Cecilia Muñoz: Obama’s domestic-policy director, a longtime champion of immigration reform, played a key role in articulating the administration’s policy switch on deportations.
EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY: ROMNEY
SPECIFIC POLICY POSITIONS
Although Romney has criticized specific actions taken by the president, his criticism shouldn’t be viewed as hesitancy on his part to use the powers of the presidency to their full extent should he take office. He has pledged a series of executive orders that would roll back Obama administration policies on health care and energy production and would require the Treasury and Commerce departments to crack down on Chinese imports. Romney has also pledged support for Bush-era policies to combat terrorism.
BALANCE OF POWER
Romney was critical of the administration’s decision to block the deportation of certain young illegal immigrants, calling it a circumvention of Congress, and he has pledged to work with lawmakers to work out an immigration-reform plan. Responding to a New York Times survey, Romney said he supports the use of presidential signing statements when the White House has identified an issue regarding the legality of a law passed by Congress. He has said he supports the line-item veto.
Romney appears to have a more conservative view of federal power than George W. Bush did. The GOP nominee wants to let states develop energy production on federal lands and wants states exempted from the requirements of the health care overhaul, which he has called a violation of state sovereignty. He would shift responsibility for Medicaid to the states. Romney is looking to dismantle the federal regulatory apparatus, starting with a requirement that any new regulation must “replace” another rule of equal “cost.” He opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s limits on greenhouse-gas emissions. Unlike Bush, he eschews a primary federal role in education, saying he wants to return schools to local control.
Romney has been aggressive in talking about a military strike on Iran, suggesting that his administration could launch such an attack without congressional approval. He supports the Bush administration’s antiterrorism policies, including indefinite detention and “enhanced interrogation” techniques such as waterboarding. (Although Romney says he opposes torture.) “The Bush administration has kept the American people safe since 9/11. The administration’s strong view on executive power may well have contributed to that fact,” Romney told The Boston Globe in 2007.
The former governor has said that he would issue waivers to states to give them “maximum possible authority” to develop their own health care plans.
Romney has pledged to roll back Obama’s policy that blocks deportation for young illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. He said that any immigrant already granted an exemption from deportation would be allowed to stay.
The GOP nominee has said he would not need to go to Congress to seek approval for a strike on Iran if his administration believes that Tehran has developed a nuclear weapon.
Romney would order the Treasury Department to designate China a “currency manipulator” and order the Commerce Department to slap tariffs on Chinese imports if Beijing doesn’t change its monetary policy.
Richard Wiley: A seasoned hand in Washington known for his expertise in telecommunications law, Wiley, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, could serve as White House counsel or even perhaps attorney general in a Romney administration.
Mary Ann Glendon: The Harvard law professor is a former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See and, along with Wiley, a cochair of Romney’s legal advisory group. A specialist in bioethics, Glendon is a fierce opponent of abortion rights.
Dan Senor: A former George W. Bush administration official best known for his role as spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, he is a strong voice in Romney’s camp on Middle East issues. Senor could be in line to be Romney’s national-security adviser.
Lanhee Chen: He is Romney’s top adviser on domestic policy, specializing in health care law. Chen worked for the Health and Human Services Department in the George W. Bush administration.