McCain Campaign on Romney and Immigration

Sen. McCain Campaign sent out these responses to Gov. Romney's Immigration position.

Today, Mitt Romney Sends "Vague And Seemingly Inconsistent Messages" On Immigration And Refuses To Offer Solutions For The Problem

Time Magazine: "[W]hen Romney Slowed Down And Focused On A Single Issue - Immigration - At A Press Conference In Dover, N.H., The Brazen Cynicism Of His Candidacy Became Almost Embarrassing." (Joe Klein, "Mitt Romney's Disappointing Campaign," Time, 5/31/07)

Palm Beach Post: Romney Offered "Mixed Message On Illegal Immigrants Saying He Supports Allowing Them To Apply To Become Permanent Residents But Opposes Current Legislation That Would Allow Them To Do Just That." "Mitt Romney offered a mixed message on illegal immigrants Thursday, saying he supports allowing them to apply to become permanent residents but opposes current legislation that would allow them to do just that. ... While Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said he would 'not deny' illegal immigrants the 'opportunity to apply for permanent residency or citizenship,' he would not say how he would change the proposed legislation to make such application acceptable." (Brian Crowley, "Romney Skirts Solution To Immigration Issue," Palm Beach Post, 5/25/07)

The Boston Globe: Romney "Has Offered No Specific Solutions Of His Own To The Immigration Crisis ... [And] Is Facing Increasing Questions About What He Would Do About The Problem." "[W]hile Romney has been aggressive with his barbs, he has offered no specific solutions of his own to the immigration crisis. With McCain and his surrogates pushing the issue hard, Romney is facing increasing questions about what he would do about the problem." (Scott Helman, "Critics Press Romney On Immigration View," The Boston Globe, 6/1/07)

Hotline Blog: "[I]f You're Wondering Precisely What Mitt Romney ... Would Actually Do With The 11-12M Illegal Immigrants Already Here, Well, You'll Have To Wait A While. No Specific Proposals Are Forthcoming, We Are Told." ("McCain Is A Lone Wolf On Immigration," The Hotline's "On Call" Blog, 5/23/07)

The Politico: "Romney Continues To Punt On What To Do With The 12 Million Illegal Immigrants In The Country." (Jonathan Martin, "The A' Word," The Politico, 5/25/07)

Tampa Tribune: Romney "Sent Vague And Seemingly Inconsistent Messages" On Immigration. "As immigration reform continues to divide the candidates in the Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney sent vague and seemingly inconsistent messages on the issue in a campaign swing through Florida Thursday. [R]omney said he opposes the current reform package in the Senate, but wouldn't say what it would take to fix it." (William March, "Romney Vague On Immigration," Tampa Tribune's "March On Politics" Blog, 5/25/07)

Romney's Description Of Immigration Reform As "Amnesty" "Markedly Different" From Previous Statements

The Boston Globe: Romney's Current Immigration Rhetoric "Markedly Different" From His Past Statements, When He "Described Immigration Proposals By McCain And Others As Quite Different' From Amnesty ..." "When Mitt Romney swooped into the heart of John McCain country this week, he brought a pointed message on illegal immigration: McCain's approach is the wrong one. ... But that is markedly different from how Romney once characterized McCain's bill, elements of which are receiving new attention in Congress and from President Bush. ... In a November 2005 interview with the Globe, Romney described immigration proposals by McCain and others as 'quite different' from amnesty, because they required illegal immigrants to register with the government, work for years, pay taxes, not take public benefits, and pay a fine before applying for citizenship." (Scott Helman, "Romney's Words Grow Hard On Immigration," The Boston Globe, 3/16/07)

The Associated Press: Romney "Sounded More Open To Immigrants" Last Year, When Said That Some Illegal Immigrants "Should Begin A Process Toward Application For Citizenship ..." "Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney opposes the deal because it would allow virtually every illegal immigrant to remain indefinitely. A year ago, he sounded more open to immigrants. 'With these 11 million people, let's have them registered, know who they are,' Romney told a New Hampshire newspaper. 'Those who've been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn't be here; those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process toward application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.'" (Ron Fournier, "Election-Year Posturing Threatens Future Of Immigration Deal," The Associated Press, 5/18/07)

Tampa Tribune: "In The Past, Romney Has Appeared To Support Allowing Illegal Immigrants To Apply For Citizenship Without Having To Leave The Country First." (William March, "Romney Vague On Immigration," Tampa Tribune's "March On Politics" Blog, 5/25/07)

Boston Herald: "What [Romney] Thinks Ought To Be Done About The Millions Of Illegal Immigrants Already In The Country Depends On Whether You Asked Him POC (Pre-Official Candidacy) Or AOC (After-Official Candidacy)." (Virginia Buckingham, Op-Ed, "Immigration Stance Improv," Boston Herald, 3/14/07)

Romney's Rhetoric Changes From State To State, Repeatedly Saying "Amnesty" In South Carolina, But Refusing To Utter The Word In Florida Just Days Later

In South Carolina, Romney Repeatedly Labeled Immigration Deal As "Amnesty." "The crowd at South Carolina's Republican convention ... cheered as presidential candidate Romney told them: 'One simple rule: No amnesty.' During his speech and before his remarks, Romney said a proposed new visa for immigrants amounts to amnesty if it can be renewed indefinitely. 'If that's not a form of amnesty, I don't know what is,' Romney said." (Jim Davenport, "S.C. Republicans Cheer Romney As He Attacks Immigration Bill," The Associated Press, 5/19/07)


  • Romney In South Carolina: "I think we should not call it the 'Z visa,' we should call it the 'A visa' because it's amnesty and that's what it stands for." (Jim Davenport, "S.C. Republicans Cheer Romney As He Attacks Immigration Bill," The Associated Press, 5/19/07)
  • Watch Romney Speak To South Carolina Audience On Immigration.

But In Florida, Romney "Refused To Use The Word 'Amnesty'" To Describe Immigration Deal. "Although he refused to use the word amnesty,' as other opponents of the current immigration bill have, Romney said he doesn't mind if illegal immigrants apply for legal work visas, but not before those who have obeyed the law by staying in their own country to apply have done so first." (Bill Rufty, "Romney Speaks To County Republicans At Dinner," Lakeland Ledger, 5/25/07)


  • Romney In Florida: "There are some who get involved in whether it is technically amnesty or not, and I'm not really trying to define what is technically amnesty, I'll let the lawyers do that." (Mitt Romney, Interview With The [Lakeland, FL] Ledger,, Accessed 5/25/07)
  • Watch Romney Speak To Florida Reporters On Immigration.