On Monday night’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was justified in not taking a position on President Barack Obama’s Friday announcement that he would be shifting U.S. immigration policy by executive order, saying it was “wise” and Congress should be the ones who are outraged.
“This is essentially a punt and I think Romney is wise to do it,” Krauthammer said. “First of all, this isn’t a presidential issue — it’s a congressional issue. This is an almost unprecedented grab of power by the executive from the Congress by essentially saying it’s not going to enforce a law. And I think it’s the Congress that ought to protest, and ought to be offended at the least — including Democrats in Congress — over appropriation of their power by the executive.”
But he also said the battle is a no-win scenario for Romney because it shifts the discussion, and had Romney attempted to take it on in his “Face the Nation” interview on Sunday, it might have backfired.
“But as to the politics of this, for Romney it’s a losing proposition to get in a fight,” Krauthammer said. “There is a clever trap by Obama. It’s a way to lure, first of all, Romney away from talking about the main issue — economics. Any day that Romney is talking about anything other than economics is a day Obama wins.”
Krauthammer concluded, mentioning the public relations danger of an immigration battle with the president.
“And secondly, it isn’t as easy issue to Romney to counter,” he continued. “He would have to argue, as I have, on process. Well, you run an ad on this and you say, and you show a valedictorian, a young illegal immigrant — you know with a sterling record, someone known for rescuing cats out of trees — and saying, ‘That mean man Mitt Romney wants to deport her because of a process issue.’ It’s a losing proposition. I think Romney is right. He’ll kick it to the future. If he is elected, he’ll cancel the order and try to substitute real legislation. So, why get into a distraction right now?”