DAVENPORT, Iowa – Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney went on the offensive on Monday on immigration, charging that President Obama broke a campaign promise by neglecting it for most of his presidency.
Raising the issue on the stump for the first time since Obama’s executive action on Friday to let some undocumented young immigrants stay in the United States and work, Romney said Obama talked about the deficit and balancing the budget on the campaign trail, but hasn’t talked about that in office. “He said one thing and he's done a very different one,” Romney told more than 400 people who turned out to hear him at Le Claire Park & Bandshell.
“He said, for instance, to the question of illegal immigration, that he was going to deal with immigration -- his first year he was going to focus on that,” Romney said. “Did he do anything on immigration when he had a Democratic House and Senate? No. This is a president who has said one thing and done another."
Democrats and the White House tried to pass the Dream Act offering a path to citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants, but it was blocked in the Senate in late 2010. Obama has said progress can't be made until Republicans who used to be interested in immigration reform come back to the negotiating table.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, praised Republican governors in states like Iowa, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio for “making tough choices” that have helped their states recover from the recession.
“Then there are some other places. Like California. Not doing so well. They have taken a very different course,” he said of the state led by Democrat Jerry Brown. “Unfortunately, we have a president who has taken us on the course of California and Europe.”
Romney showed a lighter side during a post-rally chat with the media on his charter plane. “What’s the best piece of advice on those rope lines?” asked NBC’s Peter Alexander. “Stop trying to be like yourself. Be someone else. Just don’t be you,” Romney said, to laughter, before adding, “I’m just kidding.”