Martin Bashir | June 21, 2012
>> we start on this sweltering thursday with mitt romney thrusting himself into the faces of one segment of the american population that isn't inhim to. mr. romney is at the national association of latino elected and appointed officials one day in advance of the president trying desperately to l lly to seduce them into voting for him. he has an equal advantage on his recently announced policy on gramgs. it's not that difficult to figure out.
>> my own view is a lot of people have come here or walk across the border that have no skill, no education, and looking for a free deal.
>> well the answer is self-deportation which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here.
>> it's not just what romney said, it's what he's back tracked on too. for instance this is romney during a republican debate in january about the dream act , the inspiration for the president's new immigration policy .
>> and i've indicated i would veto the dream act if provisions included in that act to say people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here they can become permanent residents . that's a mistake.
>> here's mr. romney one pivot to the general election later.
>> would you repeal this order if you became president?
>> well let's step back and look at the issue.
>> would you leave this in place while you worked out a long term solution or would you just repeal it.
>> we'll look at that as we reach that.
>> so, how today does romney address these problems? well, in a word vaguely.
>> i will put in place my own long term solution that will replace and supercede the president's temporary measure. as president i won't settle for stop gap measures. he says he inhearted the economic crisis.
>> romney ataktacked the president's plan as short term. and spoke briefly about china. romney 's problems will only be compounded once the supreme court rules on arizona's controversial anti- immigration law which we're expecting next week. so what can romney do about it? well he can cut a spanish language ad touting hispanic unemployment. it's negative but the best he can do or he could try as he does in this letterhead to convince hispanic voters that obama isn't working. the letterhead i might point out that is a complete duplication of this margaret thatcher poster from 1979 's general election labor isn't working is what it said then. just look there at the woman in the polka dots , apparently she couldn't find work in london, left britain and now in america is having the exact same problem if you believe mitt romney . it's a total cut and paste job like so many of mr. romney 's policies. let's get right to our panel. david corn is d.c. bureau chief. joe williams covers the white house for politico. and a hispanic market expert and co-founder of the excel alliance. david if you were 34 points behind the president among hispanic voters how many times would you mention ronald reagan and china in your remarks?
>> you know, i think you're being a bit unfair. this speech sound ad lot better in spanish when he said ola mitt romney yo tango, mucho tempo. buenos dias. this guy is in such a pickle. i don't know how to say it in spanish. he took a very clear, unambiguous, unequivocal position during the primaries. if you're hear illegally without documentation you have to leave. you self-deport yourself out. now he can't take that position. he through up a lot of chafe. talked about green cards . talked about long term solution without saying what that long term solution is. he's trying to strike a tone that makes him look like that other guy is not me. i don't know who that other guy is who won the republican primaries .
>> this was just a stump speech ? he talks about what he would do but yet again there's zero detail. he's not even trying is he.
>> he's committed. i mean he committed in the 2012 republican primaries . he committed to self-deportation. the guy who offered a lot of these draconian laws in the south is a formal advisor after being a formal advisor to the campaign. he has a lot to answer for. so david is right, hope no one notices what's going on behind-the-scenes. he also has a bit of an image problem that will happen tomorrow when if all the numbers and enthusiasm about the president's decision on young people who were brought here by their parents. he's going get a hero's welcome tomorrow and it will be a sharp contrast to what mitt romney had to say and the way he was received today.
>> indeed, david romney repeated another one of his outright forces. take a listen to this.
>> 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.
>> david , isn't that the one place that you don't try to pedal a remark like that?
>> listen, the president brought the dream act to a vote, passed the house, got a majority support in the senate. but republican filibuster killed it there. and he was trying to get, you know, the old reasonable republicans like mccain and lindsey graham and others you can cut a deal with on comprehensive immigration reform and they all ran away. john mccain ran away because he had a primary to win. it's wrong to say that the president didn't try to do this. he didn't succeed but he certainly did try to a certain extent.
>> indeed. i want to play for you mitch mcconnell , talking about the topic of immigration.
>> just listen to this.
>> think we'll wait until we hear what governor romney has to say on this issue. others behind me may want to address it. my view is he's the leader of our party from now until november and we hope beyond and we'll wait and see what he has to say about it.
>> now a few months ago we had people on like herman cain say there's an electrified fence with alligators. now we'll wait until mitt romney will be elected.
>> they are smart enough to realize the numbers are so big with the hispanic electorate. it's a smart group ready to listen and today was the opportunity for mitt romney to finally shed some light into the must, you know, much anticipated solution that we were hoping he was going to give us today as a voter base, yet he missed that opportunity. so i think his party was also respecting, okay he's our leader, let's see, let's not mess it up because mark rubio and others say temper your voice with this voter base because they are listening. it's such a contrast to what the president did on friday when he came out and he actually said this is what i think should happen. i'm not asking for congressional support. i'm not even going to lay any legislation before you. this is what the department of homeland security should do in relation to the children of illegal immigrants.
>> exactly. that's why that was a perfect opportunity. if i was mitt romney 's ad viesor or anyone working on his campaign the minute that happened and president obama was brave enough to have a clear stance on his position with the dreamers, he should have been working really hard to have a clear and concrete answer to how is it that he could turn this executive order into long term policy, which we're still wondering what that next step will be after the executive order , but he did nothing about it. so he is in a big -- you were asking about -- [ speaking spanish ] he's in a pickle. that's how you say it in spanish.
>> he rarely appears anywhere but fox. ann romney is on again this evening. the "new york times" report both of them have been on " fox & friends " 21 times in the last year alone. do you think they will get a watch or crystal statue when they make 25 appearances.
>> we know who are the friends in that equation. i think fox is a really big audience for dressage. that explains it.
>> put a thought on it. it's very interesting that he does so many appearances on " fox & friends ." unscripted. only time they let mitt off the leash. it points out a larger problem he's got to solve if he wants to be successful come this fall. romney is very, very comfortable, it seems with people who are like him. that's one of the reasons why he seems so stiff and awkward in town hall settings, why he can't relate to people other than that. when he comes on " fox & friends ," they are like him, white folks who are very much relaxed in their own company so it really is a very stark contrast, i think and a problem that he's not been able to solve to date and he's going to have network harder if he's going to try to compete.
>> bob shafer is white.
>> there was only one of him and asking the same question.
>> and back to the latino vote and maybe not being comfortable with the people that don't look like him, he has had opportunities to connect. he's spending millions of dollars of advertising. and yet he still underspending when it comes to spanish media. that's your opportunity. his son is perfectly bilingual. it goes back to showing if it's not a true priority and not part of the platform then it looks like an after thought and today we saw that once again when everybody was waiting for something clear.
>> a wonderful summation. thank you.