It's been about a week since President Obama declared that he would put the principles behind the failed DREAM Act into practice
, mainly granting work visas rather than deporting young adults who were brought into this country illegally as children. It was a bold move, using the office as a way to effect policy that Congress could not. It was similar to his declaration that his office would not enforce DOMA either. These are contentious social issues for Republicans, and President Obama has crossed the rubicon in a big way, especially during an election year.
The actions have actually proven popular with voters, however, appealing to people's general sense of fairness. This latest action effectively removed any chance for Romney to score the Latino vote (not that he had much of chance to begin with). When asked, Romney - knowing that this is a popular action and not wanting to take a stand - would not say whether he would change that policy if elected
(the exchange with Bob Scheiffer is too long to quote - it bears reading, though, so click through to the link).
To counteract this without alienating the Republican base, Romney's best chance would be to do something blatant like pick a Republican latino running mate, say... Marco Rubio? The problem with Rubio, of course, is that he has been supportive of this same type of approach to these young people brought over as children. In fact - he'd like to talk to President Obama about it
Rubio is championing his own initiative that would provide non-immigrant visas to children of parents who came to the county illegally if they serve in the military or graduate from college, but his work on the measure was largely derailed by Obama's announcement.
"The president's is a two-year solution that expires after two years and does not really solve this in a lasting way. It just gets him through the election. ... The White House never called us about this. No one reached out to us and told us this was on its way..."
Talk like that might raise eyebrows in certain Republican circles, and stop the VP vetting process in its tracks. Except - the process never started. With all the talk about Rubio being on the short list, the Romney campaign has not and is not vetting Rubio for the job
... knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates.
Has Rubio been crossed of the list? Was he ever on it? One has to wonder if the Republicans are looking for the 2016 Republican candidate (assuming Romney loses), and decided that Rubio was not it. The convention is just two months away, and Romney needs to make that commitment. The point of no return looms.