The core of Mitt Romney’s attack on President Obama’s immigration policy is process-related. “For two years, this President had huge majorities in the House and Senate—he was free to pursue any policy he pleased. But he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system,” said the Republican nominee in his speech yesterday to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials.
Today, before the same group, Obama offered a response to Romney’s accusation–blame Republicans. “The problem is not the lack of technical solutions,” Obama told the crowd, “We know what the solutions are to this challenge.” Rather, he explained, the problem is that congressional Republicans have blocked every effort to pursue immigration reform. “When it came up for a vote year and a half ago, Republicans in Congress blocked it,” he said, “The bill hadn’t changed. The need had not changed. The only thing that changed was politics”
Obama even reached back to the failed comprehensive immigration reform bill of 2006, pushed by George W. Bush, to show that congressional Republicans are the chief obstacle to immigration reform, as well as assistance for the economy. In fact, throughout the speech, there was hardly a mention of Mitt Romney. Instead, Obama focused his fire on congressional Republicans, which is another sign that he intends to run against Congress and–more importantly–tie Romney to his colleagues in the House of Representatives.
At most, Obama had this to say about the former Massachusetts governor, “In a speech he said when he makes a promise to you he’ll keep it. He’s promised to veto the DREAM Act.” It’s very clear that Obama wants Latinos to remember that fact when they go to the polls in November.