“With regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is,” Romney said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Romney’s struggle to offer a clear alternative on the immigration issue was a fresh reminder of one of the challenges he faces, which is to go beyond his steady criticism of the president with a more detailed description of the policies he would implement to replace what Obama has done.
Immigration is a problem particularly because of conservative stances Romney took during the Republican primary campaign that now could cause him difficulty in appealing to Hispanic voters in the general election. But even regarding the biggest issue of the campaign — the economy — there are many unanswered questions as to what he would do.
Romney is midway through a bus tour of six potential battleground states and on Sunday, he stumped across the most critical of all, Ohio. He spoke at a pancake breakfast in Brunswick and a rally in the town square of Newark and then campaigned with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) at a hamburger shop in Troy.
But his speeches were short and general. At the rally here in Newark, Romney revved up a couple of thousand supporters by promising to “shock the world with how our economy’s coming back,” but in a speech that clocked at just nine minutes, offered only broad outlines and few specifics.
Those specifics included developing U.S. energy resources, cutting back on government regulation of business — including the repeal of Obama’s health-care law — and putting the country on track toward a balanced budget.
Stuart Stevens, the campaign’s chief strategist, acknowledged that voters want to know more about what a Romney presidency would be like. But he took issue with critics who have said the Republican hasn’t offered details about how his presidency would differ from Obama’s.
“As the campaign goes on, you’ll have more specifics,” Stevens told reporters Sunday after the Newark rally. “But I think that Governor Romney has been more specific [than] the president on most of these big issues.” He cited Romney’s proposals on Social Security and Medicare as two examples. But he begged off questions about immigration and how Romney would balance the budget.
Stevens said voters have a clear sense of Obama. “They know how they feel about this president,” he said. “They know what they’ve experienced the last 31
2 years and they’re disappointed.”