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. Frank Youell

    @Rick McDaniel

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

    What a bunch of nonsense. Illegals have a race-based "right" to live in Texas because Texas was once part of Mexico?

    That's crazy.

    September 23, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Dave

    Sorry, but it's easy to say "All illegals should go". How, smart guy?

    And instead of denying them in-state tuition out of jealousy/spite, how about we try to break the cycle by educating young, illegal immigrants so that they can contribute to society in a meaningful way?

    Let's solve problems instead of being bitter and resentful.

    September 23, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Jerry Moses

    It does'nt have anything to do with" HEART ". They are breaking the law. If you had someone drinking and driving, Would you let him go if he killed some child in an automobile while he was taking a nap, " NUFF SAID "

    September 23, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Charlie in Maine

    The problem remains. One of these people might say enough stupid crap to get the nomination from the Tea Party but then they will have to convince independents that they can govern from the middle. A tall task considering how stupid the Tea Party will convince them to be.

    September 23, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. thomas

    @ Rudy NYC
    "This country, compliments of the looney left, has become a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

    Sorry , we became the laughing stock of the world during the Bush years , Fact

    What Rick Perry wants is for anybody who graduated from a Texas High School be able to go to any Texan University without having to prove citizenship. That will bring their universities' processing costs way down, and basically doesn't insult teenaged graduates by questioning their right to further their education.

    Nice try !
    Texas has the highest high school drop out rate in the country. Maybe that helps universities keep processing costs down!

    September 23, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    What Rick Perry wants is for anybody who graduated from a Texas High School be able to go to any Texan University without having to prove citizenship. That will bring their universities' processing costs way down, and basically doesn't insult teenaged graduates by questioning their right to further their education.

    So please explain to all of us the difference between this and hiring illegals to work here. That drives down production costs too doesn't it? My hypocrisy meter just pegged.

    September 23, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Addressing conservatives, Huntsman calls for big tent GOP"

    Are you sure he didn't say "Big Top"? Freekin' bozos...

    September 23, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Cesar Chavez

    Well, that's a no brainer............................for both of them.

    September 23, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. bartonfunk

    Perry has a very big problem with consistency. You don't have a hear if you don't give instate tuition to illegal immigrants but it's ok to not provided health care to people in need, or have a minimum wage, or care about executing innocent people. He forces people to have an HPV vaccination but that is a states rights issue but when Romney had a state health care plan then that is some how wrong? Forcing government selected health care on people seems to be more wrong than providing a state wide plan to give people the choice to get health care. He has the worst characteristics of Clinton (obvious insincerity and fake smile) and Bush (lack of empathy and deficient mental capacity).

    September 23, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Tax the rich

    I agree with the comment that the Republicans are the American Taliban. Think about it.

    September 23, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Mindie from India

    Seems everything the 'thugs are accusing Democrats of doing, they themselves do. Bunch of racist hypocrites of you ask me. Booing a US soldier just because he happens to be gay? A soldier that's protecting these idiots, and cheering for death – my god could these people be any more hateful and these are supposed to be "Christians"? My athiest friends are more compassionate than these baggers/thugs.

    September 23, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Mindie from India

    For the first time in my adult life I am ashamed of Americans.

    September 23, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. Terri

    When Perry was quoting the figures for the amount of the discount for in-state tuition at UT, he failed to give the figures for the huge amount of money a person pays, with in-state tuition rates, for a Bachelor's degree. I think all the people paying back student loans for their in-state-tuition-rate degrees would be surprised to find out what a "free ride" they receieved. What thinking person thinks that an 18-year-old child of illegal immigrants (who had no say in being brought to the US) –who: 1) enters the legal path for citizenship, and 2) ranks in the top 10% of his graduating class, which is how you're guaranteed a spot in TX at a public university–is part of the immigration problem in the US? I am stunned the powers that be who are set on Romney being the GOP nominee have gotten this much traction out of this.

    September 23, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Terri

    In previous post, I meant to say When Romney was quoting the figures...

    September 23, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. Perry

    Maybe Romney could explain why he employed illegal aliens at his mansion.

    September 23, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. Dennis

    Mass deportation is the answer to illegal immigration.Declare amnesty for all illegals for one day,have them come out in celebration to identify all of them and then slap the cuffs on 'em and haul their asses away to buses heading south!

    September 23, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Tad Pole

    Here's the part that I don't understand, and please do correct me if I'm wrong. I thought that if you were born in the US, regardless of where your parents came from, you are legally a US citizen. This would mean that those *children of illegal immigrants* would be US citizens, wouldn't they? So where is the problem with allowing them in-state tuition?

    September 23, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. Me

    @Frank Youell - I believe what's meant is for people to quit acting like Hispanic = immigrant = illegal. Pointing out Texas' time as part of Mexico is a reminder to be not be freaking shocked if you see a tan person! Hispanics were the people there when Houston showed up.

    September 23, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Indy

    Ever since Romney quit working for companies that send jobs overseas he has become a fulltime politician without an elected position and has been able to spend all of his time in front of the mirror practicing his debate skills, so he should be very dood at debates. Since there is not much demand for people to dismantle companies and send Americans to the unemployment line these days, Romney has not found a company that will hire him, and being one of the worst job creators as Governor does not help either, but at least Mitts has all the time in the world to play politician and brush up on his acting skills as he runs for President for 6 straight years.

    September 23, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Lizzy10

    Perry is as dumb as a stump, that goes without saying. Romney would be a better choice, Paul even better.

    September 23, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. Liberty

    Seriously, this 2012 administrative team is the last economic hope for the United States and Americans:

    President Michele Bachmann
    Vice-president Newt Gingrich
    Secretary of State Mitt Romney
    Secretary of Treasury Ron Paul
    Secretary of Commerce Gary Johnson
    Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

    "Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Barack Obama loses his."

    September 23, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. Former Republican, now an Independent

    There is zero substance in both of these career politicians. They need to try a real job, not in management but in the real working world. They wouldn't last 10 minutes as a working class American!

    September 23, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. CBR

    This whole topic could be resolved if those in Washington would sit together and work out an immigration plan which includes the issue of illegal immigrants.

    Meantime, we hear over and over how they take our jobs but no one has said what jobs. Is it washing dishes for minimum wage and no benefits? Is it cleaning office buildings at night for the same pay? Do they take away landscaping jobs away, manufacturing jobs away, farm jobs picking crops, food service jobs etc.? We need to identify just what the problem is and stop generalizing and making the problem the elephant int he room.

    Look around you and see just who is doing these jobs and when you do, be sure to say thank you because we are all the beneficiaries of their work.

    September 23, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Liz the First

    This is a hoot! among all the repugnican't candidates, there is not one functioning heart OR brain! God help us if any of these jiokes becomes president. i love reading all the quotes about illegals having to go, and i'm guessing most of these folks call themselves Christian. notice i didn't say 'are' Christian. this country needs a realistic, compassionate immigration policy to deal with the children of immigants, and the reality that very few, if any, Americans want to do the jobs the so-called 'illegals' are doing. one state made it impossible for illegals to work there, and their crops rotted in the fields because no one was there to pick them. that hurts everyone! i can see keeping criminals, gunrunners, and other undesirables out, but find a waty to let in the honest, decent people who want to work to better themselves and provide for their families. guest worker programs would benefit everyone. the 'anyone different from US is bad' crowd needs to STFU and remember for a second or two what their Savior taught them, to love their neighbor as themselves!!!

    September 23, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. Dan in FL

    One of the reasons illegal immigrants come to this country is to make a better life for their children. Sure, it's not the child's fault that he/she was brought here, but if you provide these kids with in-state tuition, you reward the parents for their bad behavior and encourage more parents to do the same. It's really that simple.

    September 23, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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