Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney dodged two traps Sunday morning on his way to delivering a clear message to President Obama’s White House: Obama’s policies were rejected by the entire country last week.
And Republicans aren’t falling easily for the media’s divide-and-conquer strategy to protect Obama as he lunges for power over immigration policies.
Interviewed by the normally more straightforward Bob Schieffer on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Romney dodged the first trap outright.
What advice, Schieffer asked, did Romney have for the Republicans now running both houses of Congress?
Romney smiled slightly, like he knew what a set-up the question was, but was too polite to say so.
“My advice to the Democrats,” he said, with just enough emphasis. “And the president in particular is ‘take a breath.’ The president said he was not on the ballot that was just held, but that his policies were and the American people sent a very clear message to the president about his policies … They’re not happy about them.”
Once the president and his party digest how badly they lost the Nov. 4 election and why, Romney said, there might be some way for both parties to work together to come up with an immigration policy that will work long term.
“Let the Congress and this election have its say,” Romney said.
Conservatives know why Schieffer wanted Romney to start giving advice to Republicans – to foment discord in the GOP caucus and give the media a news cycle to make Obama look like the adult in the room. Fortunately, Romney, the adult in the presidential race two years ago, was too smart to fall for it.
In the second trap, Schieffer asked if Romney expected a government shutdown over immigration — as though shutting down the government is the only option Republicans can or will utilize to protect the Constitution from Obama’s incipient tyranny.
(Leave aside the fact that a true government shutdown isn’t even possible – and other than kicking around a couple of wheelchair-bound World War II vets, Dem preening about the last one didn’t amount to anything. Joe Biden did, however, congratulate the park ranger who kicked the vets, if memory serves.)
Romney said Republicans had many strategies to pursue, but returned to the central theme of his answer: That the responsibility for the warfare that’s going to break out on Capitol Hill if Obama goes ahead with his announced plan to change the country’s immigration laws by fiat will be his responsibility – his and his vile, duplicitous party’s.
“The idea of poking Republicans with a stick in the eye [on immigration] is not a good idea…,” Romney said. “The idea of violating the principles of our Constitution is … wrong and would not be to the president’s benefit.”
Well played, Governor.
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