Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration
September 23rd, 2011
11:08 AM ET
12 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. bob

    Let's see...Romney doesn't have a heart, and Perry doesn't have a brain. Instead of running for president maybe they should audition for the Wizard of Oz as as the Tin Man and Scarecrow.

    September 23, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Randomhookup

    One of the issues that isn't addressed is that even with the tuition break, when these kids graduate they are still here illegally and aren't eligible for legal employment. Without a connection to immigration laws, giving them a cheaper eduction doesn't add productive individuals to society.

    September 23, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    sorry but "having a heart" does NOTHING for you in this current GOP climate. And as much as I dislike BOTH of these candidates I think this is the one issue that may sink Perry's chances. I have read some of the blogs from the right wingers that post here and it PROVES the lack of compassion so Perry can just forget it. At least they are going after him on this issue just as they would a Democrat. What do you expect from a party that has people cheer the death penality and a man without healthcare possibly being allowed to die. But wait......isn't the GOP supposed to be the party for the born again Christians???

    September 23, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Dave

    Just keep the facts straight. Knowone last night said these illegals couldn't attend college, they just need to borrow the money to attend college like the rest of us who are here legally. Perry said we shouldn't be heartless just because of what illegal actions the parants took to come here illegally, but what he fails to realize is that while he's showing compassion for those who are illegal, he's also showing a lack of compassion for those who are here legally. Why don't politicians understand the basic principal of rewarding those who obey the law and chastising those who break the law. If we continue to keep giving benefits to these law breakers, we will all lose in the end. WAKE UP People!!!

    September 23, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Justin

    So what the candidates want us to believe is that Obamacare and Obama Dream Act are bad and socialism while Romneycare and Perry Dream Act are good and conservative.

    September 23, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. scott

    Let's be honest. A cheap education would never draw illegal immigrants to Texas. A cheap education wouldn't draw American citizens to Texas. Nothing about the Texas education system would draw anyone there, ever.

    September 23, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Marc in Texas

    Do you understand "in-state tuition?" It is only granted if someone can show he/she is a resident of the state. You don't have to be born here, any more than you have to be born in Texas – you qualify by establishing residency. Not the same thing as citizenship – Texas doesn't decide whether you deserve to be in Texas. So, you right wingers would punish a child who lived the majority of his or her life in a single place, just because his or her parents wanted to make a better life for that child. When that child wants to make a commitment to being a productive American citizen. That's stupid and heartless, and it shows what the right is made of – loudmouthed, selfish, idiots.

    September 23, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. kri

    It is ridiculous giving in state tuition to illegal immigrants when legal immigrants, US Citizens, Naturalized Citizens from out of states are forced to pay out of state tuition fees. It makes no sense and encourages illegal immigration and sends a wrong signals to entire world that you come to USA illegally by some means so that your children will prosper. Being an unaffiliated party voter I would never vote for Perry. If Repulican party wants to win 2012 presidential election it should field Mitt Romney who has some brain unlike other presidential candidates.

    September 23, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Tn Ken

    Let the illegals build the needed fence at the border then put them on the Mexico side when they are finished.

    September 23, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. AustinIsFull

    @1crusader – Our limit of compassion is letting them live here without permission.

    September 23, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Mike

    It is so funny to read the comments from people that are actually trying to understand Rick Perry. The man is incredibly dumb. Bush was dumb, but this guy is so worthless. Have you seen his college transcripts? You could walk down the street and find dozens of people better qualified to run this country than Rick Perry.

    September 23, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. TommyBom

    Being an immigrant myself (legal, naturalized 7 years ago) I fully understand Perry and (strangely) find myself agreeing. First, the kids he is talking about came here at a young age and know no other home. Think about yourself being sent to a country that is not your, does not speak your language, and you have no clue about the culture. That is what he is talking about. Of course easy for armchair quarter backers to say too bad, but still imagine yourself in that situation. The other side is extremely pragmatic. We have a choice for these kids, try to find them extradite them, or simply accept them as illegal as we have ALL HAPPILY done for the last 30 years. Or we educate them, and make them part of our society where they can integrate and eventually (if they can find a path to legalization) become productive, taxpaying citizens, perhaps own businesses, create jobs, etc.

    September 23, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. GOP = Greed Over People

    Princess Perry kills over 200+ under his governorship and claims someone else is heartless because they do not want to give students a tuition discount?

    You just gotta love the hypocritical GOP blather about "pro-life" with "christians" like slick Rick.

    September 23, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. diridi

    perry has no brain, he is a total idiot....o.k,

    September 23, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Barbs and Gaffs

    GOP VS GOP barbs were like:

    Huntsman: I wish Mitt Romney and Rick Perry would bludgeon themselves to death.

    Mitt Romney looking snidely at Rick Perry: At least I didn't inhale.

    At the end the GOP contenders would not think of having Perry or Romney as Vice Presidential candidates.

    I frankly wouldn't want coked out Rick Perry as my bus driver or my Burger King cook.

    September 23, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Republicans have dog shovel ready projects for brains

    Admit to the world we are complete and total suckers to be played for every last penny.

    That would be you, and your republican vote.....

    September 23, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Yup

    Maybe Perry should Pray that the illegals should follow protocal and enter this country the right way.....
    He must be shooting for the pitty vote.

    September 23, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. AustinIsFull

    @ Anthony...You say that they should stop claiming that they are Christians? Are these illegals Christians? Yes? Then aren't they being bad Christians for breaking laws and being dishonest by coming here illegally?

    September 23, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. stu

    Responding to Larry L who said that Hitler could not round up and imprison 11 million people...

    Well, the truth is that Hilter rounded up and imprisoned and killed 20 million Jews. I am not sure how many millions survived the concentration camps, but tack that amount onto the 20 millions killed, as to how many he imprisoned.

    September 23, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. bearced

    He has to let the children of illegals in at the in-state rate, otherwise because of the pitiful education system in Texas they would have no students.

    September 23, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Yup are a complete might have a chance to win this thing.....Washington loves stupid.

    September 23, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. jennifer in Houston

    Perry would do better worrying about the education of Texan children.. He's responsible for firing teachers and starving schools of funds. Another year or so of Gov' Rick Perry here in Texas and our education level will plummet to lowest in the nation and we're darn well near the bottom now 🙁

    September 23, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The GOBP needs to really keep fighting about this, because it means they'll get little Hispanic support in the future.

    September 23, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |

    Keep talking Rick Bush. America is watching. Wingnuts will blame the media for reporting that the idiot failed again. The wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion rolls full steam ahead. Obama 2012!

    September 23, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Yup

    For crying out loud.....go pick an orange

    September 23, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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