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. Nate W. VA

    Waiting on a response from Romney? Like acctualy to take a specific stance? Yeeea, dont hold your breath.

    June 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  2. enuff

    Does this mean that no one actually knows what to do because they didn't expect to be in agreement on anything?

    June 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    Boehner said it all. The Presidents recent executive order " makes it difficult for everybody". The rough translation of which is that republicans know they are up against a severe hurdle in trying to win over more latino votes, especially when Romney has opposed the Dream Act, and supported a similar change to obama's in the draft stages by Rubio who is being vetted for VP by Romney.
    So whats "difficult" is how the whole Republican party can flip flop in/on what would be a wasted attempt anyway to win more latino votes.
    They were mendacious when they campaigned on jobs jobs jobs in 2010 and however they handle this difficult matter now will involve further mendacity.
    The tea party will be thier undoing on trying within the party to achieve a Party line, or anything that closely resembles a potential party line let alone a bi-partisan position without a complete flip flop.

    June 19, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. Norma Vessels

    This is so dumb .. the Republican leaders in Congress are waiting to see what Mitt Romney says about it? What's that phrase .."would you hurry up and make up my mind!"

    June 19, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. 111Dave111

    See, repeating the Tea Party position on Arizona and Immigration was a mistake.

    June 19, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Well turtle man (sorry turtles) you are going to have to wait a long time because rove and norquist are still stuck in the bathroom.
    The bishop has agreed with a couple of teapublikkkans lately because he has run out of lies to tell.
    Sort of like when the fat radio boy called the student a slut and he didn't think it was wrong. He just would have called something else!

    June 19, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. ib1sage

    Willard is lost and will lose the election. While the Repubs are vocal, hateful and lost in ideology, intelligent people are realizing the lies, flip flops and lack of foresight that Willard presents. A vote for Willard is a vote against the working middle class.

    June 19, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Romney and McConnell are stupified because Obama outsmarted them so thoroughly!

    June 19, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. Zack

    But the president does have the right to have executive orders.

    June 19, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  10. Larry L

    When asked about the idea Romney said he approved the process of "self deportation" – a satirical idea presented as a joke by a political comedian. What a fool.

    June 19, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. Darryl

    Wait until Thursday ???? R U kidding me ? LOL...LOL...good lord, Boy oh Boy, lol,,the Republicans are really entertaining us this summer for sure.I told friends of mine it was going to be really entertaining this summer and it is, lol..I was kidding but it turned out to be the truth.The Republicans have really destroyed themselfs along with Grover Norquest and the Extreme T-Party.It's a shame because we use to have a democracy that worked and both partys did the give and take thing and everybody worked and survived pretty much. But after ( 911 ) the wars ect the country went to Hell and people lost everything some even their lives, Very,Very sad.What should have happened was when President Obama got elected EVERYONE should have pitched in and put this country back on it's feet immeadiately but unfortunately that would not be the case.The agenda and goal was to make the POTUS a 1 term President period. Very Sad but Very True.It goes to show us that when we all suffer a chrisis not everyone is willing to help pick up the pieces.Some people think just about themselfs only.Not only did young men & women lose their lives defending our freedom but citizens committed suicide and took their children with them in vein.Very sad the way things are and mabe things will change.

    June 19, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  12. MikeInCarolina

    Wrong ! They( the GOP ) are all waiting to hear what Rush and Hannity have to say. Watch and see. By tomorrow, they'll have their talking points in sync. There's not much they can say because they were solid in their opposition to the DREAM Act. The best they can do now is double talk and try to attack Obama's political motives or timing. The GOP could have won points with Latinos by getting ahead of Obama on this but doing something because it's right isn't in their game plan. Appeasing the far Right is the only thing they know how to do comfortably. Jeb Bush has tried to warn them about that and they turned on him rather than consider the wisdom of his position. If they think they can win the POTUS with only votes from extreme Right, they have a lot to learn about mainstream America. We aren't zealots, bigots or lemmings. We also believe in The Golden Rule.

    June 19, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. Ken

    Mitch speechless???? Talk about PRICELESS!!!!!

    June 19, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He doesn't really have a plan except for waiting for the illegals to deport themselves. No one has a really good plan on this subject because there is no correct answer. We need to balance the law and rules with compassion and needs of the country and low cost labor. It is never an easy task.

    June 19, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  15. LogiK

    GOP: No Ideas – No Compassion – No Logic – No Chance.

    June 19, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. The Left Wing

    Republicans don't know what to do. Much of the party base wants mass deportations. However, most Americans have empathy for the children of illegal immigrants. Since it is hard to use the flip-flop strategy in a presidential campaign, they have decided to say nothing and hope both sides will think they are with them. I don't think it will work. Most people will see the Republicans as the political cowards they are.
    This seems to be a strategy Republicans will use on a number of issues. For example, what exactly was Romney's position on equal pay for women? (For it in principle but no opinion or plan on actual legislation)

    June 19, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  17. rmatten

    This is really tough for Romney......making his own decision, that is......

    June 19, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. loutoo

    It's like they all share a brain...

    June 19, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  19. Jack

    Obummer I mean Obama
    is basicly making all illegals legal by doing this becase the feds have basically stopped deporting parents of children born here awhile ago. This just adds in the rest of them. Why doesn't he just say come all to America the land of hard working tax payers who will support you and all the kids you want to have. Also were going to put our citizens out of work so we can employ you for less. We will also let you get a free ride as far as taxes, child care, welfare and I am sure we will hook you up with a great education as well. No need for border control when they still give temp work visas to Mexico every year and 90% stay and begin their anchor baby system.

    June 19, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  20. Phil Thomas

    This is sad exactly how we got in this mess to begin with, these guys are ready to rubber stamp anything the next president suggests as long as he is not a democrat. They same way they did it with Bush, Its funny how these guys found their voice and started saying no when it meant regaining the White House.

    June 19, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  21. ronb

    LOL. Priceless! Even the traitor McConnell is speechless. Serves him right. I wonder: how many Americans have to lose everything they've worked all their lives for so that Mitch can make Obama "a one term president"? Looks like he's more likely to be on his last leg!!! LOL

    June 19, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  22. GonzoinHouston

    Until Romney makes his position clear? Don't hold your breath, Senator. Any firm position is a no-win for Romney; whatever might appeal to Latinos will alienate the base and TP's. Romney's best bet is to change the subject.

    June 19, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  23. packerfans

    Vote for Mitt Romney who can save America!!! Dont Vote Obama will wreck America his second term!!

    June 19, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  24. WandaG

    In a primary debate Romney said he favored self deportation?

    June 20, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Ins1te

    Are they taking notes using etch-a-sketch?

    June 20, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
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