The Daily Rundown | June 19, 2012
>>> a brand new poll shows nearly two-thirds of americans favor president obama 's immigration policy . so what does mitt romney do to stay in this debate and court hispanic voters? let's bring in our panel today for tuesday, mike beadum, heritage action for america, an advocacy group the sister organization for the heritage foundation . alex wegner, the host of msnbc's "now," a wonderful program. and politico's senior congressional reporter, my friend of three-and-a-half years, manu raju. did i get the pronunciation right? he hasn't corrected me for three years. i want to start with the immigration debate . and it's important to put in the broad context, not on the tip of anyone's tongue until friday. new poll from bloomberg, immigration policy , 64% agree, 30% disagree. independents back the decision by better than a 2 to 1 margin. mitt romney is still not necessarily said if he would repeal this act. roy blunt who i had on the show earlier said he was, in fact, against it. but i'll throw this out to you, manu, 64%, the president has been able to shift the narrative from which is all about the economy the last few weeks and being able to get some high ground on immigration.
>> and remember, he had a really bad week last week. he's had weeks of really bad headlines and not just the economy, but other issues, as well. and you know, this is something that, of course, you know, speaks to a very rapidly growing demographic of latinos who are going to be hugely influential in the election. the question for the president right now is, you know, how -- whether or not this -- remember, latinos are not single-issue voters. they vote on the economy, as well. he needs to be able to sell this to them as something that, you know, look, if i'm -- if mitt romney is president, this kind of policy, you know, may not go into effect. he may repeal this, and i'm different in this way.
>> mike, how come mitt romney hasn't come out and given a clear position on this?
>> well, i think, look, the key on this point, there may be some short-term advantage for president obama on this one, but it also feeds into a narrative that's an executive who has no respect for the proper constitutional separations of power. you have obviously the obamacare ruling which the supreme court will come town on. the unconstitutional appointments, and now you have on this issue a president who has made a policy that may be popular, but has no respect for the appropriate roles of the executive.
>> can you frame the debate that you guys are kind of vague on whether you support the order or not, but you would say well the process by which it was obtained is flawed.
>> i think you can. let's take an example. imagine if a republican president came in and said, look, we have some income tax rules in this country, we have tax rules in this country, but the irs is really overworked so we're just not going to enforce the capital gains tax this year. you can't do it. so regardless of what the policies are, let's have a debate in the country, a debate in the legislature, but you can't say as an executive i'm going to enforce this rule, not that law.
>> alex wagner, jump in there. what if republicans issued an order getting rid of capital gains tax ?
>> it's not the same thing. you talk about the dream act , significant bipartisan support until the republicans decided to go far right and say, you know, any kind of amnesty, any magnets that would bring immigrants to this country need to be turned off. i think that the larger issue is, you know, to your point, manu, this is a -- i think a master stroke for the president insofar as he's changed the national message. a difficult period for mitt romney . you are not going to see the end of this question until november. this is going to come up in the debates. mitt romney has got to carve out some kind of policy position on this. i don't think he can just say this is executive overreach. i don't think most americans buy that as sort of, you know, the dark cloud , and that the immigration policy itself is a silver lining . i think it's almost the reverse. this is a huge step forward for i think 800,000 children who are not going to get deported. and, you know, if you're not against it, what are you for?
>> remember, you know, the president essentially preempted marco rubio on this, who is working on a proposal.
>> word from the hill.
>> and that was a proposal that could have sort of given an escape hatch to romney who -- in recent months has tried to sound more amenable to some sort of version of the dream act . and now that rubio is not doing something because of of the president's order, that makes -- that creates sort of a sticky point.
>> we'll wrap this up when we come back in the