Romney campaign:  Kobach an 'informal adviser'
April 20th, 2012
04:11 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney campaign: Kobach an 'informal adviser'

Washington (CNN) - Controversial anti-illegal immigration activist Kris Kobach is an "informal adviser" to Mitt Romney, a spokeswoman for the likely GOP nominee confirmed to CNN.

Kobach, who co-authored Arizona's illegal immigration law and currently serves as Kansas Secretary of State, said in an interview Friday that he still considers himself an "informal adviser" to Romney. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul agreed with that assessment in an email to CNN.

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Earlier this week, Kobach's status with the campaign was thrown into doubt after Politico reported a Romney spokesperson described the fierce critic of illegal immigration as only a "supporter."

Romney is coming under increased pressure to moderate his tough positions on illegal immigration. During the primary season, the former Massachusetts governor advocated for the self-deportation of the undocumented and opposed the DREAM Act, a measure that would provide a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

Those positions may be harming Romney's popularity among Latino voters. A recent Pew Survey found Romney trailing President Barack Obama by 40% among Hispanics.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a GOP favorite for vice president, discussed his own version of the DREAM Act at a panel discussion earlier this week. Rubio's measure would offer only a path to legal status, not citizenship.

"I felt we had to find a way to accommodate young people who found themselves in the unfortunate circumstance," Rubio said Thursday about his version of the DREAM Act.

In response to Rubio's remarks, the Romney campaign put out a statement saying the presumptive GOP nominee "will study and consider any proposals on immigration from his Republican partners."

Kobach opposes the original DREAM Act as a form of "amnesty." He said he would have to look at Rubio's proposal before rendering a judgment on the measure.

In an interview with CNN, Kobach said he did not expect Romney to soften his stance on the issue.

"I think it would be unusual for a national presidential candidate to back away from statements he's made in debates and he hasn't shown any sign of doing so," Kobach told CNN.

Kobach said he believes Romney has endorsed the Arizona immigration law known as SB1070 as a model for the country, pointing to the former Massachusetts governor's comments at CNN's GOP debate in February.

"You know, I think you see a model in Arizona," Romney said at the debate.

Romney's aides say he was not endorsing the law as a national model in the debate and was only referring to the state's E-Verify system used by employers to confirm the legal status of their workers.

Saul said Romney backs the Arizona law, known as SB1070, just not as a model for the country.

"Gov. Romney supports the right of states to craft laws that assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws, particularly when the federal government has failed in its duty to enforce those laws," Saul said.

In a videotaped interview posted on the Christian Broadcasting Network's web site on September 15, 2011, Romney does state his support for the Arizona law.

"Well, I support the Arizona law by recognizing what Arizona has done - underscored the failure of the federal government to do its job," Romney said in the interview.

Kobach sees only clarity in Romney's position on the law.

"He stated very publicly that Arizona's law should be a model for how the federal government enforces its immigration laws. And he's correct there too," Kobach said.

Also see:

Romney releases March fundraising figures

Paul campaign touts campaign cash

RNC looks to Facebook for political edge

Biden says Democrats have chance in Arizona

Filed under: 2012 • DREAM act • Mitt Romney
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Gijoe

    No law, no nation

    April 21, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  2. aragon302

    you mess with one bean u mess with the whole burrito. Even black beans. Obama all the way!

    April 21, 2012 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  3. Td

    @kw when u prosecute American citizens on the streets, an infringe on their rights it is!

    April 21, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  4. .

    Dems love illegals. Especially if they can get the illegal votes to illegally take over the country and turn it into....... Mexico.

    April 21, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. Nobodies Pon

    Worker Visa program would cure the immigration problem . Second why dont america up the aid to mexico and all countries on our side of the planet. These countries have oil and other resources we could use. Stop the drug war and help our neighbors in the south get out of poverty. Then they wont be rushing the borders like mad men.

    April 21, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  6. James

    So Obama is for illegal immigration??? Hell, the Democrats can even do a budget in 3 years...... incompetence plus

    April 21, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  7. Matte

    The poor suckers in the spanish republican party. romney gets you vote then backdoors all you illegal buddies back home. no more free yard work and house cleaning. remember last time around his popularity dropped like a rock when he took the stand on deportation efforts need to be increased. but all you reps tend to forget that negative stuff. maybe if he gets elected you can see the true communist come alive. remember the like dogs on the roof of their cars and in their bellies. that was a wonderful dog stew served at the whitehouse dinner for 2013.

    April 21, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  8. james

    For all the stupid people who talk about carrying papers as though this is nazi Germany, try to remember that "papers" is just another name for identification,,,,,, I don't know a single adult who doesn't have a drivers license. Many states require residents to prove their citizenship when renewing their drivers license.... so, when you're walking to 7-11 and a cop asks you for ID, open your wallet or purse and show him your drivers license. This is not a bid deal... except it is a big deal to the illegal aliens because they won't have a drivers license. They will be discovered as illegal and they will be deported. The system will work if some of the fools in our society would stop fighting it.

    April 21, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  9. Scott

    There's no such thing as an illegal immigration critic, just law abiding citizen. If you don't like the law then work to change it through legal channels, and in the mean time continue to arrest and deport those who cross illegally, just like mexico does to you if you cross illegally from Central America.

    April 21, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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