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. ChiTownArkie

    The turtle McConnell is waiting for Romney to have a response? Romney's waiting for someone to tell him what to think. It's a standoff and everyone in R country is caught in Obama's well thought out trap. This is just too funny. I can't wait until the debates when Mittens gets eviscerated by the POTUS.

    June 20, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  2. Marc

    What if the senator has a difference of opinion? Doesn't he represent those that elected him? or does he only represent what some one else thinks and says? Typical of any politician really, but a democrat wouldn't be so blatent about it.

    June 20, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  3. Dan5404

    McConnell, Boehner and crew are silent on the matter because they have been blindsided by an Obama political decision that pleases 2/3 of American voters. Anything the GOP leaders say will be wrong, so they and Romney are stuck with no answer at all.

    June 20, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. Harry From Pa

    I don't see how they can hate Obama soooo much for Obamacare when Mitt Romney had Romney care which the president fashioned his after. Shouldn't that make them want to hate mitt as well? Isn't that government over stepping it's bounds even at a state level, how does any of these arguments even make sense? Does that mean if they over turn healthcare they would have to do the same thing with Romneycare? Or did we suddenly forget about that? Repubs are hypocrites.

    June 20, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  5. normajean @ verizon ,com

    If Mich McConnell is waiting for Romneys opinion on anything, he'd be wise to not wait because he... probably won't live that long. Romney is not giving a hint of his thinking on any subject because he hasn't got one!!! How can a presidential candidate be so blank and still have voters even consider him for president. The man hasn't got a clue as to what it woulld take for him to be in the White house talking to the leaders of foreign nations...What a disaster that would be!!!!

    June 20, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  6. craig

    This sounds a whole lot like answering to Grover. "I can't tell you what my opinion is until I check with Romney so he can tell me what my opinion is."

    Perhaps McConnell hasn't noticed, but he was elected to represent the people of a particular State, not simply parrot the words of some "higher God." Why can't he tell the people he represents what he thinks? Maybe it's because he doesn't!

    June 20, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  7. Milton K. Wiah

    Except Romney wants to change his position on this subject then we are waiting to hear what he is going to say.
    All we know he had already said something about it long time ago "I WILL KILL THE DREAM ACT WHEN I BECOME PRESIDENT.

    June 20, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  8. 1rooster

    We are already seeing President Romney in action, CLUELESS.

    June 20, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  9. maltytasker

    The GOP needs to figure out a response that won't cost them too many votes, even if they don't actually believe it. It just has to sound good.

    June 20, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  10. CA Liberal

    Looks like Obama nailed the GOP with a hard left hook. Maybe if the GOP had been dealing with this issue instead of obstructing it they wouldn't be running around looking for their brain right now.

    June 20, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  11. Karm99

    I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.

    June 20, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  12. Name da mouse

    Need a long-term solution that is humanitarian in nature, wide in scope, and devoid of political agendas

    June 20, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  13. cgs

    Romney is clear that the border should be secured and then it's time to let CONGRESS debate what's to be done with illegals who are already here. Obama has it backwards.

    June 20, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  14. Purush Vichaar

    Clear indicator that their pewrsonal opinion is likely to be different than what the stated opinion of GOP is going to be. Can there be a more glaring example than this about dishonesty. Citizens of USA wake up. This is what you will get if you elect Romney – Dishonesty in public life.

    June 20, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  15. MarkM

    And Sen. Kyl attempts a difficult triple-negative sentence, and fails horribly.

    June 20, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  16. MarkM

    No one in the GOP leadership is allowed to have their own opinion? How did these people get elected? By winning a game of 'Simon Says'?

    June 20, 2012 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  17. nolimits3333

    Romney said during the campaign that he would "veto the Dream Act."

    Republicans Senators blocked in in Dec. of 2010.

    Now they don't have the guts to admit they are against it.

    What cowards they are.

    June 20, 2012 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  18. s

    this old troll needs to go, and if you want for Romney your in trouble, he change his mind at lest 5 times. maybe for once congress can act like adults and make their own decisions and work together, but that will a cold day in hell until we get rid of the waste of spaces that the leaders occupy

    June 20, 2012 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  19. T

    Mitch McConnell, one of the most undercover racist men in the Senate today!! He will never back immigration reform.....wait, yes he will, SEND THEM BACK!!! As for Mittens', this guy has not worked in over 5 years. But yet some folk say he is ready to be the POTUS. Really? You try not working for 5 years and then apply for a management job......

    June 20, 2012 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  20. res

    Pathetic! They don't know how their leader stands?!

    June 20, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  21. Marie MD

    You are going to wait a long time because he is waiting for orders from rove and norquist and lard radio boy and they are stumped.
    Lying about what the President has done is doing and will do is NOT GOING TO WORK!
    BTW – he is NOT your leader. Whatever happened to tantrum boy from VA or your weeper?

    June 20, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  22. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Mitt Romney said the President should have dealth with immigration reform when democrats controlled congress, then he argued that the President is just trying to win the Hispanic vote! How ludicrous can you be Mr. Romney? There are two reasons why the President was unable to tackle the entire scope of immigration reform at the beginning of his tenure! The first reason is because the President had an economic crisis and two wars to deal with from day! Secondly, the President was unable to tackle immigration reform because the healthcare legislation dragged on for an entire year as the GOP played games and set up deliberate roadblocks to delay and prolong a vote on this bill and to avert it from becomming law. let's face it, the GOP opposed a stimulus bill from day one to stabilize our economy and put Americans back to work, the opposed extension of unemployment benefits to help unemployed and struggling Americans keep food on the table and a roof over their families heads while they look for work, then they said let our Auto industry crumble to the ground, so do you believe for a minute the GOP would have welcomed an immigrtation reform bill proposed by the President? Simply outrageous!

    June 20, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  23. awasis

    Romney to GOP = Should I flip or should I flop? Please tell me what you want me to do.

    June 20, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  24. clarke

    Mitt has no clue, he gets advised by others. Really he won't be running the country if he wins, he will sit in the oval office and that is it. He really is not a leader, he is lead around by others and told what to say. That is the way I see him.

    June 20, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  25. bossanova

    Waiting on the rino, what a shame. They would be better off sitting this one out and wait on christie 2016.

    June 20, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
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