Romney campaign:  Kobach an 'informal adviser'
April 20th, 2012
04:11 PM ET
10 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. 1twinsfan

    Keep a picture of this guy in your wallet. Unless you look like him, be prepared to be stopped and asked for your papers. Of course, you're SOL if you were born here because the US doesn't require us to carry around proof of citizenship. What a way to treat non-white US citizens.

    April 20, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. judy

    romney threw kobach under the bus so he will do better with the hispanic vote. Beware. Now you have to sign pledges or they out you. Mitt is a real dandy. Anyone notice how the illegal population has gone down. ? Repos won't tell you that. In my state repos love the illegals when it comes to getting crops out of the ground or gardening our senators have some big ranches and i know lots of illegals working them . They only hollar about it after the crops are in. Not to many white people wanting to top corn or buck hay. Mitt is a real crook . And Im glad ohio senators didn't sign his plege to vote for him untill the convention. What a slime bag. Obama 2012 No pleged needed. Move forward.

    April 20, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. NameMorpunkt

    You mean, Romney wants to have an orderly, planned immigration program that actually follows the law?
    Why, how unAmerican!

    April 20, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Bill

    Oh great. This should really help Romney secure the latino vote. Not. He will be lucky if he gets more than 15% support from them in the general. And he can not win in November with numbers like that. Try 2016 GOP – at least you have four years to try to field a worthy candidade who can stick to the same stance on an issue.

    April 20, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. ron

    Formal. Informal. Who cares. The point is: are you doing what he's telling you to do Willard??? It doesn't matter whether or not you pay him. Get a clue....

    April 20, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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..."

    Sniffit: You beat me to the "shake, shake, shake"....

    April 20, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. Mark

    Romney says he will fight for smaller government and lower taxes if elected. It seems like a contradiction when Romney and his business supporters do a lot of outsourcing which places an upward pressure on taxes and creates a greater demand for government. Those who lost their jobs don't pay taxes which means the tax payers remaining will have to pay more. And those who lost their jobs will be looking for more help from government. It seem that lower taxes and smaller government are only possible if businesses bring back the outsourced jobs.

    April 20, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. KW

    Being Anti illegal immigration is bad?

    April 20, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. estibaliz

    ILLEGAL immigrants should be deported OR go through the LEGAL process before receiving ANY benefits or opportunities...common sense.

    April 20, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. Larry L

    Immigration is yet another one of Romney's flip-flops. If you think you can orchestrate a "volunteer" program so people will return to a hopeless future you are either stupid or simply dishonest. Romney fell for a joke about a volunteer deportation program – something too ludicrious for anybody to take seriously. He said he liked the idea! Based on that I guess I'll go with stupid.

    April 20, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Pander Bear

    Uh huh, and Charles Manson was an "informal adviser" to Susan Atkins. Right.

    April 20, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. JerseyBill

    That's right CNN lefties: demonize a guy for trying to enforce the laws against illegal immigration.

    April 20, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I wonder what would had happened if the Native Americans had deported illegal aliens

    April 20, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. KWS

    Oh no. Now no illegal immigrants will vote for him, even if the Dems find a way to LET them vote!

    April 20, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Blindersoff

    Don't fall for the devil's trick America, we are not to be controlled by these puppet masters. The news media along with the political process is trying to hype the candidates up as if the election is as simple as a sporting event. 1 for this side and 2 for the other side, 3 for this side and still 2 for the other side. How quickly minds changes from one hour to the next. Stand your ground America. todays candidate is that same candidate from yesterday and will be still the same tomorrow. Romney will always be Romney (core-less, fake and forever trying to Etch-A-Sketch his way out and in) Obama will always be progressive favoring and implementing social reform promoting new liberal ideas establishing a relatively progressive government favoring and promoting change through innovation.

    April 20, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. Iamnotfooled

    Given 4 more years President Obama and the Democrats will come up with a fair immigration and Dream Act law. That will NEVER happen with the Republicans. Hispanics know it too. They know how important this election will be and will turn out to vote in record numbers. Between women and Hispanics, President Obama will win and Romney knows it.

    April 20, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Common sense grandma

    Funny how nobody checks to see if a Canadian is here illegally. Of course, it is not a discrimination thing, we are only worried they are taking our jobs. So many lined up to pick crops, be housekeepers and work for minimum wage with no benefits.

    April 20, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. Common sense grandma

    And get back to me when you realize how much produce will cost when there is nobody to harvest the crops. The ag industry in Alabama is in trouble since they passed an anti-immigrant law. And please don't try to tell me the rest of us are going to do that back-breaking work for a barely livable wage.

    April 20, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. Bootstomper

    The republican party will realize some day that the demographics in this country are changing.Hopefully they will keep thinking its 1950 for a few more years.

    April 20, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. fernace

    The Arizona law gives new meaning to comedian George Lopez claim of being harras.sed by cop because of DWM-"driving while Mexican"! It is a draconian measure, similar to the famous Cain Electrified Fence! Democrats Do Not want Illegals coming into this nation in droves & illegals who are criminals or commit criminal acts while here must be incarcerated/deported! We are an immigrant nation & I think there are more humanitarian ways of controlling the influx than installing the AZ or GA measures nationally! I like the Dream Act because I don't think kids should have to pay for their parents desperate choices! I do not like the Republicans staunch, inflexible stance on this or many other issues! We don't live in a black/white world; there are many shades of gray & a good politician who's dedicated to public service, takes that into consideration! I'm not seeing that in Romney! I see a man who is willing to say or do anything to get his foot in the WH! What is his motivation? Altruism? Not!!

    April 20, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. The GOP's "Trickle Down" economic policy left a wet spot on the shoes of middle America!

    Is the GOP on a mission to actively alienate every Hispanic in the United States?

    April 20, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Romneys a failure at everything America stands for and would be a complete failure as American president. All he does is call the presidents policy as failures when he was a total failure as mass gov and could not even get realected and lost the senate race and the presidential race in 2008 republican primary, three time loser the best the teapublican clowns have, thanks teaparty morons.

    April 20, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. Lionel

    Romney is such a liar and flip flopper. Latinos will not fall for this and they are using Rubio to spew their lies.

    Go Obama – Latinos for Obama 2012

    April 20, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. kayla

    latinos for obama

    April 20, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind!

    Wasn't Mr. 1%'s pappy born in Mexico to American parents?

    That pretty much makes mittens an "anchor baby" and why the He!! aren't the tea baggers screaming for the "long form" of his birth cert???

    Is his long birth cert in the same safety deposit box as those 87 hidden accounts with Bain and the hidden cash in the Caymens?

    Now, that this has been pointed out, I expect 24/7 coverage on Fux the News for at least 2 weeks.

    April 20, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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