Romney Softens Tone on Immigration at Miami Forum

Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012 10:33 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney softened his rhetoric on immigration, downplaying a key element of his plan for handling undocumented immigrants before an audience of Hispanic voters.

“We’re not going to round up people around the country and deport them,” Romney said today during a televised forum with Spanish-language network Univision at the University of Miami in Florida. “We need to provide a long-term solution.”

The comments marked a departure from his tone in the Republican primary campaign, when he differentiated himself from some of his rivals with a harder stance on immigration. Romney said then he opposed giving legal status to undocumented immigrants without first requiring them to leave the U.S., a policy he termed “self-deportation.”

Romney said during the primaries earlier this year the government shouldn’t conduct mass deportations. Still, he called for a series of actions that would “turn off the magnet” and make immigrants feel less comfortable in the U.S.

Tonight, Romney calibrated his description of the proposal, portraying the decision to leave as being up to the immigrant. The former Massachusetts governor was questioned in Spanish, with his responses in English translated simultaneously.

“I believe people make their own choices as to whether they want to go home, and that’s what I mean by self- deportation,” he said in response to a question. “People decide if they want to go back to the country of their origin and get in line legally to be able to come to this country.”

Legal Status

Romney said he would grant legal status to young immigrants who serve in the military or pursue advanced degrees, though he wouldn’t explain his broader immigration plans.

He also attacked President Barack Obama for failing to pursue comprehensive immigration legislation during his time in office.

“He never tried to fix the immigration system,” Romney said. “I will actually reform the immigration system and make it work for the people of America.”

In June, the president signed an executive order stopping the deportation of hundreds of thousands of young, illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children. Romney wouldn’t say whether he would overturn the policy.

Lacking Specificity

Democrats seized on Romney’s lack of specificity to argue that Latinos can’t trust the Republican candidate.

“Mitt Romney is wrong on issues of importance to the Hispanic community,” Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said in a statement. “On critical issues, he continued to refuse to answer any of the tough questions or provide any specifics on what he’d do as president.”

A new poll by Fox News Latino showed Obama leading Romney among Hispanic voters by a 2-1 margin. The survey was conducted Sept. 11-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Obama is scheduled to address the Univision forum tomorrow evening.

Both parties have been working hard to woo Latino voters, one of the country’s fastest-growing demographic groups, with Spanish-language advertising, specially crafted political messaging and Hispanic-American speakers highlighted at both conventions.

At a rally in Miami tonight, Romney stood with a banner reading in Spanish “juntos con Romney” -- or “Together for Romney.”

“This party is the natural home for Hispanic Americans,” he told a cheering crowd, after being introduced in Spanish by his son, Craig. “We’re going to win because we’re going to get the support of you and your friends.”


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Bloomberg Poll: Hillary Holds Historic Lead Among Dems

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 11:21 AM

Hillary Clinton holds a historic lead in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, although a shift in opinion about the par . . .

Sen. Cruz: Obama Crossed 'Dangerous Threshold' with Amnesty

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 11:07 AM

President Barack Obama crossed a "dangerous threshold" when he bypassed Congress and acted unilaterally with an executiv . . .

Jeb Bush's Swipe at Teachers' Unions May Build 2016 Appeal

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 11:03 AM

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has picked a fight with teachers' unions about the public school system, launching a new br . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved