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. Nuihc

    Obama 2012 – because he has now fit the definition of a facist dictator, along with being a socialist.

    June 15, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Ken

    Romney doesn't have a clue what he is talking about until someone tells him what his position is and even that position changes more times in a day than the wind sock at the local air port. It would be a complete shoc to Mitt Romney if he suddenly knew what he was talking about. He needs to go back into the "Mittness Protection Program" so he can be protected from his own stupidity.

    June 15, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    But after polls showed Romney far behind the president among Latinos, Romney advocated a GOP version of the Dream Act

    Real leadership I can do WITHOUT.

    Obama 2012 and God Bless America WITHOUT Willard's help.

    June 15, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. Myviewis

    Obama has won re-election with this move. Romney can't win against so many Latino voters. Immigration laws are no longer upheld in our country and Romney needs to recognize it. Whatever it takes to get a vote that is what a Democrat will do. I think today Romney knew that Obama had outsmarted him. This article is true, it does pay to be the man sitting in the White House behind the wheel, I wonder where else Obama will be driving next. Congrats Obama.

    June 15, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. SafeJourney

    If you want to know what type of leader/president Mitt would be, just ask the good people of Massachuetts what type of Governor he was. Mitt was a TERRIBLE GOVERNOR.

    June 15, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. deptirado

    So he has experience in creating jobs? I thought his experience was cutting jobs and then selling the company so that others could create jobs....so tell me where the experience is? Lets get real here! He is a out of touch phony that rode on the back of the money he inherited. Tell us mitt how did we get out of the great depression? IT differently was because of spending less....

    June 15, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. n

    Obama did the good old statue of liberty play on Romney. Romney following Obama around like a vulture waiting for the pass and SECRETARY NAPOLITANO came around from the left, take the ball and spike it as she crosses the infield. What a play. Where is Rubio . . . lost in the dust because he was off side on the wrong side of the lie. LOL

    June 15, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Bus tour immigration Detour” Actually this called self deportation

    June 15, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. OCCAvoter

    Ronmey certainly won't find California welcoming when he gets here because the Hollywood signs will scare him away

    June 15, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. anonymatter

    It is a mistake to craft a policy that encourages illegal immigration, with a wide open border. Secure the border then deal with those who are already here.

    June 15, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. This Is Where The Rubber Meets the Road

    Take an actual stand, Mitt. You have to stand for something. What is it, really? Maybe you can debate yourself in the bathroom mirror on the bus, Mitt Romney of Iowa versus Mitt Romney of Florida. Maybe Willard Romney would show up, and then they could all have a 3-way debate amongst themselves and their many different faces.

    How can anybody believe anything this guy actually says?

    June 15, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. SafeJourney

    Romney has business experience. Do you know who else had business experience? that's right, Bush.
    And we all know what happened during the CEO Bush admin era, right? Romney has
    Hired BUSH advisors and Romney supports Bush era policies . America is NOT a for profit company.
    Americans do NOT want another Bush in the White House.
    If you want to know what type of leader/president Romney would be, just ask the good people of Massachusetts.

    June 15, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Thomas

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

    June 15, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Sydnium S. Washington, EC, HOTD

    May we now get the polls who's favor and not favor of deporting illegal immigrants and their respective candidate to pick for the general election (Dems and GOP)

    June 15, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. w l jones

    Up untile mid sixty there were twenty million people work for free on farm there by were not on the labor market another fifteen million dosmetic and part time labor not counted as full eployee. Said enough.

    June 15, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. SafeJourney

    Republicans will be a disenfranchised party in 20 years thanks to the teaparty. Repubs, you can not discriminate against an American group of people in the states, whether it be Latinos, Gays, Women, Blacks, students, etc and expect them to vote for you in the General election.

    June 15, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  17. 1twinsfan

    As long as the GOP continues to think that Hispanics are only concerned about immigration, they will not get the Hispanic vote. To the GOP, they are either illegals or only first generation. Yeah, try several generations, ie, a few hundred years. And you cannot swap in a Cuban to think he connects simply because he has a Spanish surname. Heck, i've got a Spanish surname and I'm Irish!

    June 15, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. Voltaire

    Alexithymic Mitt already lost the Latino vote and the general election.

    June 15, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Mittens had a backbone, he would tell Boehner to bring the bipartisan senate transportation bill to a vote in congress. Passage would bring the unemployment down over 1%.

    June 15, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  20. arale norimaki

    Why are we so captivated by car crashes

    to the GOP other vs. Cubans: Is There A Double Standard On Illegal Aliens

    June 15, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. 2020

    Romney and his friends may have money, lots of money, casino chips too. But, Romney is short of one crucial ingredient for presidency: political instincts, political smartness. He has been running for offices, but he likes his dog, keep chasing his own tail.

    Mr. Obama political smartness is God given talent. He sets the agenda in this election. He sets the issue of the day. Romney can only wag his tail and follow.

    June 15, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  22. Larry L

    Hilarious that 11 Congressional Republicans in southern border states (and others) are requesting an expedited system to get agricultural workers across and into U.S. fields – while Republicans are acting furious about allowing young people who grew up in the U.S to at least temporarily remain. They like Hispanics in two situations... voting and doing hard labor.

    June 15, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  23. g

    like mitt says–obama wheres the jobs i helped send to china

    June 15, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  24. CBR

    Interesting that the lack of jabs breaks Mr. Romney's heart. What has he been doing to increase the job opportunities in this country.

    Note that he did not talk about the veterans who need jobs because included in the groups of veterans are those who have served in the military even though they are not citizens of this country. We allow them to fight for us, do the most menial labor for us. clean our houses, watch our children, etc. but we do not want them to become citizens. That takes us back to the days when people of color found it very difficult to register to vote. That era was not one we need to repeat.

    June 15, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    How will Romney flip flop himself out of his tough immigration stance? Will he repeat his pledge to veto the Dream Act in front of Hispanic audiences?

    June 16, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
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