David Axelrod, President Obama's top political strategist, said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would be "insulting" Hispanics if he picked Sen. Marco Rubio as a running mateif the pick was intended to win more Latino support.
In the interview with Univision TV's Jorge Ramos, Axelrod also played defenseover the failure of President Obama to pass an immigrant friendly law called the DREAM ACT.
Axelrod blamed Republicans for the DREAM Act failure. And he said Hispanics would know that Romney opposes the bill and that Rubio wouldn't be much help to him.
"I think it would be an insult to the Hispanic community to choose Senator Rubio if the thinks that that is somehow — if Governor Romney thinks that's sort of a get-out-of-jail-free card for all of the things and the positions that he's taken," Axelrod said.
"I don't think Marco Rubio will exonerate Governor Romney for the very very extreme positions that he's taken on immigration," Axelrod said.
A transcript of the exchange over immigration.
DA: Well, let's be clear about the history here. The reason that we -- I was in the room, Jorge, when the President called together all of those who had worked on immigration reform in the past in his first year as president and he said, I will lock arms with you, Republicans and Democrats, to pass this bill. In that room were many of the people who were among the 11 who supported comprehensive immigration reform under President Bush, but not one of them was willing to step forward and say, we will work with you on this bill, because it was the policy of the Republican party to pander to the nativist vote within their party and they...
JR: But he said he was going to present an immigration bill.
DA: ... they would not... Jorge, the challenge...
JR: He promised. I mean, you know that he promised that....
DA: ...the challenge is: are you going to pass a bill? We put the Dream Act forward. We got 53 Democratic votes for that, more than ever before, but we couldn't get but three Republican votes. We couldn't get the 60 votes we needed because on mass the Republican Party walked away from it. We are still working to get those done, and I think when the President wins in November it's going to send a strong message to those within the Republican party who think an anti-immigrant position is the right position for this country. I think there are a lot of folks in the Republican Party who actually know better, but they are bridled by their leadership, who go the other way. And Jorge, let's understand, this is going to be a choice between a President who is pushing for these things and a man and governor, Romney, who has Kris Kobach as his chief immigration advisor who sought the endorsement of Sherriff Arpaio and embraces him, who's vetoed the Dream Act and said he would do it again, who opposes comprehensive immigration reform. So anyone who votes on this issue and believes that that is the right direction I think is making a big mistake.