If the Romney campaign has a position on Arizona’s immigration law, then repeated questioning isn’t enough to get it out of them.
On Tuesday morning, Romney surrogate and former commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez went around and around with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien as the TV anchor tried to get Gutierrez to state Mitt Romney’s position on SB1070 and in particular section 2B, the part the court upheld at least for now which allows law enforcement to determine citizenship status during a lawful stop.
Gutierrez offered up several reasons why he wouldn’t give a direct answer. He argued that this is about President Obama and that it’s “more complicated” than a yes or no question. Essentially, he argued that Romney shouldn’t have to give a position at all.
Gutierrez: This is not about Governor Romney —
O’Brien: It is if he wants to be president.
Gutierrez: About Obama’s lack of leadership.
O’Brien: Some Democrats would agree but we’re talking about Romney at this moment.
Gutierrez: We shouldn’t distract the situation and put it on Governor Romney’s lap.
O’Brien: I want to know what his position is.
Gutierrez: His position is that we have a mess and need a national policy.
Gutierrez objected to O’Brien’s question, saying it’s too limited. “I’m sorry, Soledad, that’s where we’ve got this all wrong. Policy is not this one single sliver,” Gutierrez said. “In this case it is,” O’Brien said. “It is actually one sliver, three were shot down by the Supreme Court.”
The closest Mitt Romney has come to weighing in on the decision was at an event Monday, when he said he would have preferred the court give states “more latitude” on immigration.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.