Mitt Romney has received his share of grief for ducking reporters, with fellow Republican opponent Jon Huntsman releasing a “Scared Mittless” web ad that poked fun at the candidate's penchant for avoiding the news media.
Tonight, Fox News’ Bret Baier showed why Romney doesn’t do too many interviews. It took a good amount of digging for Baier to show that Romney really has no plan to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in this country. Romney doesn’t want them hunted down. But he doesn’t want them to stay. He wants them to apply for citizenship and go home. Which they won’t do because they’re here illegally.
This Mitt Romney wasn't the calm Mitt Romney of the debates.
At times during the interview, Romney was icily peevish. He laughed mirthlessly, or denied video evidence showed him shifting his positions or suggested he was espousing clear positions – which nevertheless required clarification. When pushed, he told Baier at one point that people should read his book.
Just what everyone wants: A candidate whose positions require homework, if not a concordance.
Baier noted a few of Romney’s flip flops: climate change, abortion, immigration, gay rights.
Romney: “Your list is just not accurate. We’re going to have to be better informed about my views on issues.”
Baier pushed, noting the stances Romney has taken in previous video interviews.
Romney: “I’m glad that the Democratic ads are breaking through and you guys at Fox are seeing them.”
Baier: “Jon Huntsman has a couple ads that do the exact same thing.”
Romney: “There’s no question people are going to take snippets and things out of context and try and show there are differences where in some cases there are not.” Romney acknowledges he changed on abortion, just like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Baier then asked about a 2006 Bloomberg article in which Romney's immigration position seemed to conflict with his new stance.
Romney: “Those people that are here illegally today should have the opportunity to register and to have their status identified. And those individuals should get in line with everyone else that’s in line legally. They should not be placed ahead of the line. They should instead go at the back of the line. And they should not be allowed to stay in this country and be given permanent residency or citizenship merely because they’ve come here illegally.”
Baier: Doesn’t that resemble Gingrich’s view
“My view’s pretty straightforward: For those people who’ve come here illegally, they should have the opportunity to get in line with everybody else who wants come into this country. But they got to the back of the line. And they should be given no special pathway to citizenship or permanent residency merely because they’ve come here illegally.”
Baier: So they do it outside this country?
Romney: “I…ah…uh…Whether they apply here or whether they apply by going home. I think I’ve said in the past it makes more sense for them to home.”
Baier: What of the 11 million here? You made a point in 2006 you made a point we’re not going to round them up and send them out.
Romney: “There’s a great interest on the part of some to talk about what we do with the 11 million. My interest is saying let’s make sure that we secure the border. And we don’t do anything that talks about bringing in a new wave of those -- or attracting a new wave of people into the country illegally. The right course for us is to secure the border and say nothing about amnesty or tuition breaks to illegal aliens or anything else that draws people into the country illegally.
“The right course: secure the border and then we can determine what’s the right way we can deal with the 11 million. And to make it as clear as I possibly can: Let those people apply just like everybody else that wants to come to this country. But they have to apply at the back of the line as opposed to jumping into the front because they’ve come here illegally.”
Now about the similarities between ObamaCare and RomneyCare….