GOP senators hold comment on immigration policy, wait on Romney
June 19th, 2012
05:41 PM ET
11 years ago

GOP senators hold comment on immigration policy, wait on Romney

Washington (CNN) - Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he and most other Republican senators will hold off commenting on the merits of President Obama's new immigration policy until Mitt Romney makes his position clear in a speech scheduled Thursday to a group of Latino elected officials.

"I think most of my members are interested in learning what Gov. Romney has to say about this issue, and we're going to withhold judgment, most of us, until that time," McConnell said, in what amounted to a slightly awkward vow of silence from a politician who is typically proficient at shredding the president's positions.

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Romney will address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' Annual Conference Thursday.

"Then our members are going to be discussing his view on this and I think many of them will have similar views. Others will not," McConnell added.

At issue is the president's unexpected announcement Friday that his administration will no longer deport many young immigrants who were brought here illegally by their parents. Romney and other Republicans have complained that it was a mistake – and maybe unconstitutional - to bypass Congress on such an important issue but they've also made clear they would like to find a solution for the hundreds of thousands of young people impacted by the policy.

"The president doesn't have the right under the Constitution to pick and choose the laws he wants to enforce," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, who has worked on Republican legislation with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and others to address the issue. "I don't think there are very many people who don't believe that a change that would clarify the status of these young people is not warranted."

"Everyone I think has empathy for these young people and wants to address the issue," said Sen., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is considered to be on the shortlist to be Romney's running mate. "A legislative solution would have been one that provided more certainty."

Privately, one top Republican leadership aide, told CNN the lack of a forceful response is in part because the new policy is getting strong support in public opinion polls and Republicans are much better off keeping their focus on the high unemployment rate and the struggling economy.

When a reporter asked McConnell why is it taking so long to formulate a response," the disciplined communicator responded, "I'm going to give you the same answer I just did. We're going to wait until we see what Gov. Romney has to say about this and then we'll be happy to respond."

Also see:

Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations

Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan

Romney credits governors with states' success

Sunny Romney predicts Wisconsin win

Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Jon Kyl • Mitch McConnell • Mitt Romney
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Kashbmaryd

    Is it really that hard for republicans to say they don't agree? They've had no trouble in the past. And if romney does agree, it's a flip on the issue.

    June 20, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  2. JustMe

    If the GOP has empathy as Rob Portman says then WTH have they NOT done ANYTHING?!?!

    June 20, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  3. nilla

    Prediction: Romney's stance will be the opposite of Obama's.

    June 20, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  4. JustMe

    Waiting to make sure Romney doesn' t flip flop is more like it.

    June 20, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  5. J

    Regardless of what Romney says, Obama is out of line. A guy who claims to know Constitutional law and a says that he can't unilaterally change laws or not enforce them comes out and says just that. Stop defending the indefensible for all of you out there who think this was a good idea. Republican or democrat you can't do that. The law is the law until it's changed.

    June 20, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  6. chill

    They'll be waiting a long time if they wait for Romney to make his position clear. hasn't happened yet.

    June 20, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  7. blackhawkmom

    Very good example of what is wrong with our political system.

    June 20, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. jim atmad

    Clueless One to Clueless Two. What is our position? Over.
    Clueless Two to Clueless One. I thought you were keeping track. Over.
    This is Clueless One. Maybe we should ask that Mexican from Florida, Marcus Ramirez. Over.
    You mean Marco Rubio? He hasn't been real helpful. Besides, he's Cuban, not Mexican. Over.
    You sure? He looks just like my gardeners. Well, keep stalling. This is Clueless One out.

    June 20, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  9. jim atmad

    Mitt Romney has been running for president for five years. You mean to say he hasn't thought about this before?

    Besides, didn't he actually have a position on this in the primary debates?

    Did he forget? Or is his Etch-A-Sketch broken?

    June 20, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  10. VVVVVV

    I would like to hear a story on previous Presidents and the laws they chose not to enforce. Seems to be heard of more with Obama, but maybe it is rather common. Who knows? All I know is this President isn't ever vetted.

    June 20, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. Q

    They may be waiting a very very long time. Their real position is to keep the game going. Super cheap labor by not making sure migrant workers remain illegal and have 0 power. Come on, we all know what is going on here.....

    June 20, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  12. Vince

    They can't think for themselves? They have to wait for someone else to tell them how they feel?

    June 20, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  13. MaryM

    Mitt is just a puppet candidate. He has NO ideas of his own. Mitt has hired Bush advisors. Americans do not want Another Bush in the WH.

    June 20, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. Gary

    Didn't they get Grovers memo. They are supposed to tell Romney what to do and hes just supposed to sign off on it.

    June 20, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. nolimits3333

    They are waiting for Sheldon Adleson to decide for them.

    June 20, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. Jack from Illinois

    Well, I would certainly hate to see any Congressional Republicans express an opinion which differes from the 'official' line – whatever HalfMitt decides that line is.

    Sheesh, don't these guys EVER put ANYTHING ahead of Party?

    June 20, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. do it right

    I came to the US form Europe over 40 years ago….the difference is my family did it legally. We worked, went to school, paid out taxes...and now the Latinos get a free ticket in???? How can anyone say this is politically motivated...lots of blind libs out there....what else is it other than political motivation to keep mighty O in office.

    And why shouldn’t the Rep party wait to hear from Mitt. DO you think that O called Reid and Pelosi to discuss his decision? I don't think so. We need to solve this the right way and not with a knee jerk reaction...I wish he was as quick with other issues that are killing this JOBS, THE DEBT, ENERGY COST....oh I forgot per Biden we will soon have solar cells on our house and not shingles...ok remove energy cost form my list.....what a VP we have in in office....a joke.

    June 20, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. FLIndependent

    One thing is for sure, President Obama knows how to campaign!! He will stay two steps ahead of Mitt from now until November and there will be no catching up. I love it when Repubs accuse the President of playing poitics as if the President isn't supposed to do anything because it's an election year. That's what they expected but President Obama isn't a fool and is going to run circles around them. He's boxing the Repub/Tea Partiers in every way possible and they know Mitt is a weak candidate so they just don't know which way to turn. Karma will come back to bite you. FORWARD 2012!!

    June 20, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. do it right

    Jack from IL- You gave your position away just by stating that you are from IL. BTW how are things going in IL? How long before the state files for bankruptcy due to the liberal way of doing things....and your "Official Line" statement works both ways...but wait, you will see many Dems change position once they know where their constituents stand so they safe their jobs ...Big Barry may not have all the support that he thinks he does from his puppets either...just saying

    June 20, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. NJBob

    GOP senators wait for Romney, and Romney is waiting for Rush Limbaugh.

    June 20, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    President Obama to the GOP...."GOTCHA!!"

    June 20, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. BADGUY

    If Mitt wins:
    – He'll gut Social Security by allowing younger workers to pull out.
    – He'll gut Medicare by converting it to an ever declining Voucher payout.
    – He'll gut Obamacare (or WHATEVER'S left over after the Right Wing Supreme Court is done with it!)
    – He'll RAISE income taxes on the Poor by eliminating deductions and raising rates (0% Now... to 25% THEN!)
    – He'll CUT earned income taxes on the Rich (and HIMSELF) by lowering their tax rate to 25%.
    – He'll ELIMINATE investment income taxes on the Rich (and HIMSELF) by eliminating the 15% Cap Gains tax.
    – He'll help repeal Rowe vs. Wade (Abortion).
    – He'll work to eliminate insurance funded contraceptives.
    – He'll push for "Right to Work" in ALL states.
    – He'll push to eliminate "women's protection" legislation (equal rights, equal pay, Lilly Leadbetter laws).
    – He'll continue to aide the export of jobs to China, India, etc (Those corp. CEO's are FUNDING him!)

    June 20, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. chaing

    the repubs have not responded because they have no response. This caught them off guard because they have been so wrapped up in blocking the President and not doing their job. The President's position is now quite popular and the repubs have been caught with their pants down, again.

    June 20, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. BADGUY

    What does Mitt, or the Republicans, or ANYONE, believe what will happen when:
    – He raises income taxes on the bottom 50% of Americans from 0% now, to 25% THEN?
    – He cuts all deductions (house mortgage, children, etc) on the poor?
    – He allows the young to NOT pay into Social Security, thus causing it to go bankrupt for the current recipients?
    – He kills medicare and medicaid and replaces it with ever decreasing Voucher payouts?

    I'll tell you what I THINK will happen:

    – The poor and middle classes will "panic' and STOP spending money on EVERYTHING but food and shelter.
    – The resultant lose of consumer business, will cause MASSIVE layoffs.
    – The economy of the USA will collapse and enter a 2nd DEPRESSION (not Recession!)
    – The loss of jobs (poor and middle class) will cause protests and rise of the FAR LEFT.
    – The 2016 election will put in a Socialist Government (like France!)

    Whether the Republicans win or lose in 2012. They're NOT going to survive the result...either way!

    June 20, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. annie

    THIS is what is wrong and DANGEROUS about the Republican Party. They goose-step to the command of the Great Leader, even if the leader is silent, or ignorant, or mentally incapacitated, or evil. That is why a vote for a Republican Congressman or Senator is a vote for dictatorship. It is why we have had gridlock on the most pressing issues facing the country. Give them a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a president in the White House and you will see the Consitution ripped to shreds and every opposing voice in the public square silenced by any means, legal or illegal.

    June 20, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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