Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney serves sandwiches to supporters outside Jackie’s Diner in Nashua, New Hampshire November 20, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who charged Republican presidential primary rival Newt Gingrich with proposing “amnesty” for certain illegal immigrants, took a nearly identical position in a 2006 Bloomberg interview, saying some foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally should be allowed to remain and gain legal status.
Romney, who at the time hadn’t yet declared his first presidential candidacy for 2008, told reporters and editors in Bloomberg News’s Washington bureau that the 11 million immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally “are not going to be rounded up and box-carred out.” Law-abiding people who pay taxes, learn English and don’t rely on government benefits should be allowed to “get in line” to apply for citizenship, he said.
“We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status,” Romney said during the March 29, 2006, session.
The comments contrast with the position Romney took last week when he challenged Gingrich’s assertion during a televised debate that the U.S. should have a “humane” immigration policy that allows some people who entered the country illegally long ago, have no criminal record, and have family, civic and religious ties to stay and get legal status. Romney called the approach “amnesty” and a magnet for illegality.
Romney is a joke. I sometimes think he’ll be the easiest opponent for Obama as he has become a caricature of the spineless politician. I guess he looks good to some next to the current, pathetic GOP field, but he has avoided interviews with major news organizations, even FOX News, as he seems to be afraid to answer questions about previous positions. It’s hard to imagine how he can do that in a general election.