Dodges questions on O immig plan
- Last Updated: 4:27 AM, June 17, 2012
- Posted: 12:31 AM, June 17, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t want to talk about President Obama’s immigration plan at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania yesterday.
“I think we have to have a very careful review of who’s giving a fair shot to the American people,” Romney told a crowd of several hundred people in Weatherly, Pa., 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
It was Romney’s second day of waffling about the plan Obama announced Friday to let young illegal immigrants remain in the country to work or study without fear of deportation.
Obama’s order gives a break to an estimated 800,000 immigrants between the ages of 16 and 30.
Romney has pointed out that the executive order could be undone by future presidents, but he wouldn’t commit to overturning it himself if elected.
His unwillingness to address the topic may be a softening of the tough stance he took on immigration during the GOP primary campaign, when he called a federal immigration bill in Congress a “handout” and swore he would have vetoed it if he were in office.
That bill would have made it possible for illegal immigrants who attended college or served in the US military to attain citizenship.
Distancing himself from such views might be a good political move for Romney.
A Gallup Poll released yesterday shows that 66 percent of Americans believe immigration is a “good thing,” an increase of 7 percentage points from a year ago.
The immigration issue wasn’t the only shadow on the first two days of Romney’s five-day tour of Northeastern swing states.
The former Massachusetts governor had to cancel plans to give a speech at a Wawa convenience store in Quakertown, Pa., after former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and other Democratic officials held a press conference there and protesters gathered.
Romney went instead to another Wawa in Quakertown.
“Why [are we] at this Wawa, instead of the other Wawa?” Romney said as he bought a meatball hoagie. “I understand I had a surrogate over there already, so we decided to pick a different place. My surrogate is former Gov. Rendell, who said we could win Pennsylvania.”