Mitt Romney is refusing to say that he would overturn President Barack Obama’s new policy allowing some young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States.
The Republican presidential candidate tells CBS” ”Face the Nation” that if he’s president, Obama’s executive order “would be overtaken by events … by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution.”
Romney was asked three times in the interview if he would overturn Obama’s order, but he didn’t directly answer the question…
The candidate’s comments represent a further softening of his rhetoric on immigration since the GOP primary campaign ended.
Rick Santorum on Sunday gave a lukewarm defense of Mitt Romney’s response to the White House policy shift on immigration, asserting that Romney was trying to “walk a line” on immigration. Romney’s onetime rival addressed the substance rather than the process of the decision — though the latter, said Santorum, is the more “outrageous.”
“[Romney]’s trying to walk a line as not to sound like he’s hostile to Latinos — and [voters in] very important states — but at the same time, I think you need to hammer the president on this now-habitual abuse of power,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union…
“There is a difference of saying, ‘I don’t like the law and I wish that the law were different, but I’m the president and my job is to faithfully execute.’ And he is not faithfully executing,” Santorum said.
“This is obviously a way to divert attention from very bad news the president has had for three or four weeks,” McCain said. “That’s very clear.”…
“I don’t think a Mitt Romney as president of the United States would say, ‘we’re not going to enforce existing laws,’” he added. “That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of a president doing that. It may have happened, but certainly not in this fashion.”
On issue after issue — gay rights, drug enforcement, Internet gambling, school achievement standards — the administration has chosen to achieve its goals by a method best described as passive-aggressive.
Rather than pushing new laws through a divided Congress to enact his agenda, Obama is relying on federal agencies to ignore, or at least not defend, laws that some of his important supporters — like Hispanic voters and the gay community — don’t like.
“If the president says we’re not going to enforce the law, there’s really nothing anyone can do about it,” University of Pennsylvania constitutional law professor Kermit Roosevelt said. “It’s clearly a political calculation.”…
“Say a Republican were to follow this strategy after regaining the White House in January of 2013 and the Supreme Court upholds the health care bill, and Romney can’t repeal it because the Democrats in the Senate filibuster it, he could basically repeal it through non-enforcement,” said Eastman.
Since the very beginning of our Nation’s founding, there has been (by design) a healthy tension between the Legislative branch, which writes laws, and the Executive Branch, which executes those laws. Laws were only de facto valid when they were both on the books and willingly enforced. As every law is a limit upon the people, this created a very high barrier to restrictions on individual rights. In modern parlance we would say that it is a “feature, not a flaw,” as the tension between the branches reinforces the desired ideal that the default position of the federal government is inaction.
If President Obama’s frustration over a “do nothing” Congress prompts him to respond with a “do nothing” government, then I’m all for it. Imagine the good that could be done if a Republican president used Obama’s precedent: By not filling tens of thousands of authorized positions, he could shrink the size of government. By refusing to enforce some environmental regulations, he could remove barriers to economic growth and greater employment. By canceling unnecessary weapon systems, he could remove the influence of earmarks from the defense budget.
Instead of complaining about Obama’s decision, conservatives should applaud anything which increases government inaction.
“This is not a political move. This builds on a lot of steps that we have already taken.”
Via the Daily Caller.
Advisors to Mr. Romney said in recent days that he was working on a platform that would include immigration policies, and they expected him to unveil them on Thursday when he speaks to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Florida.
Ana Navarro, an advisor on Hispanic issues to Senator John McCain in 2008, said in a Twitter message on Sunday: “After Obama move, it’s time. Romney NALEO speech Thurs is I-Day.’’