June 16th, 2012
08:06 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney walking fine line on immigration, Santorum says

(CNN) - In an interview to air Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rick Santorum offered advice for how GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney could handle the immigration policy announcement President Barack Obama made Friday.

The government will defer deportation for some young people who were brought to the United States as children, have no criminal record, pose no security risk, and are furthering their educations.

The full interview airs Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," which airs at 9 a.m. and noon ET.

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The challenge for Romney, Santorum said, is to avoid alienating an important voting bloc that has influence in several swing states.

Hispanics make up the fastest-growing immigrant population in the country, and the Latino vote is considered a crucial bloc for the November presidential election.

“He's trying to walk a line as not to sound like he's hostile to Latinos,” Santorum told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, “and in very important states.”

Romney has said Obama’s move on immigration makes a long-term fix more difficult.

On Saturday, Santorum said Romney’s message was “right on,” urging attendees at a conference of social conservatives to see past any disagreements with the former Massachusetts governor and support him.

In the interview with CNN’s Crowley, Santorum said he sees “a pattern where the president has said, ‘I’m going to pick and choose what laws I’m going to enforce, what laws I’m going to stand up and fight for in court.’”

“You need to hammer the president on this now habitual abuse of power,” Santorum said, citing the Defense of Marriage Act as an example.

In February, Obama directed the Justice Department to stop enforcing DOMA, a federal measure that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Also see:

No mention of Romney as Palin serves up anti-Obama red meat

Back in the spotlight, Cain invokes rabble-rousing routine

Romney bus tour's immigration detour

Unemployment leads Obama, GOP weekly addresses

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. David Witcraft

    Santorum, your idea to hammer Obama on selectively enforcing laws faces a significant hurdle. Obama follows in the footsteps of perhaps the most selective law enforcing president in US history since Andrew Jackson, George W. Bush. George rarely met a law he couldn't or wouldn't tweak, going so far as to issue instructions to his executive branch members on how to enforce the law while signing them! George told you guys how to fix the immigration problem and lock up an important GOP vote block for generations, but you guys have your heads so far in the sand you can't hear anything but your own thoughts!

    June 16, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    Brought into the country as children, raised as Americans, fluent in English and educated at the average high-school level, no criminal record, folks, these are exactly the kind of immigrants we want in America! Yes, if we had caught their parents at the border they would have grown up elsewhere, but we didn't, and now their first loyalty is to our country. At least give them half a chance to prove themselves.

    June 16, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Obama nailed it ,

    June 16, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. GonzoinHouston

    The biggest stumbling block in the immigration debate is over citizenship. There are 11 million people in this country illegally, and if they all became citizens, most of them would vote democrat. Both parties know this.

    June 16, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Wallenda has a better grasp of walking a fine line. This bishop is so deep in it he will never be able to get out of the pool.
    BTW – where are his 2011 TAXES????? How much money does it take to lie about your finances? And how long does it take to hide money overseas?

    June 16, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    How is Romney going to spin out of his support for the GOP/Tea Party war on Hispanic immigrants? He is going to pay dearly in November for pandering to anti-immigrant conservative extremists.

    June 16, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. Ideas, Ideals, and ideologies

    Of course it was a political move on the part of Obama. In my opinion, Obama's directive to the Immigration officials changes nothing. I would be willing to bet that we will not see significant drop in the number of deportations. Instead, it free immigration agents to pursue other cases.
    The fanfare before the press conference and the announcement itself was designed to incite the GOP to overreact and put Romney in a catch-22 position. It worked beautifully. Case in point, there was a such a large outcry yesterday that a so-called journalist showed his backside. And Romney statement was ambiguous at best. And today? well all is quiet. The subject didn't make it into the GOP's weekly address. They can't show strong opposition to Obama without further alienating the Hispanic vote. In my opinion, the GOP has been outsmarted.

    June 16, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  8. citizen9

    Romney said immigration "should be solved on a long term basis so they know what their future would be". In other words – get the heck out of America.

    June 16, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  9. Showmeyerpapers

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250000Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the sh samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    June 16, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  10. maf

    "Habitual abuse of power"???? The habitual abuse of power is the obstructionism put forth by this current edition of the GOP!!! Constitutionally, the President has had to resort to doing it on his own for the sake of the nation!!!
    Santorum was NEVER going to be the GOP nominee and he continues to show why. He was right about his take on Romney though. Apart from McCain, Romney is the WORST choice to oppose President Obama and I can't wait for the debates!!!!

    June 16, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    ►The challenge for Romney, Santorum said, is to avoid alienating an important voting bloc that has influence in several swing states. ◄

    The Republicans make it seems as if the Hispanics are "pets" or "tools" that can be used or can be taught to "sit", listen and obey – the same way Blacks were treated during slavery and beyond and then "used" in the end just to be a "vote" for someone. Hispanics, just like African Americans, are smarter than that and cannot be “bought.”

    It's not a GAME – are you ore are you not for Immigration Reform? Are you or are you NOT going to allow the illegal immigrants that are here to stay as long as they are NOT criminals and are contributing to America – and by the way, they’re NOT just Hispanics. Say it and mean it without using it as a TOOL to get votes!!! Jeez, this is America – the Land of Immigrants whether you were forced to come here or you migrated here!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    June 16, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  12. RNC is out of touch with Latinos, Women and Middle Class Americans

    The Republicans hates Mexicans and not to embrace Pres.Obama decision to stop deport the youth of undocumented workers is proof the Republicans are out of touch. Bravo Pres.Obama!

    June 16, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Right, all he had to do was take it to the Republcians and they would have approved such a move. The Republicans want the Illegal's out of the Nation!! This is the party of NO too! So it would have been stupid to ask permission from Congress since the Republicans rule the roost! So he did the best thing all around and made an executive decision...which is HIS perogotive.

    June 16, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. Catmandew

    Obama thinks he is above the law! Mitt just has to point it out this immigration thing is yet another abuse of power. Mitt is right just made a long term fix harder by POTUS order!

    June 16, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  15. Robert in CA

    Ron Paul wins 21 out 25 delegates that will go to Tampa. :)

    June 17, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  16. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Ricky Santorum didn't have the cajones to finish a campaign. He's not qualified to back Mitt McCain.

    June 17, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  17. Marry

    More of the same – promise (twist) as much as possible without making the TP mad. The GOP is experienced in that – too bad that it is for the most part void of any truth. It is high time to vote against the party of the 1%, against their dishonesty, divisiveness, obstruction and senseless critic the only “work” this party of “NO” is doing! Is this bringing the country forward? It is time in November for the voter to say “NO” to the GOP on all levels!

    June 17, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  18. King

    the repubs Congress have been blocking the dream act for the past 4 years, shouting that the president had to secure the border first, how the hell can they expect that to happen, that's about 2 thousand mile of Mexican border line, this is at the same time the repubs screaming that the government spends too much. this president have done more to secure and deport illegals than any other president in history, yet these repubs still expect him to create a ways out of nothing. and why on earth are they blaming holder for some gun running crap with Mexico that the bush administration did to boast the NRA gun sale, at the same time bashing the Obama administration for trying to take their guns away.

    June 17, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think Mittens' self deport message pretty much sums up Romney's intellectual level. Just like the Platte River, he is an inch deep and a mile wide.

    June 17, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  20. works4me

    Romney walks the fence line most of the time. Which ever way the wind is blowing he falls the opposite way. He won't lean into it, he won't make a stand. It's all about beating President Obama. It's all about the party. It has never been about the people... ever!

    June 17, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |