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. Stuck-With-Rmoney

    Rmoney will go down in history as the most predictable presidential candidate given that his flip-flops are always mirror images of his previous positions on issues.

    Watch out for Rmoney Part II on illegal immigrants, abortion, Planned Parenthood, Afghanistan, tax-cuts, dept of education, healthcare, bail-outs, safety nets, earmarks, cookies, etc.

    Oops, I forgot that the SEVERELY MODERATE guy has already taken opposite positions on most of these issues.

    April 20, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. Paco Diazes

    "everyone deserves a dream" hell yes they do, as long as they pay taxes in the country that is providing the dream.

    April 20, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  3. Cindy

    Does Romney have any ideas of his own?? It always seems like he has to hire someone else for their ideas. If Mr. "Me Too" ever becomes President how do we know who he would hire to set up a program. This man is a fraud. He did not set up Bain Capital. Bill Bain setup Bain Capital and Romney did not have his own money invested in it.

    April 20, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. Howard

    Over 12 million ILLEGAL immigrants have broken our laws and drained our economy, therefore, any politician, like Obama, who panders to this group, in a self serving effort to get votes, is a traitor to America !!!

    April 20, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. chuck weidemann

    Everyone who is not white needs papers to prove their citizenship! Just be truthful and come out and say it! A lot of people will vote for you...I dare you to do it. Hey people let's go pick some strawberries or cotton or tomatoes...let's dig some ditches....damn illegal aliens taking all the good jobs! Fix immigration and everything will be swell.

    April 20, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. MaryM

    LOL, right, He will certainly get Romney the latino vote. Can these repubs be anymore ignorant?

    April 20, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  7. Carlos

    People in Arizona are not stopped and asked for evidence of lawful presence and right to work in the country because of the color of their skin. There have been investigations at places of work based on denunciation of potential illegal employment.

    April 20, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  8. Mitch L

    The comments from liberals about illegal immigration show how out of touch they are with any form of rational thought.

    Since when did it become discrimination to force people to enter the country legally?Sneak into Mexico without identification papers and enjoy your trip to jail.

    If people from Canada were sneaking the country there would be no claim of racism if they were deported.

    As usual, liberals and the morons that cannot think rationally love to cry about anything that might actually force someone to accept responsibility for their.actions.

    April 20, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. Clayton

    He can get all the advice that one person is able to offer and still will not be acceptable to the latin community.... The fact is Romney can not be trusted. He changes his mind all the time and will do anything just to get a vote. All I can see is he is a liar and I will never vote for this man nor anyone that I know will ever vote for him either. I know many Republicans here in SC and one is even in the House Of Representatives and he's not even voting for him so that right there should tell you a lot. The man is so out of touch with real life realities. He says he worked hard but the fact is his dad handed everything to him. To hear him say his wife is an expert on women's rights is a complete joke. The woman has NO clue about the hard working middle class American women out in the US. Sure, she is a stay at home mom, as I do not have anything against that but she can not actually stand there and say squat about hard working women, NEVER!!!

    April 20, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. AthensGuy

    I'm latino and I vote... and we are millions

    April 20, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  11. justiceinamerica

    Koback is out of touch with reality of finances in the American immigrants natives. I WOULD LOVE TO DEBATE THEM ON THE IMMIGRATION ISSUES WITH DATA AND FACTS TO SHOW THEM THE REAL REALITY HOW IGNORANT AND LOCK OF KNOWLEDGE THEY DO NOT POSSES ON JOBS AND ECONOMICS. The reality in the streets is another..they are out of touch with most Americans basis needs..Koback how about a debate with facts no a blind eye, deaf ears or big mouth

    April 20, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  12. Holly in CA

    I totally support Romney, but on the area of immigration I think he does need to soften a little. Maybe it's because I live in San Diego? I hope they come up with a way to keep families together who have one or more family members who are US citizens. The US should not be in the business of separating families as we've seen them do over and over again.

    April 20, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  13. Mike

    Its not just the Latino vote, try the 99% less the dumb rednecks.

    April 20, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  14. Docmartin

    If you're doing nothing WRONG, you've got nothing to worry about. If you break the law, adios, Pedro.

    April 20, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  15. charles amoah

    It will be hypocritical if Romney doesn't re-consider his laws on the immigration policy. How can America offer foreign aid and loans to developing nations when it is not ready to accommodate them when they settle illegally?? The world knows what the united states stand for!! The new world as i was told when growing up.. Finding ways to accommodate law abiding illegal immigrants will be a way to honor the ancestors who sacrificed their lives for today's United States...we should never forget how Christopher Columbus came in 1492. Law abiding illegal immigrants are also prepared to move the America of today forward but cannot do so because of the stiff immigration law.

    April 21, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  16. Showmeyerpapers

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250000Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the sh samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    April 21, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  17. NotFooledByDistractions

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

    Same excuse he tried to use on his flip-flop on Romneycare/"Obamacare" after he issued a full throated endorsement of it for the nation. Romney is just pathetic.

    Kobach not only wrote the "Papers, please" legislation for Arizona, he also authored the law Alabama has implemented – much to the detriment of the farmers.'ve go a one in a million candidate here – the most prolific liar ever to run for the office of the President. On top of that, he's a full-fledged...gasp...elitist! OMG!!! Ironic, isn't it? In 2008, they railed on Obama for being an elitist when he obviously wasn't. Fast forward a few years, and they nominate the epitome of elitism. I'm sure the irony is lost on them though.

    April 21, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  18. Showmeyerpapers

    What about all the areas of our country where the standard of living is govt aid, where the american society has been utterly destroyed and unrecognizable. We once had the greatest nation on earth, now in so many places all we have is "the streets" depressed mehican varios or barrios as they are so proud to say. My once quiet street is now a mexexpressway . The clovis were here long before any mehicans or indians ever existed and they were WHITE. I say deport them all every single one of them, if theyve married americans send them along. Its time to go home and fix their rathole country and stop sucking us dry and preying on innocent americans!

    April 21, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  19. Alisha C

    I agree that Arizona's immigration laws are much better than no laws at all

    April 21, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  20. Showmeyerpapers

    Still got the nwo scared to death . The man will allow the states to enforce the dadgum law against mehicos invasion of our lives! That would ruin everything for the nwo. Illegals must have murdered at least 250 000 americans in the last 50 years. Cant you hear their blood scream for justice from their graves? Our american brothers and sisters victims of federal ethnic cleansing! Sometimes at night i can hear a car horn stuck on as if in an accident,then another and another and so on when one goes silent the tune is carried on by others till they fill the night with the constant blare,the horrific and sickening symphony of americans getting wiped out by illegal "hispanic" drivers, theyre wiping out entire families daily

    April 21, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  21. Mr.O

    Let the flip flopping begin

    April 21, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  22. david mann

    Everybody out there should want to vote for Romney. At one time or another he's been on both sides of every issue. You don't agree with him right now? Wait a week...he'll move back to your side. For awhile anyway.

    April 21, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  23. Jayar

    What's with the double negative, "anti-illegal"? Doesn't that mean pro-legal? So this very white guy is actually advising Romney to have LEGAL immigration. Too bad Obama can't hire the guy as an Czar of Anti-Illegal Immigration!!

    April 21, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  24. Obama 2012, Clinton 2016

    That should help get the Latino vote alright. While you are at it, Mitt, why dont you see if Andrew Dice Clay is willing to advise you on problem with the women voters?

    April 21, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  25. sithlord1

    I'm glad Romney has a strong approach to illegal immigration. I'm all for LEGAL immigration but the fact is that illegal immigration problems cost the U.S. more every year then Afghanistan and Iraq combined!

    April 21, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
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