msnbc | June 18, 2012
>>> political power panel. we have april ryan and white house correspondent for american urban radio . david goodfriend , a democratic strategist and former staffer to president clinton . david , scott walker has said that romney should pick paul ryan as a running mate. interesting there, though, as peter was pointing out that the governor did the introductions there. do you think, though, that he is going to be potentially in a run now? i mean, walker considered potentially this rising star . do you think he should be somebody in the romney camp's contention for vp?
>> i think a lot of people vying for that position. but you know, i grew up and went to school a few miles from where mr. romney is standing right now in wisconsin and i can tell you that the closing of the gm plant outside of janesville was devastating to that part of the state and the problem that mitt romney and governor walker and paul ryan all have in upper midwest is they all were against the bailout of the american automakers that turned out to be a huge success up and down the supply chain in places like wisconsin and ohio and michigan. and so, what they're trying to do is make this an argument about whether or not president obama can lead us in to the future when in reality people in that part of the world including voters in wisconsin who prefer president obama over mitt romney are saying that actually they fared better under president obama 's policies. that's the challenge that these guys face. now, i'll only point out one other thing which is in ohio where the very same policies put to a vote, same policies to recall scott walker , voters in ohio voted to overturn the policies. so if you look at what people prefer in terms of policy, not so much the person walker versus barrett, that seems to be favoring democrats and the president in the upper midwest .
>> april, we want to welcome in hogi ridley joining the conversation. hogan, talking about wisconsin today, romney 's campaign with a new web video using the president's words to hit him on the economy just like this morning in wisconsin . take a listen.
>> of course the economy isn't where it needs to be.
>> okay. so as we have been talking about janesville which is where mitt romney is today, an unemployment rate higher than the average in wisconsin , but as david just pointed out, hogan, this is an area greatly improved from a high of unemployment of 16% in '09. just remind everybody the state did not vote for a republican since '84 so for voters there, why rock the boat? what does mitt romney have to offer them?
>> that's a great question and polling shows right now as you alluded to i think in the tease that voters vote to keep walker in place and those same voters also overwhelmingly said they would support president obama in the presidential and mitt romney can't get too tied in a lost cause state. there's time to figure it out and people to talk to but he has the right crowd around him right now and if the recent election with governor walker and the support of the folks from the contiguous states don't buoy him, cut bait and go to another state.
>> it remains to see how it plays out. april, let's switch gears to immigration and "the new york times" reporting mitt romney was expected to roll out the immigration platform on thursday and preempted by the president. has the president finally found an issue to put romney on the defensive and put himself back on the offensive line coming to campaign conversation?
>> well, i'm going to say this. mitt romney according to one of your competitor networks, they came out with a poll saying that mitt romney fared better on immigration than president obama but obama beat in almost everything else but the economy but you have to remember. for especially these last ten, 12 years immigration is a major issue and it's been a big problem so this is an issue that they -- that both sides of the aisle have to deal with but to be honest with you, it's to bring in the immigration debate right now, it's very political to pull the hispanic vote to either side.
>> all right. so remind everybody what mitt romney had to say. he has been asked by this reporters peppering him since the announcement by the president. and mitt romney was asked yesterday whether he would repeal the president's executive order in and for young illegal immigrants. take a listen to his response.
>> would you repeal this order if you became president?
>> well, let's step back and look at the issue.
>> would you repeal this?
>> well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of a long-term solution.
>> 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 setting as we reach that.
>> all right. bob schieffer there doing the very best to get an answer.
>> good reporter.
>> hogan, i'll ask it of david , as well, should he give a straight yes or no?
>> he should or at least begin to give more details in to what he would do and bob did a pretty good job there of trying to pin him down on that. it was a brilliant move by the president the past week putting mitt romney in a box. if he says, of course, yes, that i stand with the president on this, he is going to alienate the conservative base. saying he's opposed to it, he loses the hispanic vote and maybe forever for the republican party . that's a serious issue to face. i think eventually both these candidates, barack obama and mitt romney begin to have to lay out some more specifics in to what they would do in this arena and of course immigration reform is a serious issue. very complex. even back when reagan was president and then mitt romney didn't have to answer that except i'm going to secure the border. now the president one upped him and mitt romney has to come up with a comprehensive plan that doesn't alienate the base. right now not sure if the president is on strong footing relates to the naturalization of a mass group of citizens.
>> david , let's get you on the record. yes or no. romney should have a straightforward answer on that and then your take on the president can combat the time of his campaign.
>> yes. mitt romney should have a straight answer on this. it's a basic issue in this campaign. as for the president's actions, he's acting within the bound of law and frustrated with congress that simply will not tackle the problem and he's doing the best he can exec by executive order under existing law. president reagan , he negotiated with democrats and came up with an immigration reform plan that republican party in power today is not willing to compromise and driving them straight off a cliff.
>> april, really quickly, though, as we talk about how it could push not only mitt romney to get on record about specifics as hogan points out for what he needs to state as a campaign specific on immigration , does it also put him in a position to see marco rubio as that much higher on the short list for vice president?
>> well, there are a lot of people on the short list for vice president. marco -- you know, marco rubio i think would be great but you have to look at the vice presidential picture as a whole. someone who's not just a single issue person and historically governors have been great for becoming presidents. this nation we have seen that. but you also have to remember there are other issues and, yes, ef the immigration issue and security issues. economic issues. but you have other people out there like portman who can -- who's touched almost every facet of government. and he's been in government. he's been in congress. he's been in the -- you have got several people who are just as appealing and not just because of the immigration issue but rubio is a good looking candidate, though, it were just on immigration .
>> thanks to all three of you for this today. mitt romney wrapped up in wisconsin a moment ago and traveling on to ohio with his bus tour.