Last week, former Arizona state Senate president Russell Pearce, author of the state’s unconstitutional SB 1070 ‘show me your papers’ law, reminded
voters that he and Romney have identical immigration policies. Oops.
Tuesday’s flap came just as Mitt Romney began to retool his campaign rhetoric for the general election. Some of his “severely conservative” positions on immigration are being softened in an effort to woo Latino voters back to the Republican Party.
This won’t be easy. As voters will recall, Romney seized on Rick Perry’s support of the DREAM Act and bludgeoned Perry with it until his lead in the polls collapsed. Romney called the DREAM Act a “subsidy” that would encourage more “illegal immigration.”
And Romney’s solution for what to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the country? He proposed making life so difficult for undocumented immigrants that they choose to go back to their home country, or “self deport.” He even called laws like SB 1070 a “model."
For now, though, all that “severe" immigration stuff is water under the bridge—for Romney.
On the stump this week, Romney tried setting a tepid new tone
, telling a crowd that “legal immigration is something we conservatives like.”
To make people forget, the governor may want to consider something a little stronger. ABC’s Matt Negrin suggested
Romney needs something akin to the memory-erasing neuralizer from the movie Men in Black. (Does Amazon.com
Until then, he’s also going to need to get the rest of the party on-message. Can you picture the memo circulating to surrogates from Romney headquarters? "Team: ixnay Romneyay immigrationay
ACLU Liberty Watch 2012 is the voice for the Constitution in the this year’s presidential election. Follow us on Twitter: @ACLULW, or 'Like' us on Facebook: Facebook.com/ACLULibertyWatch.