Mitt Romney is on defense on the issue of immigration. President Obama’s decision to stop deporting many of the children of illegal immigrants tapped into public sentiment and an key issue for a key voting block. Up to now, despite being asked several times about it, Romney has declined to say whether he would repeal the president’s executive order. Romney has just said he prefers a “long term measure.”
But the Romney campaign says the will have “a few more things…to say about immigration” at the candidate’s speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials or NALEO tomorrow in Orlando. It will be an important moment as both the president and his chief challenger will address the group.
During a conference call with campaign aides Wednesday there was a hint Romney may introduce some new language or policy regarding immigration in his address. But the Romney campaign focus will remain, as ever, the economy, according to the aides.
“The governor has addressed immigration over the last few days on his bus tour,” Romney Campaign Policy Director Lanhee Chen said. “As you may also know he’s speaking to NALEO tomorrow in Orlando and we’ll have a few more things there to say about immigration, but I think the one thing we should think about when we think about immigration and is impact particularly in the Latino communities is to think about how this economy has really failed the Latino community. There are almost 3 million Hispanics who are unemployed today. The unemployment rate amongst Hispanics stands at 11 percent. These are just statistics how poorly the economy has been performing not just for Hispanics, but really for all Americans so those are statistics that this president simply can’t run from.”
The Republican National Committee rolled out a similar message this morning with a web video that argues the poor national economy disproportionately affects Latinos. Tuesday evening in an interview, Romney also stressed that the president’s policies are hurting minorities.
Romney told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in that Obama “really doesn’t have a narrative that suggests why he should be president for four more years. His policies in the first 3 and a half years have disappointed people all over the country, minority populations have been hit the hardest, but other Americans as well are really struggling under his policies in fact he of course he did not cause the downturn but his policies have made it harder for the economy to recover.”
When asked again for a preview of tomorrow’s speech or whether Romney may specify whether he would repeal the president’s measure, Romney aide Kristy Campbell also hinted there may be new information released.
“You will hear more from us kind of in the run up to preview the governor’s speech tomorrow,” Campbell said.
Chen said to “stay tuned” to Romney’s remarks.
The call was hosted by Chen and Staples founder Tom Stemberger began with the two of them criticizing the president’s work on the economy including Stemberger advising the president to “visit the real people.”
“The private sector is not doing just fine, President Obama,” Stemberger said, referring to President Obama’s recent comment that public sector job losses are more of a drain on the economy than modest private sector gains. Obama later sought to clarify the remark. “You should get out and visit the real people and you’d hear that time and time again,” said Stemberger.