Immigration has become the political topic of the moment, with the focus squarely on the Trump administration’s now abandoned policy of separating children from parents trying to cross the US-Mexico border. GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney says, if he wins November’s election, immigration is one of the problems he plans on tackling in Washington.
“It’s just an intractable issue. I don’t know what the right way is to get progress,” said Romney in a podcast interview with UtahPolicy.com. “One of the hopes I have in going to Washington if I get there is to see if we can find some common ground between the two sides. That seems easier said than done.”
Romney says it’s crucial for the GOP to show voters that they can make progress on some of the most pressing immigration issues.
“I think you have to make the effort, and we as Republicans have to show we got something done. I’d love to see an omnibus immigration bill that deals with everything. But if we can’t do that, at least we can deal with the DACA kids, and we can deal with this issue of separating families at the border. That’s a black eye that will take a long time to heal.”
Romney is expected to cruise to an easy win in next week’s GOP primary over State Rep. Mike Kennedy. Polls show Romney with a 40+ point lead heading into Tuesday’s election. A win in November is also a near foregone conclusion as Utah has not elected a Democrat to a statewide office since the 1990’s.
Romney will be part of a Republican party in Washington that has been roundly criticized for not standing up to President Donald Trump. This week longtime Republican strategist Steve Schmidt renounced his membership in the GOP, saying Congressional leaders have shown political cowardice in not acting as a check on President Trump. Romney sees things quite differently.
“If you look at the president’s first year, the Congress was pretty happy with what was achieved, and I was as well,” he says. “We reformed the tax code. We put in place a series of regulatory changes which were essential. President Trump also returned public lands to Utah. These were all things that Congress thought were very positive.
“I don’t know if it’s Congress’s job to have a daily commentary on what the President says day to day or his tweets. I just don’t think that’s productive. I do think if there are major policy disagreements, Congress has to step up. If it’s something really significant, like Charlottesville, for instance, members of Congress said the president was wrong.”
You can listen to the podcast of our full interview with Romney where we discuss immigration, international trade, his relationship to President Trump, and how his father’s political career shaped his own.