Mitchell Reports | June 19, 2012
>>> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. in our daily fix, mitch romney is wrapping up his battleground bus tour in michigan t state where he was born, which today, romney said he believes he can win. chris cillizza is an msnbc contributor and managing editor of postpolitics.com. there has been a lot of discussion overnight about a conversation you and i had yesterday. we ran clips of mitt romney in cornwall, pennsylvania, talking about his trip to a wawa. the rnc and campaign both reached out to us, saying romney had more to say about that visit, about federal bureaucracy.
>> i was at wawa's. i went in to order a sandwich. you press a touch-tone keypad. you just touch that and the sandwich comes at you, touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, there's your sandwich. it's amazing. people in the private sector have learned how to compete. it's time to bring competition to the federal government and to get it smaller and have it respond to the customers, which are you.
>> now on to that other subject, immigration , because that was a big topic. he brought that up on the trail in iowa last night.
>> i'm sorry, andrea. i thought we were playing a clip of it.
>> i thought so, too. let's make the point because immigration is the cutting edge issue. we have the bloomberg poll today, two to one in favor of what the president did last friday, short-circuiting going around congress. lot of controversy over this. now i think we've got that clip of what mitt romney had to say in davinport, iowa.
>> he was going to deal with immigration , he said, in his first year. he was going to focus on that, did he do anything on immigration ? while he had a democratic house and senate? no. this is a president who has said one thing and done another.
>> so where do you think this comes down now on immigration , because we've seen that marco rubio was really put on the spot. he met with some of us at bloomberg last week at a breakfast and said that he was getting closer, he had not discussed it interestingly with mitt romney , had discussed it with people in the romney campaign, his dream act light, if you will, and now there are reports that he's pulling back from it. we'll play a little of his interview on cnbc. but what does the romney camp do about immigration now that the president has taken preemptive action?
>> you know, i think what they do is what you saw mitt romney do in part, essentially to say this is too little, too late. this is a short term fix for a long term problem, and then they pivot back to the economy. they do not want this election, and frankly, i don't think this election will be about immigration . i think it will ultimately be about the economy. that's where mitt romney is the most comfortable. it's where his experience, his resume, speaks to the best and it's what the romney campaign believes is their winning message. i think they address it. i think they put it in the context of barack obama talks a big game , but he doesn't deliver, which is kind of the broader economic message, and they very quickly, if they can, move back to talking about the economy first, second and third.
>> now, mitt romney was interviewed by sean hannity and this is to air tonight, and understand he got asked about whether or not these reports that marco rubio has not even been vetted, has not been asked to turn over his financial records for the possibility of being the running mate, and he said i get a kick, this is romney , i get a kick out of some of the speculation that goes on. i'm not going to comment on the process of course but i can tell you this, only beth myers and i know who is being vetted. beth, of course, his top aide who is handling the process. this was rubio being asked about it on cnbc today.
>> as i've said repeatedly, i won't discuss the vice presidential process.
>> you're only 41 and you haven't been in the senate that long but how does it all figure out in the political calculus, do you think?
>> two things. one, i'm not discussing the vice presidential race. i have no doubt i'm qualified to serve in the senate.
>> do you have a doubt you're qualified to serve as president?
>> i have no doubt i'm qualified to serve in the united states senate . that's the job i have and the job i'm doing.
>> that was of course on " squawk box ." marco rubio will be on our show on thursday. but he is really such an interesting character for the republican party because he was trying to come up with some sort of compromise on immigration and as you point out, it's not the biggest issue, not even the biggest issue among hispanics but it is an important issue and an issue that could drive the democratic base.
>> first of all, i would say it is an important issue in 2012 because of the democratic base, but in the longer term, it is a critically important issue for the republican party because if hispanics become a 65% democratic, 35% republican vote in perpetuity, given how young that population is, so many of them are going to be coming into as potential voters, people like jeb bush , like marco rubio , haley barbour , understand republicans can't afford to simply say okay, we'll win 35% of the hispanic vote and find votes elsewhere because there eventually won't be enough of those votes.