unemployment lines, it breaks my heart. It's the result of failed leadership and a faulty vision," he said. "I am running for president because I have the experience and the vision to get us out of this mess. I am offering a real choice and a new beginning for the American people."

At his second campaign stop, after making informal remarks and serving ice cream in Milford's town square, Romney made a statement on immigration.

Throughout the primary season Romney adopted a hard-line stance on illegal immigration. He once said the undocumented should self-deport themselves back to their countries of origin and he vowed he would not sign the Dream Act, a bill designed to offer young illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

"The question is if I were elected and Congress were to pass the Dream Act, would I veto it and the answer is yes," Romney said in Iowa on Dec. 31, 2011.

But after polls showed Romney far behind the president among Latinos, Romney advocated a GOP version of the Dream Act at a Florida fundraiser in April, saying "We're going to be able to get Hispanic voters…We're going to overcome the issue of immigration."

Romney then said he would consider a bill from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential vice presidential running mate, who is drafting such a proposal, but noted it does not provide a path to citizenship.

Before the president's immigration detour, Democrats were already trying to throw Romney's bus tour off-message.

The DNC launched its own rival bus tour and dubbed it "Romney economics: the middle class under the bus. While the liberal group Moveon.org sent out an SUV with a dog strapped to the roof, to tail the GOP contender. The black Cadillac Escalade circled The Milford Oval where his outdoor event was held.

Rival parties even engaged in an air war, of sorts. Moveon.org flew a plane above both New Hampshire events with the sign, "Romney's every millionaire counts tour."

The Romney campaign countered with their own plane and a sign that said, "Romney for president- 2012." One Romney campaign aide said, "We like to fight an air battle too."

Romney still worked his digs on the president's performance on the economy.

"He promised four more years. Four more years of the same," he said, adding pause for emphasis. "Four. More. Very. Long. Years."

The Obama campaign is already labeling Romney's comments on immigration an etch-a-sketch moment, but a top official with the Romney campaign told CNN they see this move by the president as an obvious attempt to pivot away from his speech on the economy, that even many liberals had dubbed a flop.

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Filed under: Immigration • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    As he embarked on a carefully crafted bus tour. Mitt said he loved all the trees alongside the road , there all the same size.

    No Mr. Romney , there not trees , there people !

    Oh !

    June 16, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  2. CRAIG

    I would like to know what Romney's economic plans are, if any. So far he's just used the words "change," "vision," "new beginning" and other superficialities that every presidential candidate in history has. He has never proposed anything of substance.

    June 16, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  3. enuff

    How can it be 4 more years of the same when Obama keeps catching Romney off-guard with changes? It's interesting to watch how slow the hampster wheels turn when they don't see it coming. His PR people are some of the slowest responders I think I've ever seen – and by that I mean, they have to say more than "fail".

    June 16, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  4. frag

    Here comes the next flip flop.....................

    June 16, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    Romney's slogan should be, "No solutions, just lies, and plenty of them".

    June 16, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  6. Scott

    With unemployment at over 8.0% millions of Citizens unemployed, Obama now wants to give work permits to illegals under 30 in order for them to work. This is a direct slap in the face to Millions of Middle Class people that are out of work. It shows all Obama cares about is getting elected again. Even if it means screwing the people of this country. He is right this is class warfare, he is waging war against the working class. What a poor excuse for a human and a man

    June 16, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  7. j. aly

    this issue with immigration policies here in america need to be tended to but all i see them talking about is who is here without papers. what about the ones who are trying to get there families here from other countries LEGALLY! i am in the middle of a long over 20 month journey trying to get my husband here and all i see us going thru is hardship and stress and alot of administrative processing and more waiting. i am american born citizen of 48 yrs and my husband is a well respected man in egypt with no problems in his life ever. he is not a problem to this country or for this country but we seem to fall into the cracks of immigration. a process in the begining that was suppose to be finished in 5 months took us 8 months. then more waiting after that while i see others who filed after us already here. then still we have to go back to immigration for a 2nd look because people dont understand the laws in the country of the embassy they work in.
    immigration issue is not just here in USA but everywhere in every embassy across the world. how do we make this process a little easier and less hardships for family members who have been seperated for a long time. HELP FAMILIES BE REUNITED IN A FASTER PROCESS WITH LESS STRESS AND WORRYING AND TRYING TO COME IN A LEGAL FASHION.

    June 16, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  8. thomas

    At the end of the day, Romney has no idea what it is like to live on the monthly income that most Americans do. I'm sure the family pet is treated much nicer than most people in this country get to live. Fine for him, but don't tell me he knows what is best for everyone else. He has no clue. The GOP is not even behind him.

    June 16, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  9. geggyg

    Appropriate name for Rmneys firststop on campaign bus tour scam man farm

    June 16, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. GI Joe

    The Romney-Ryan plan to kill old people has been disrupted by President Obaama wanting to stop punishing young people.

    June 16, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. bcrunner

    I am surprised he didn't say the should "self-deport" first.

    June 16, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Whoosh

    NO Clue. Flip. Flop. Whichever way the wind blows. Mitt want to take us "back" to the Bush years? Back to 2008 financial melt down that got us into this mess. Why?

    June 16, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Bren

    Obama pulled the rug from under the Republicans due to giving millions of illegals amnesty? Just wait until you see the polls in the next few weeks!!! No matter how much the liberal media tries to sway opinion/votes regarding illegals–the majority, including the majority of Independents–do NOT want illegals given any form of amnesty!! And, just wait until the millions of unemployed and the middle class–are made aware that Obama has now given the millions of illegals the opportunity to take US jobs!! There are now even going to be millions of Democrats–even union members–who are going to turn against Obama regarding this issue alone!! This move by Obama is going to destroy him–and any other Democrat who supports his decision/actions regarding the amnesty for illegals!! It is now going to be Republicans, Independents, and moderate/sane (blue dog/Reagan Democrats) voting against Obama, versus the liberals!!

    June 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Pat M

    It is "Immigrants that built this country, and it will be immigrants that help bring us back to the top. Romney and his cronies will send all the jobs they can overseas and not care about the middle class. Rather then let immigrants stay here he wants to send the jobs to them and pay as little as possible for their work, we on the other hand have minimum wage laws that would protect them.

    June 16, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Mitt Romney's campaign had been parking their bus everywhere President Obama was speaking and now Romney's carefully crafted bus tour has met a train head on. It's not nice to play with President Obama not unless you know how to play "hardball" and it's clear Romney prefers a "softball".

    June 16, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    He looks like a little kid standing there waiting for a whooping.

    OK – we'll give him one.

    June 16, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. tallone

    Romney and his buddies created most of the unemployment, by shutting
    down plants, and shipping jobs overseas. Now, they are the ones to fix
    labour triubles. Right!

    June 16, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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