Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says “there’s no way” she’s joining the Republican presidential ticket as presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.
“There is no way that I will do this because it’s really not me,” Rice said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.” “I know my strengths and Romney needs to find someone who wants to run with him. There are many people who will do it very, very well, and I’ll support the ticket.”
Pressed by CBS host Charlie Rose to explain further, Rice said she loves “policy,” but is “not particularly fond of politics.”
Rice made a similar point in an interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren.
Speaking at length about U.S. immigration policy, Rice said the election year is no time to consider changes to current laws because any reform efforts would be colored by politics on both sides of the aisle.
“I have never expected that it would be taken up as a matter in the election campaign because, frankly, that’s not the time I think to take it up,” Rice told Van Susteren in the interview aired Monday night. “It then takes on a color rags of politics.”
Rice, however, described the issue as a critical problem that has to be addressed soon, with landmark legislation of the same caliber that marked passage of the civil rights and voting rights acts of 1964 and 1965 — and welfare reform in 1994.
She also stressed that it would have to be “bipartisan” and worked out “together” by a cooperative Congress and president with the aim of doing what’s best for the country as a whole.
“That’s what we’ve got to do for immigration,” Rice said, adding that the immigration debate “goes to the core of who we are.”
She said one of her “real regrets” during her time in office under former President George W. Bush is that “we weren’t able to get the [bipartisan] comprehensive immigration bill passed in 2007” that was backed by Bush and co-sponsored by Sens. John McCain and Edward M. Kennedy.
“So finding a way to have sensible immigration laws that in fact uphold our laws, that do defend our borders, but also speak to the narrative and the aspirations of immigrants to this country, that's a very important core issue for us and it needs to be resolved,” she said.
“It needs to be resolved by the president working with the Congress, however, because this is too important for one branch of government to decide it on its own.”
Rice also addressed the Supreme Court ruling Monday, which upheld only one provision of Arizona’s state immigration law. She seemed to agree with the court, saying the decision was confirmation that the enforcement of immigration policy “is really a federal responsibility.”
“We’ve got to have consistent immigration laws,” Rice said. But she said its “understandable” the states “are taking this into their own hands” because the federal government “has not really responded” to their concerns.
“So, perhaps, now with this ruling from the court, perhaps once the politics is behind us, of this very political year, cooler heads will prevail,” she added.
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