DeWITT, MICH. - Mitt Romney accused President Obama of instituting his new immigration plan in an attempt to "shore up his base with Latino voters," adding that to a "certain degree" the president succeeded in removing the focus from his private sector is doing fine gaffe to immigration.
"Oh, I believe that the reason this came out is the president's trying to shore up his base with Latino voters, and he's also trying to change the subject from his miserable speech last week, from his gaffe that the private economy is doing fine, and from the failure of his economic policies to get this economy going again," said Romney in an interview with Fox News radio "Kilmeade and Friends" that was taped Monday but aired this morning.
"I think you will see throughout the next four months the president continually trying to change the subject from the economy, and of course, to a certain degree it works, you know? The Sunday shows were all talking about the president's illegal immigration order," Romney noted.
Romney also reaffirmed during the interview that he believes that children who came to the U.S. illegally but served in the military should be able to become permanent residents.
"With regards to those that have served in the military, absolutely," said Romney. "I believe those individuals should be able to become permanent residents of the United States."
Late last week President Obama announced relaxed rules for those children who were brought into the country illegally. The new policy will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants, and deportation will not apply to immigrants who came to the U.S. before they are 16, are under 20 and have lived here for five consecutive years, have graduated from high school or earned a GED and have never been convicted of a crime.
Romney has since declined to say what he would do with Obama's action if he wins the general election, telling host Brian Kilmeade that he believes the president's policy change was politically motivated.
"I would do is I will work from the beginning of my administration, unlike what he did, which is wait for the last four months," said Romney. "I would work from the beginning of my administration to put in place a piece of legislation which deals with this issue on a long-term basis."