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Monday, June 18, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
Romney blasts Obama for immigration move but falls silent about repealing order
By David G. Savage
Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney faulted President Obama on Sunday for bypassing Congress to shield about 800,000 young illegal immigrants from deportation but stopped short of saying he opposed the move.
During the Republican primaries, Romney said he favored "self-deportation" for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants who live and work in this country.
But on CBS' "Face the Nation," the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said he could support legislation that would allow some of those immigrants to stay. He also refused to say whether, if elected, he would countermand Obama's executive order.
"With regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is," Romney said during the interview, which was taped Saturday and aired Sunday. "This is something Congress has been working on, and I thought we were about to see some proposals brought forward by Sen. Marco Rubio and by Democrat senators, but the president jumped in and said, 'I'm going to take this action' — he called it a stopgap measure."
Obama announced a temporary, two-year reprieve for young immigrants who came to this country before age 16, who have lived here at least five years and who have clean records. The reprieve, which is renewable, would afford qualified immigrants legal protection but would not establish a path to citizenship.
Moderator Bob Schieffer asked Romney three times whether he would repeal the executive order. Romney refused to give a direct answer, but said: "It would be overtaken by events."
The White House and Democrats say Obama was forced to act alone because Senate Republicans blocked a move to pass the DREAM Act, which would have permitted many young immigrants to stay and seek citizenship.
In the CBS interview, conducted Saturday while Romney's Rust Belt bus tour stopped in Pennsylvania, also touched on a variety of topics, from health care to Romney's political future:
• With the Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of Obama's health care law expected this month, Romney said he wants to make sure people "don't have to worry about losing their insurance" if they already have a medical condition and change jobs; that individuals can buy coverage on their own, if they choose to do so, "on the same tax-advantage basis" as companies do; and that states, with aided by federal dollars, take responsibility for the poor and uninsured. Regardless of how the high court rules, Romney said he would "stop Obamacare in its tracks and return to the 10th Amendment that allows states to care for these issues on the way they think best."
• Regardless of how Europe's financial crisis plays out, he hopes that "our banking sector is able to weather the storm." He said European countries are capable of dealing with their mess "if they choose to do so" and the U.S. doesn't want to get into the business of bailing out foreign banks. Romney also does not favor another round of economic stimulus by the Federal Reserve, saying a previous one didn't have the desired effect.
• He described himself as "not a guy that's going for the next step in my political career. I don't have a political career. I served as governor for four years. I spent my life in the private sector. The private sector is where I've made my mark. I am in this race because I want to get America back on the right track. I don't care about re-elections." Moderator Bob Schieffer asked, "So you're not saying you just intend to serve one term?" Romney replied that for him "this is not about politics. This is not about did I win this or did they win this. This is about what can we do to get America right."
TROY, Ohio — Protesters shouted throughout Mitt Romney's campaign appearance Sunday in Ohio with House Speaker John Boehner.
Romney gave an abbreviated campaign speech from the bed of a pickup in Boehner's hometown of Troy. A small but noisy group of protestors shouted throughout his speech, which lasted about six minutes. The protesters shouted, "Romney go home!"
A group of Romney staffers moved a set of speakers into the middle of the group of protesters to try to drown them out in return. The group had gone through regular security, and no staffers or security attempted to remove them from the event area.
The stop in Troy was Romney's third in Ohio.
Includes material from
The Associated Press
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