Addressing the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials on Thursday, Mitt Romney gets another crack at immigration policy. And, as he showed on Tuesday in quickly rejecting reports that he’d discarded Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida from his running-mate ruminations, Romney knows he needs Hispanic voters.
But that doesn’t mean he can get them, and there’s a worthwhile line to draw to another policy solution evading Washington. Compare the Cassandra-like admonitions from the run-their-last-races wise men and women in both parties about the national debt -- former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles compared it to a “cancer” -- to the alarmed counsel from the run-their-last-races Republican mandarins about immigration.
The rhetoric and counsel are strikingly similar: endure the short-term political discomfort for the sake of the fruit borne in what budget analysts term “the out years.” Mitt Romney’s campaign is in fits to message his immigration stance properly. After denouncing the Dream Act during the primaries, he’s now been wedged by President Obama into a trap of the most dangerous kind: evolve or forsake a significant swath of the electorate. Evolving, of course, has gotten Romney in trouble before.
Much of this pain could have been avoided if congressional Republicans had swallowed George W. Bush’s immigration proposals, or gone along with Senate Democrats’ push last year on the Dream Act. But they didn’t, Romney was baited to the right in the primaries -- indeed, helped dispatch Texas Gov. Rick Perry by painting him as soft on immigration -- and now they face days like today. Trying to drive a legitimate and widely accepted narrative about Obama’s woes on the economy, the campaign was again tripped up by immigration questions.
But, as with Congress and fiscal matters, he’ll have to choose between feeling good in the short term, or staying salubrious in the out years.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL REPORT
Poll Showing Obama Well Ahead Differs From Other Surveys
[National Journal, 6/20/12] A majority of Americans approve of President Obama's job performance, according to a new Bloomberg News poll released today that contradicts almost all other public polling in the race.The poll also shows Obama leads Romney in his bid for a second term by a significant margin.
Obama Cash Advantage Eroded By Spending Spree
[Wall Street Journal, 6/20/12] Obama’s re-election campaign spent more money than it took in last month, allowing Romney to make up ground in the money chase. Romney also enjoys a big advantage when it comes to money gathered by outside political groups like super PACs and advocacy groups.
The Eight States Where Latinos Could Sink the GOP [Washington Post, 6/20/12] Republicans’ emerging problem with Latino voters looks even worse when you factor in the Electoral College. How the increase in the Latino population in eight key swing states could spell trouble for Romney this fall.
Romney's Path to the Presidency Veers in a New Direction
[National Journal, 6/20/12] The Romney-Obama clashes that were expected to rage across such states as Nevada and New Mexico might instead happen in places like Wisconsin and Michigan. Fueled by demographics and the moves made by the candidates, the importance of the Upper Midwest has grown at the expense of the Southwest.
Romney’s Unconvincing ABC Slam
[Washington Post, 6/20/12] Romney addressed the ABC News report regarding who he is vetting for VP: “The story was entirely false.” But the Post's Erik Wemple writes that Romney’s non-denial smells a lot like a confirmation.
Listen Closely When Candidate Romney Talks Taxes
[Christian Science Monitor, 6/20/12] Romney's plan for tax reform is to cut tax rates and have high-income households pay the same share of taxes that they do now. Looking at the second item, his proposal implies high-income households would pay much less taxes than they do now. CSM's Howard Gleckman explains.
Romney Campaign Press Calls Gives Twitter Grist to Democrats
[National Journal, 6/20/12] The Romney campaign held a conference call that on Wednesday that quickly turned sour after aides refused to answer reporters’ questions about immigration. The call was chronicled on Twitter as it happened, giving the Obama camp an opening to compile the less than flattering 140-character accounts into a press release.
Obama Campaign: Mitt Romney Is ‘Rooting’ for a Worse Economy
[Time, 6/20/12] An Obama campaign official said on Wednesday that Romney's campaign is "rooting" for a worsening U.S. economy, which would increase his chances of winning in November. Andrea Saul of the Romney campaign said that accusation is "ridiculous."
Pawlenty Stock Soars in Romney-World
[Politico, 6/20/12] Tim Pawlenty will put supporters in a headlock, but that tendency isn't the only thing that makes him an attractive running mate for Romney. He's low-key about his faith and also the son of a blue-collar worker, and much of his background and style would offer a good complement to Romney.
Obama Demonstrates His Power, Fast and Furiously
[National Journal, 6/20/12] Obama's assertion of executive privilege in the "Fast and Furious" scandal is the latest in a series of recent reminders that an incumbent president is not to be underestimated. But asserting the privilege is not without risks: It leaves the question, what is the president trying to hide?
'The Bain Way' Shapes Romney's Running Mate Search
[Associated Press, 6/20/12] The Associated Press looks at Romney's interview style and decision-making process during his time at Bain for a clue as to how he might be vetting his running mate, and finds that he may be taking a methodical, data-driven approach to the task.
Conservative Gay-Rights Group Endorses Romney
[National Journal, 6/20/12] The board of directors of GOProud, a conservative gay-rights group, voted on Tuesday night to endorse Romney for president, citing his economic positions while noting its differences with the presumptive nominee on gay marriage.
Poll: Obama Leads Romney in Wisconsin
[National Journal, 6/20/12] Romney predicted earlier this week on his bus tour that he would win Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes in November, but a new poll released on Wednesday shows he is still trailing Obama in the state. Obama leads Romney, 49 percent to 43 percent, according to the poll.
Bain Money Pic Captured Romney on Eve of Major Success
[Washington Post, 6/19/12] The infamous photo of Romney and his partners celebrating the launch of Bain & Co. by flashing money at the camera is a snapshot from the start of a time in Romney's life that has since defined him as a candidate and a man.
Conservative Women's Group Launches TV Attacks on Health Law
[National Journal, 6/20/12] Concerned Women for America launched a bruising 60-second television ad on Wednesday that lambastes Obama over his signature health care reform legislation. The $6 million buy running in six battleground states features a doctor who describes the difficulties she has faced because of the Affordable Care Act.
Asian-Americans a Fast-Growing Group in Key States
[CBS News, 6/20/12] Asians are now the fastest growing immigrant group to the country, and are more likely to vote Democratic. The Obama camp is making specific efforts to reach out to Asian-Americans in key states like Nevada, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, and California.