In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona law, the Romney campaign, as I expected, pointed the finger right back at the administration:
“Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this President. I believe that each state has the duty--and the right--to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. As Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office. But 4 years later, we are still waiting.”
Th statement is adequate, but could have been more compelling. For starters, when he says Obama promised to present a plan he would be smart to spell it out: No border security, no visa expansion for highly educated foreign students, no employer verification, etc. It remains a mystery why Romney’s campaign would shy away from stacking up the approaches of the two candidates.
Moreover, once again Romney doesn’t make any constitutional argument against the president's power grab. He could well have said that the president has shown he is unwilling to abide by the Constitution both here and in other arenas. Even with regard to the executive privilege claim in Fast and Furious the Romney team seems allergic to making an argument in favor of constitutional government. In his daily morning campaign email, his spokeswoman merely bemoans the “lack of transparency” in keeping documents concealed from Congress. How about “unprecedented lawlessness”?
One senses that, in its understandable focus on the economy, the Romney team doesn’t appreciate the importance of some other big themes (e.g. an out-of-control executive). Time will tell whether this was a wise focus or a foolishly narrow approach to the campaign.