Mitt Romney, who is running for president, for Pete's sake, and can't have illegals, delivered a long speech on immigration this morning. The speech was billed as an opportunity for Romney to lay out important immigration policy details and also served as a response to President Obama's announcement last week of an executive order giving work permits rather than deportation orders to undocumented workers.
The short version? Romney wouldn't not do what Obama's doing. But he wouldn't do what Obama's doing either. He favors having a policy, but won't say what that policy might be. Maybe.
Really. That's pretty much the extent of it.
Up until now, Romney refused to answer the question of whether or not he'd reverse President Obama's order. But in today's speech he attempted to answer that question…by continuing to not answering it.
Via The Washington Post, here's the key passage from the speech:
Last week, the President finally offered a temporary measure that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election. After three and a half years of putting every issue from loan guarantees for his donors to Cash For Clunkers before immigration, now the President has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on Day One. I think you deserve better.
Some people have asked if I will let stand the President's executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President's temporary measure. As President, I won't settle for a stop-gap measure. I will work with Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution.
Clear as a pot of espresso, isn't it?
But at this point it fits perfectly with the Romney campaign's M.O. when it comes to policy: Criticize Obama's plans, promise to offer a replacement, then decline to provide substantive details about what that replacement will be. He's used the same basic manuever with his tax reform proposal, his Medicare reform plan, and his proposed federal spending cuts. He's a master of the non-answer, of the policy dodge. He's for solutions! And reforms! And better policies! He just won't say which ones.