Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration
September 23rd, 2011
11:08 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued attacking rival Rick Perry over illegal immigration Friday.

The former Massachusetts governor responded to Perry's assertion during Thursday's GOP presidential debate that those who disagree with providing in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants lack a heart.

"My friend Gov. Perry said if you don't agree with his position on giving that in-state tuition to illegals, that you don't have a heart," Romney said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. "I think if you're opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn't mean that you don't have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain."

Perry passed a state-based DREAM Act in Texas, which allowed children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates, a decision he defended Thursday.

"If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for on other reason that they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart," Perry said.

During the debate Romney said the discount "makes no sense," and on Friday said it was a plan that "cannot be sustained."


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Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. thomas

    Perry = Enron as a job creator

    Romney = 5 sons that did no military service

    True leadership if you like banana republics without bananas !

    September 23, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. janetlaw

    Let's see these two idiots out "heartless" each other. Romney calls Perry names for providing tuition, Perry calls Romney names for having a state health-care plan in MA. Eat each other up, boys, I would love to see it!

    September 23, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Jonathan

    "This is funny as hell, if you live in upstate NY, there are towns with colleges 15 mins away, but accross the border. Born and raised in NY if you decide to go to the school in mass or vermont you pay out of state tution. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"

    I think you're kind of missing the point of in-state tuition there, buddy. I don't care if you can throw a rock from your house into the next state over (And growing up in a NH border town, I literally could do that), you're still not paying taxes there if you're a resident of a different state.

    September 23, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Richard

    Each night millions of American children go to bed hungry. I haven't heard either of these clowns talk about the collective Rethuglican heart when it comes to the poor in these great states. Most people only care about themselves and fortunately, what goes around comes around. Each will get their just do!

    September 23, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. DougCSTL

    Everyone complaining about tax dollars going to educate kids (citizens or immigrants) needs to realize that the only way to compete globally is to educate everyone in America so we have the best workforce anywhere. American's aren't smarter than anyone else, but our investments in human capital have made the US the leader in the world. We will only maintain that IF we keep attracting the best and brightest, both our own and abroad. If you love America, you will remember that the thing that has made America great is that we attract those wanting to work hard for a better future. Those are the values that will keep us great.

    September 23, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Me

    Please, it isn't in-state tuition so come on over! It's in-state tuition for illegals that are living in Texas. This isn't an invite to come from another country to study in TX at a reduced rate.

    September 23, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. PacificView

    In state tuition for state residents. What's the controversy?

    September 23, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. FIELD1stSGT

    So with Perry it looks like another Obama. WHAT A LOSER.

    September 23, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Aaron

    This talk about having a heart and doing the right thing is going to p/o the teabaggers. Romney had better watch is back. Bachmann and the teabaggers aren't even for food safety, much less anyone who's not white.

    September 23, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Republican Robber Baron

    Romney hires illegals to work on his chateau palace...everybody knows that. Yet Slick Mitt blames the company he hired...yea right. Typical elitist Robber Baron...uses dirt cheap sweat shop illegal labor instead of paying a Yankee a fair wage, just like his pal Meg Whitman.

    September 23, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. justin

    Who cares what Perry has done, what he has said or what he supports ect. The GOP voters dont care that he is dumber then a sack of hammers or is worse the Bush. The only thing they care about is electing someone who can beat Obama. Look you have Sarah Palin in some polls who is number 3 & she is not even running yet. Perry can do what ever he wants & it wont matter to the GOP masses.

    September 23, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. FIELD1stSGT

    Where are you SARAH PALIN? You said if things didn't look good for the GOP you'd run. NOW IS THE TIME YOU CAN TAKE OBAMA OUT. THE OTHER FOOLS ARE NO BETTER THAN THE FRAUD.

    September 23, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. sortakinda

    Was Bachmann there or was she on her way to Oz to get herself a brain?

    September 23, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Sluvey

    V. P.
    I don't like Perry or Romney, glad I'm not Republican but will suffer if that party gets in the White House.

    I'm sure you will long for the good old days under Obama. Mark my words. The worst president in the country's history.

    September 23, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Alicia

    I actually agree with Perry on this one. It's not the childrens fault they are here illegaly, there's no need to punish them. Giving them an affordable education helps them get jobs so that they can pay taxes as well as bring over other family legally, if need be. If you would like in-state tuition for yourself or your own child, stay in-state. Making education unaffordable and leaving more people uneducated is not beneifical in any way. You can keep whining about how life's not fair, but what will charging them tuition they can't afford do? Nothing.

    September 23, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Kenny K

    Well, Perry now believe in Democrats and Obama's position in DREAM ACT. I wonder how republican voters are going to explain supporting him.

    September 23, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Joe

    Where do all of these neanderthals who are trying to sound so tough on illegal immigration think the money will come from to round-up and send all these people back to their country of origin? The GOP candidates are so willing to play to the extremists who define the conservative wing of the party, they sound like a bunch of teenage boys bragging about the size of their tallywackers. Sad, and it won't result in "good" policy

    September 23, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Phil

    Whoever said Teapublicans have and use logical brain functions anyways? They work mainly by limbic (emotional, irrational) neurology not neo-cortexual rationality. Don't believe me? Just tune in to Sarah Palin.

    September 23, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. unsub

    cain will win the nomination!

    September 23, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. nero

    Mitt is just trying to get some tea baggers.

    September 23, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    In Texas, the Mexican heritage was already here, before Texas became a republic, and long before it became a state.

    To deny that, is to be stupid.

    Perry is simply dealing with the reality, and the differences of the state of Texas, as compared to other parts of the country.

    The bottom line........on the issue of subsidized education is this.......the Federal government mandates all of the states to pay for illegal immigrant children in our public schools, totally at taxpayer expense, including TX. That costs way more than the difference between in state or out of state higher education tuition. If taxpayers have to pay to educate kids from kindergarten through high school, what's the big deal about allowing in state higher education tuition???? least they are finally paying something for their education!

    September 23, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Greg

    40% of the jobs that Perry takes credit for creating in Texas went to illegal immigrants. Go Google it. In Texas, the message has been lound and clear. "Come to Texas illegally, and we'll give you a job and discounted tuition for your kids"

    September 23, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Big_D

    The GOP has nothing better than to debate on what group to blame their failures on? No wonder we have a useless government. They are still debating laws that just need to be enforced.

    September 23, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Ed

    To all those who are simply saying "all illegals have got to go" or who view this as a clear black and white issue, think again. No matter what you think of Rick Perry, George W. Bush, or Texas in general, Texas as a whole has a very thoughtful and nuanced view of illegal immigration, and Rick Perry's statements (and Bush's attempt at immigration reform) reflect that. I've lived in Texas for 25+ years, and by and large people in Texas don't have an "issue" with illegal immigration. There are deep historical and cultural ties between Texas and Mexico, and there are many families who straddle the border. Workers have come into Texas from Mexico for generations to do the hard, low-paying manual labor that most Americans will not do. For those who bring their families with them, their children grow up here and are as American as the long-ago children of most of our immigrant ancestors. The Texas view on immigration is very enlightened, and the rest of the country should take note. Yes, we need to manage the flow of immigrants, but for those that are already here, the only solution is to assimilate them into society just the way that all our other immigrant groups have been assimilated. Access to education is a great way to do that, so that they do not become a permanent underclass, but rather become just like the rest of us in building a better country together.

    September 23, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. NC

    What debate? Glad I missed it.

    September 23, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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