It’s hard to argue with Rep. West on either count.
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said Monday he was “dejected” by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s performance during an interview Friday in which he was asked repeatedly about President Obama’s recently announced policy shift on illegal immigration.
Romney dodged questions about whether he would repeal an administration policy that halts deportation proceedings on some young illegal immigrants. He said instead he would advocate for a long-term, legislative solution to the issue.
But West objected to what he perceived as equivocating, pleading with Romney to take a stand on the issue.
“I guess I feel a little bit dejected because I think that it goes back to what my mother taught me, ‘a man must stand for something, or else he’ll fall for anything,’ ” West said on the Laura Ingraham radio show.
The Tea Party favorite went on to attack Obama for having made the move, arguing he unjustly circumvented Congress.
“You know the last time we had this was with King George the III, and we didn’t like it too much. And I think what you’re seeing is the resurrection of an imperial presidency,” West said.
Here is Romney’s initial reaction to the president’s announcement on Friday. It is what West is reacting to.
On the good side if a bit obvious, Romney calls for a legislative solution rather than fiat, but on the bad side, the first regret he expresses is that Obama’s action makes it more difficult to reach a “long term solution” to the issue of young illegal aliens. That is not the number one problem with Obama’s announcement. The top issue with all of this is the rule of law, and a stronger statement would have started by noting that the president said twice last year that he could not do what he had just done. Then pivot to the impact on the economy, which will be negative. Expose the politics up front, deal with the policy only if you have to. That would have put the president on the defensive rather than conceding what looks like a policy agreement first.
If Romney wins in November, “comprehensive” immigration reform had better not be high on the agenda. There are influential forces in the GOP who strongly support what amounts to amnesty and open borders, but they are wrong and surrendering to them is dangerous.