GOP senators hold comment on immigration policy, wait on Romney
June 19th, 2012
05:41 PM ET
2 years ago

GOP senators hold comment on immigration policy, wait on Romney

Washington (CNN) - Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he and most other Republican senators will hold off commenting on the merits of President Obama's new immigration policy until Mitt Romney makes his position clear in a speech scheduled Thursday to a group of Latino elected officials.

"I think most of my members are interested in learning what Gov. Romney has to say about this issue, and we're going to withhold judgment, most of us, until that time," McConnell said, in what amounted to a slightly awkward vow of silence from a politician who is typically proficient at shredding the president's positions.

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Romney will address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' Annual Conference Thursday.

"Then our members are going to be discussing his view on this and I think many of them will have similar views. Others will not," McConnell added.

At issue is the president's unexpected announcement Friday that his administration will no longer deport many young immigrants who were brought here illegally by their parents. Romney and other Republicans have complained that it was a mistake – and maybe unconstitutional - to bypass Congress on such an important issue but they've also made clear they would like to find a solution for the hundreds of thousands of young people impacted by the policy.

"The president doesn't have the right under the Constitution to pick and choose the laws he wants to enforce," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, who has worked on Republican legislation with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and others to address the issue. "I don't think there are very many people who don't believe that a change that would clarify the status of these young people is not warranted."

"Everyone I think has empathy for these young people and wants to address the issue," said Sen., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is considered to be on the shortlist to be Romney's running mate. "A legislative solution would have been one that provided more certainty."

Privately, one top Republican leadership aide, told CNN the lack of a forceful response is in part because the new policy is getting strong support in public opinion polls and Republicans are much better off keeping their focus on the high unemployment rate and the struggling economy.

When a reporter asked McConnell why is it taking so long to formulate a response," the disciplined communicator responded, "I'm going to give you the same answer I just did. We're going to wait until we see what Gov. Romney has to say about this and then we'll be happy to respond."

Also see:

Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations

Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan

Romney credits governors with states' success


Sunny Romney predicts Wisconsin win


Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Jon Kyl • Mitch McConnell • Mitt Romney
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Dick Hertz

    Any way they approach it they better remember the MAJORITY of Americans ain't happy. He'd better rally his base instead of supporting those who spit in our face. He doesn't need the Hispanic vote. He'd better worry about American votes istead of our invaders and the traitors that support them. He'd better start moving his lips quick.

    June 19, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. Kenny K

    That means the GOP have no position on the issue that has been around for ever.

    June 19, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. DENNA

    LOL, what is the Romster going to say? If he pans it, the GOP will be toast, if he endorses it, HE will be toast with that stupid Tea Party. President Obama check-mated you guys pretty good. I love it.

    June 19, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Moderate Independent

    @Ronda: Some people know Romney is an empty suit. They don't care they just want President Obama to lose. I'm voting for President Obama because he is sincere and cares about all of us, not just the rich. Romney wants to be President to satisfy his ego he does not care about this country. I am old school and will never vote for a tax evading draft dodger such as Romney.

    June 19, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. Dennis Price

    Mitt is waiting for Norquist or the Koch brothers to tell him what he thinks. Until then I guess we'll just have to listen to him tap dancing around the issue.

    June 19, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Ant

    I'm telling you Mitt doesn't know what he would in the white house if he elected as president. why they hve to hold for him and the primary just end few weeks ago? They should hve an idea where he stands, because the primary wasn't done long time ago. Why Mitt never has a plan for anything? All he does point finger on other people.

    June 19, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    If you Latinos and Asians want to be taken advantage of by the republican bafoon party and have soc sec ,Medicare, medicade and food stamps cut,vote for romney the clown and the republican bafoon party ,do what's best for your families and not get them deported by the republicans and romnycare the clown !!!!!

    June 19, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. jimPNW

    This the difference in leading and following.The President can do it. Its up to the SCOTUS to say it a no go, the congress to make a law against it, or the people vote out the President out of power and hand the country back over to the 1%ers.

    June 19, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. CRAIG

    The Republicans won't have anything substantial to say because Romney is not a substantial person.

    June 19, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. sahara

    and this is just June, am still laughing

    June 19, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. maximusvad

    The GOP think tank is at a loss. " Err umm....I don't know what to say"

    June 19, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. sayquitter

    These right wing leaders are useless if they are waiting on a likewise opportunistic Mitt. They should state their position on immigration clearly and concisely, vis a vis pres Obama's, and not wait for a guy is not going anywhere particularly when people finds out is clear he was saying something during their circus; and now, in most instances, is saying the opposite.

    June 19, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. Tony in STL

    You can't help but admire how they all fall in line.

    June 19, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republicans are upset with our president doing the right thing on immigration. That is because no one will hire a republican when they can hire someone who will actually work.

    June 19, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. nytw

    Obama should be impeached and removed from office.

    June 19, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  16. arale norimaki

    when mitt romney win he is going veto obama Temporary Protected Status

    other vs. Cubans: Is There A Double Standard On Illegal Aliens?

    June 19, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. Sandy

    You guys have to listen to McConnell's statement. CNN is not reporting exactly what he said. He said they are waiting for what Romney thinks because he is their leader until November. Romney a leader? LMAO!

    June 19, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. Jen

    They might be waiting a long time – so I guess it is not just Mitt who does not have an "opinion" – well at least not one we can count on – the GOP are afraid to go against him by saying what they really think – they have been filibustering the Dream Act for 3 years even though it has gotten a majority in House and Senate – so I guess it really is all about making Obama a one term president – policy and opinions are not important to them – never were

    June 19, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    President Obama will continue to be many steps ahead of empty suit Mitt McCain and the unhinged GOBP right through November 6.

    June 19, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. King

    these repubs have been holding this country hostage by killing everything this president tried to do to help this country, now they are saying they're are willing to do the same thing only under mittens presidency. the repubs knows they've got 65 percent of the white votes who hold the power in this country, so they think they have no repcussion! of anything they do with the American people, so they do what wrong for the country and blame Obama.

    June 19, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    Why are they waiting on Mittens? He STILL hasn't produced his birth certificate! He hasn't proven that he's an American citizen and can run for the office of president.

    June 19, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. usagoblue

    Which lies will the repubs try on this time? unfortunatly the tea party of no and its followers are too ignorant to tell or see the truth. Don't let facts get in your way. Fact is the President put the long term "Dream Act" to a vote which was a much better piece of legeslation but you filabusted it like you 've done everything which is why unemployment is so high and we're still in a recession. Romney said he would veto the Dream Act. If you think you will win in November you are dreaming!

    June 19, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Jules

    Do you think this is a secret plan to get Romney to take a stand on something – anything? You know how when your playing a game and you know if you could just that that first point the dam would break? Maybe they think if we can get him to take a stand on this maybe he can lay out some other policies, too. Of course, they know there is always a possiblity he could change his mind and leave them holding the bag. It's like watching a circus. I thought the clown bus had left town when everyone else dropped out of the primaries, but I guess it's driving back in.

    June 19, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. Jr.

    I applause president Obama far using his excutive power too do some good. He promise the latino community that he would help them. Seems like all America hated him and he might not get another chance. With his last breath he kept his promise. Thats what we call an American " HERO" !!! HELE-TO-THE- CHEIF......My hero

    June 19, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. enuff

    I think I'm hearing crickets on this one. I don't think I can remember such silence from politicians. It's like someone sucked the air out of the room. Actually, it's kind of nice not having the attacks.

    June 19, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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