GOP senators hold comment on immigration policy, wait on Romney
June 19th, 2012
05:41 PM ET
10 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. 1twinsfan

    Wait a sec, Mittens is waiting to hear from the GOP on how to proceed with an immigration stance. I guess it's a draw or...wait for it... etch-a-sketch.

    June 19, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. gr8usa

    Just use what he said during the primary season, unless we just all agree right now that he flips and flops like a fish trying to get out of the boat and into the lake.

    June 19, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. rude

    Yep, Romney is too left so they have to wait to make sure they don't condemn his remarks too. But a clue is, if Obama is for it, then the GOP is against it

    June 19, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Romney is scrambling because he has no ideas on the subject. I bet he's collecting ideas from the party of no and will said whatever they tell him to. When will people realize that Romney is an empty suit.

    June 19, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. ThinkAboutIT

    They all got the talking points today

    "we have empathy" (for a short window 3 mos. before an election - but ZERO Republicans voted for the DREAM Act in 2010).

    "but it's against the law" (the laws that we're responsible for making - or voting against)

    They lie with their eyes wide open - and trust that the average voter has no memory and that reporters will not ask follow up questions - such as "if you have empathy, then explain your "NO" votes and list any legislation the Republicans have put forth.

    The idea that they would allow these immigrants to go fight for the United States of America in exchange for a visa allowing them to stay here between deployments is ridiculous. When I heard it, I realized that the GOP has finally figured out a way to outsource the duties of citizenship. Next, I would suppose those immigrant soldiers will have to serve at minimum wage or less also? While Romney's five fit multi-millionaire sons travel the country in comfort and Rubio's kids will never consider fighting for the country that gave their families the wealth and freedom they "cherish".

    June 19, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. independent

    When all is said and done, and Romney adds his two cents as well, McConnell does kind of look like a turtle.

    June 19, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. anotherGDlefty

    So they don't really know where they stand on it?


    June 19, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Logic N LA

    This is the ultimate joke! Our Senate minority leader will not give an opinion on immigration until their candidate does! In other words, "we can only say what Mitt does because that's how we Republicans roll-in one big ball"
    He was an idiot in 2009 saying he would never support anything Obama proposed and he just proved time has not made him any smarter.

    June 19, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Indy

    Good thing there is no 4:00 am phone call to these Republicans they have to wait until they get the answers from Koch Bros and Norquist before they give an answer. Call it what you want but Obama outsmarted them 10 to 1 on this and now they look like idiots that can't come up with thier own answers which proves it always been Party First,Country Last.

    June 19, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. varag

    Why is Romney even waiting? He said it very clearly during primaries..he is against giving back door entry to undocumented aliens, and he is going to veto the Dream Act. So, he and Repubs need to make it clear again. The fact that Repubs are waiting only shows that they have one policy to get elected and different policy to govern. This also shows why they are against increasing deficits etc when they are not in white house, but when they go to white house they will care less about debt and deficits. I am sure all the Fox's will keep quite when a Repub takes the country for a free ride leaving it more vulnerable.

    June 19, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Are you kidding me?

    Willard is NOT in office. We already know the answer but this tactic proves once again the GOP in office are a joke and a travesty. Each one should resign effective immediately because they are not competent or capable to execute their fUnction

    June 19, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    And guess what, while they are waiting they wasted no time saying they weren't vetting Rubio for VP, they don't need him anymore so they have thrown him under the bus the same day Rubio's promoting his book. I ask, is that the way you treat your "up and rising Hispanic star", if so who needs the Republican party as a friend.

    June 19, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    They are going to be waiting for ever.

    June 19, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. ddt

    Let them self deport or you can electrify the fence and chase them through

    June 19, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. Joe M

    they have to have a union meeting before they can say anthing

    June 19, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    What a bunch of incompetent boobs the Republicans are! All they know is how to say NO like petulant three year olds. Now they have to scramble to find out what it is exactly that they oppose. Although I'm sure they will think of something... They just have to figure out how to sell it!

    June 19, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. California Gary

    David Corn said it best today........McConnel is the GOP leader of the U.S. Senate, one of if not "the" most influential Republicans in the country........and he has to wait and see what Mitt says before he has an opinion? Mitt hasn't been elected to anything yet and is afraid to express an opinion on almost everything.......but that's who Mitch will wait and take his cue from? Go figure........

    June 19, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. g

    karl rove must be pulling his hair out-

    June 19, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. vic , nashville ,tn

    Immigration is one of the main issues we care about , GOP leaders waiting for others response to take action that mean no leadership

    June 19, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. john

    "Members are interested in learning what Gov. Romney has to say about this issue". Why wait? Are they suggesting Romney gonna flip flop? Romney's position is well known to all: "let them self-deport". Even Newt Gigritch is more compassionate/enlightened on this issue. Who doesn't remember the primaries?

    June 19, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. georgewashington

    boo haaa boo haaa

    June 19, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. Dave

    LOL! These clowns have to wait on their Presidential candidate to stake a position on this issue? Better pack a lunch.

    June 19, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |

    Of coarse the mummy from the republican bafoon party can't think for himself ,just like the rest of republican clowns,led around by the nose like sheep .

    June 19, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    So Republicans are actually waiting to hear what Romney says first. At least that way they can tailor they story so Romney won't be shown flip-flopping from the party line.
    I can picture the Republican inner circle sitting around a hand made table, in plush Italian leather chairs, smoking Cuban cigars and drinking high dollar booze, being served by lesser Americans, wondering just what their pet doofus is going to say. Then they will have to go out and say: "Yes, that is the policy of the Republican Party" no matter how idiotic Mitt sounds.

    June 19, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  25. Bonnie

    There is no need to wait, GOP Senators. Just say the opposite whatever Obama worked and it will work. I thought you all know that.

    June 19, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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