tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 15, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PDT
world we won't deport hard working, responsible young immigrants who were brought up here or received advanced degrees here. mitt romney hits the road, taking his campaign bus tour to battleground states. >> every town counts because the families who have lost a job, faced a foreclosure or been forced to spend the money they were saving for college just to make ends meet are not statistics. they are our fellow americans. >> is this six state swing also an audition for vice presidential contenders? also, from helicopters to combat forces, u.s. officials confirm a russian ship carrying armed troops is on its way to syria. and lessons in tweeting with matt lauer and who else, the biebs. >> i want to find out the power of bieber. we will do a little test here. let me sign on to twitter. there it is. you're faster at typing. what should be my first tweet? >> your first tweet ever should be -- >> do i get a say in this?
>> i will speak very proper because i know that's how you talk. >> okay. all right. >> hello, period. >> yeah. >> next capital, hello -- >> first tweet ever. >> everyone go buy -- >> no, no, no, no! no, no, no, no! >> good day. in our "daily fix" moments from now, the president will formally announce that hundreds of thousands of young legal immigrants who came to the u.s. as children will be safe from deportation and able to apply for work permits. the shift in policy puts romney's opposition to the so-called dream act in sharp focus five months before the presidential election. mark murray is at the faith and freedom coalition's annual conference in washington, d.c., where mitt romney will speak to social conservatives tomorrow. mark, i know you're on site and we'll get to the faith and
family convention but i want to ask, this is obviously big news. no decision, i always maintain, made this close to an election, doesn't have political calculation and consequences. what are the calculations and what are the consequences? >> i think this is about latino turnout. our nbc/"wall street journal" poll said 68% of latino registered voters said they were very enthusiastic and interested in the upcoming election, compared to 81% of all other voters. so this is i think an effort to really get latino voters, young people fired up about the election, and so you look at that -- in that political lens. also, one of the arguments of mitt romney and republicans when it comes to immigration, this president hasn't done anything with the latinos, he hasn't delivered. there's no reason to vote for him. so i think those are the political implications here. >> right. this is not about necessarily winning the latino vote by a bigger margin. it's about getting more latinos to vote. important point. i want to ask you, i know -- i
know that trademark voice and i can see him. that's newt gingrich talking behind you. spent lots of time listening to him during the campaign. newt is speaking and i know romney tomorrow, he's taking a break from this bus tour to give a talk to this group. do we have any sense of what he'll be saying? >> he will obviously be talking about his faith, about republicans, their beliefs in social conservetism. we heard from other potential vice presidential republican folks. so a big crowd. >> how much is mitt romney expected, he hasn't talked about it much, but his mormon faith. you mentioned his religious background. this is a group that might be open to that kind of faith discussion. will he go down that road? >> he really hasn't. the most he's talked about his faith was in 2007, of course. you will probably hear him talk about what he wants to do and certainly make this a referendum on president obama.
i think he will stick to that playbook. >> mark murray, i know there is desire for you to keep quiet so i will let you do so. thank you. >> thanks, chris. this morning, mitt romney was back in the new hampshire town where he announced his presidential campaign a year ago. it was to kick off a five-day bus tour that will take him to six, yes, six battleground states. republican strategist kevin madden is a senior advisor to the romney campaign. he joins me now. kevin, we'll talk about the bus tour, but this immigration news is significant. we are talking about hundreds of thousands of young people affected by the news here that the obama administration will not be actively working to deport them. what can and should mitt romney say in response? >> look, i think there are going to be a lot more questions here. i think particularly up on capitol hill and the congress' role in whether or not they believe the president can go out and around capitol hill and around legislatures and around the congress on something like this, but i think again, look,
the governor's going to focus very intently on the issue of the economy. i think the message that he has to latino voters, hispanic voters, will be related to what he can do to put the country on the right track and how it can help, how it will help folks who want more opportunity in this country. >> let me ask, this is an end run around congress, a lot of republicans are saying. do regular voters care? don't they just say this seems like the right kind of move that we need to figure out a solution for these 11 million or 12 million people here illegally, this is a small step in the right direction? do people care about how it happened? >> mark alluded to it earlier, whether or not this was something that is comprehensive and really solves the immigration problems we have or whether this was a political ploy for a president who hasn't done anything on the issue of immigration and how his position on immigration has affected the economy. i think those are the larger questions to be asked. >> let me ask you about, because the criticism is there is obviously criticism of the
president among republicans. this is not terribly surprising to you. but i was struck, haley barbour did a sit-down this morning, christian science monitor breakfast with reporters, where he talked about immigration. i will read what he said. i would just have a different policy than what he, meaning mitt romney, has espoused. i think the democrats on the left will try to make him sound like he's anti-immigrant which he is not. we're not going to deport 12 million people and we shouldn't. i want to focus on that. we're not going to deport 12 million people and we shouldn't. does mitt romney agree with that? >> governor romney believes we have to have a more aspirational policy and how it would affect the larger economic question we have in this country. how legal immigration helps sustain us as a country and our heritage as well as how it helps contribute to that, as well as how it helps sustain our economic growth in this country. i think the primary, when we litigate these differences in a primary, there does tend to be much more of an emphasis on enforcement. now i think again, we have to
talk about what it is exactly that we would do to help grow the economy and how folks that are looking to get in this country, aspirational americans, how we can help them and do it legally. >> quickly, we will move on to the bus tour, can the republican nominee of the party keep the immigration position, mitt romney espoused in the primary which was to the right of rick perry, to the right of newt gingrich? is that a sustainable model? you republican strategist looking at 2016 and 2020, given the growth in the hispanic community and their tendency to vote democrat? >> i think we make a mistake talking about this issue, who is get tting to the right of who. the criticism you will hear which i think is substantive is the president is making a political calculation versus a policy calculation. is this really modernizing our immigration system. that's something that will be up for debate. i think republicans, we have to again talk about how is it it's going to help build our economy, how is it going to be consistent with enforcing our borders. those are the big questions. i think the party is always looking at ways where we can do a better job with that with
hispanic, latino voters. >> i will let you off the immigration hot seat. >> not a hot seat. this is stuff i deal with all the time. >> to ask about this bus tour. obviously we detail the states, it's five states, largely in a lot of rust belt states, iowa, wisconsin, michigan, ohio. i am fascinated by the veep stakes. you've got kelly ayotte from new hampshire. tim pawlenty will be with him. sunday, rob portman will be with him in ohio, the ohio senator. monday, paul ryan will be with him. all these people have something in common. they were all mentioned as vps. lot of chatter. do you expect mitt romney to make an earlier than expected decision? by that i mean sometime right before the convention on this? how far along is the process? >> there haven't been any decisions made about making a decision. that's about as apt a summary as i can tell you. >> that's incredibly insightful. >> i think this is going to be a very detailed process. i think that's reflected in the governor's appointment of beth
myers as part of his search committee. i think it will be a lot of information, going to be a lot of discussion, going to be a great deal of vetting and i think it will ultimately come down to a decision the governor makes. when he makes it, beth will learn, i will learn and so will the american people. >> you are not telling me today? >> i'm not telling you today. i tell andrea you guys are smart to ask, i'm dumb to answer. >> now to exclusive reporting on the syrian crisis. word that russian troops are headed to syria. nbc's jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon. what have you learned? >> reporter: officials tell nbc news a russian ship carrying russian military forces is making its way out of the black sea and headed to the russian port city there in syria, the only deep water port for russia outside its own borders. now, to be clear, these officials are not indicating that these are any kind of large numbers of combat forces that intend to get directly involved in the fighting in syria, but
instead, they describe it as a small contingent of armed military that are headed to syria to provide security for russian assets, ships and their base there at that port city in syria. there's no sign here, to be clear, that the russians intend to get directly involved in any of the fighting there. nevertheless, some already see the move of sending even a handful of russian forces there as somewhat provocative. there's a little bit of confusion about secretary of state hillary clinton's claim earlier this week that the russians were sending additional attack helicopters to syria. some claim that that intelligence is still good but we're also being told this morning that it appears that as the russians claim, the russians are only sending helicopter parts to repair or equip those helicopters that the syrians al already received from the russians. nevertheless, officials see even
parts as contributing to the syrian war effort there. just very quickly, even though the pentagon is looking at all possible contingencies, not planning yet, but looking at all possible contingencies for any kind of military intervention in syria, a senior pentagon official here told us today that the white house, president obama, has not asked for any military plans to intervene in any way in syria. >> thanks for staying on top of it. it's a fast-moving story. moments from now, president obama will announce a major policy shift on immigration. stay with us for live coverage. plus, reaction from the nation's largest hispanic civil rights organization. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. [ yawning sound ]
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we are just moments away from a major policy announcement out of this white house. president obama making announcement about young illegal immigrants and their ability to stay in this country, that the obama administration will not pursue a policy of deportation. this is a big moment from a policy perspective. this is a big moment from a political perspective. we expect to hear from the president any minute. a very, very momentous week after president obama's speech on the economy yesterday, today we have this announcement. i want to bring in politico's ken vogel. i don't think we can underestimate how important this is. we know how important the hispanic community is as a voting bloc. we know that there has been some level of discontent within the hispanic community as it relates to president obama. does this fix those problems? >> i don't know that it fixes those problems but it goes a long way towards helping him. as you mentioned, in what is a crucial swing bloc. the good thing about it for the
white house politically is that it doesn't really hurt him with other swing voters. it's mostly a base issue. it will excite the liberal base and the conservatives who are upset about immigration, they weren't going to vote for him anyway. so it excites his base and helps with those swing -- potential swing voters right in the middle there. not just hispanics, but there are other communities in which there are big immigration presences in which it helps him and could help him at the margins win votes. >> as you see, we are looking at a live shot of the white house. obviously we are still waiting for president obama to come out and announce officially this new policy. we expect that to be any minute. ken, i want to follow up on something. you said there isn't a whole lot of danger for the president. i heard the argument put forward to some republicans today that there are folks in the middle, undecided voters who say wait a minute, i came to this country legally, i followed all the rules, why does another group get to operate under different policies? is that not a danger for him or is it? >> i think it can be used but
we've seen, you know, immigration as sort of a lightning rod issue backfire for republicans in the past. so the question as to whether it can help if they emphasize it and emphasize it with that framing that you mentioned, which is really the only way to use it against the president, whether that could be done in a deft enough way that it will inflame some who are concerned and see it as an economic issue but not risk having it backfire against them being seen as intolerant and you know, frankly, to some extent, playing sort of ethnic racial grievances against each other. >> ken, just to second, i mean, i really believe if you listen to jeb bush, marco rubio, haley barbour, not exactly a moderate republican, former rnc chairman, former governor of mississippi, listen to what they say. they essentially say be careful with this issue because maybe it doesn't hurt us in 2012 but 2016, 2020, '24, this may hurt us in terms of being majority
party in the country. let me switch a little from immigration because i saw something you wrote this morning that i was fascinated by. again, talking about the election, how much money is being spent, the stakes, the koch brothers. the koch brothers clearly thrilled by what happened in wisconsin, the recall election and their role there. looked like they are ramping up even more. you have a piece which i love the title, "inside the koch world convention." tell me what it says. >> well, the kochs for several years now, twice a year have been holding these summits where they bring together major conservative donors with operatives from a number of groups, not necessarily only those that we immediately identify as koch-affiliated groups, but a wider network of groups in the conservative community and top dignitaries, top political officials, rising conservative stars, and have these conferences where they kind of lay out some of the strategies that they'll be pursuing in the coming elections and ask for money, and they raise it and they're raising more and more of it, so much so that they now have a goal of
spending about $400 million in their efforts in the run-up to 2012. at this convention in a couple weekends in san diego, they could potentially, if the donors are enthusiastic enough, rise up over that $400 million effort in a truly historic spending binge in the run-up to 2012. >> i know you've done a ton with money and politics, a lot of great coverage. $400 million from the kochs, what with relooking at? i have seen $2 billion thrown out there once we count all spending. is that not too conservative at this point? >> well, i mean, certainly we've seen these gaudy numbers thrown out before and there's a tendency to kind of question that, be a little skeptical. if you remember, karl rove in the last cycle in late 2009, early 2010 when he was rolling out the crossroads group, he talked about a $52 million goal. we looked at the early fund-raising figures and they weren't that great and we started to question is he really going to be able to hit that goal. well, he hit it and exceeded it
by $20 million. the crossroad group spent upwards of $70 million in the election. those same conservative donors who spent all that money in 2010 are even more motivated this time around. so i don't know that we have really fully explored how much money is -- that we appreciate how much is going to truly be spent in the run-up to 2012. >> it's a good time to own a local television station in a swing state. thank you, ken vogel. >> thank you. live coverage of the president's rose garden announcement. a major policy shift on immigration is just minutes away. stay with us. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios
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deporting young people who enter the country illegally. it's no coincidence that this big shift is coming in the middle of an election year. joining us to talk about the substance of it and the politics of it, nbc's justice correspondent pete williams from our washington newsroom and nbc's mike becquera. we have a relatively clear sense of what the president is going to say in terms of the policy. can you break it down? what does this mean? what is the real world impact of what he's going to announce today? >> as far as the homeland security department is concerned, for them, this is just a continuation of what they started to do a year ago which is to focus their enforcement on the people they say here are illegally and are most dangerous, people who represent some threat to national security, or have committed crimes or are repeat offenders, keep coming over the border more and more and more. as a technical matter, at the end of the day, anyone who qualifies for this will still be in the u.s. illegally. what the government will do is
they say as a technical matter, for two years, we will defer any what they call these days removal, what everybody used to call deportation. so what the government will basically say is yeah, we know you're here illegally, but you're not really our focus. we're going to let you stay as long as you came to the country, you were brought here basically against your own will, you were brought here if you were under the age of 16, you're 30 or younger, you graduated from school, are still in school or served in the military and don't have a serious criminal record. now, they're emphasizing that these young people will also be eligible to apply for work permits but this is not a leg up on citizenship. this doesn't grant them temporary worker status. it doesn't start them in any way towards citizenship. they're still here illegally. in that sense, this is less than what many immigrants groups would hope congress would do with the dream act, which is to begin a pathway towards
citizenship. this is everything the government could do by policy change without changing the law. >> pete, thank you. you're there, we're all waiting for the president, we expect it to be any moment now. story of my life. tell me, what do we expect, this president just gave a 54 minute economic address yesterday in cleveland. is this a short statement, will he take questions, do we have any sense on where he goes given what pete just said. we know the nuts and bolts of the policy change. >> let's do the logistics first. the president is with winners from a contest very close to the white house now. as far as we know he's not back yet so that could be a few more minutes. the president expected to speak in the rose garden. this was scheduled at midmorning. we had no indication the president would be appearing in this fashion. he will be appearing in the rose garden. it was supposed to be about 1:15, as we're painfully aware at this point. as far as the politics are concerned on this, i think
supporters of immigration reform which of course was first proposed by george w. bush, all the backlash within the republican party and without against that initiative has carried over, become a litmus test to draw that hard line on immigration. so i think a lot of supporters of reform will look at that and say if representative steve king, one of the hardest of the hard liners, is against this, then it's going to be good. but if you look at the details, as pete pointed out, it falls very well short of what the dream act was. that is the read on which the administration is resting this executive order, the legal read, the procedural read, if you will. they are not granting a pathway to citizenship as would be allowed under the dream act if it passed congress. what they are doing is deferring a removal action against someone for two-year chunks at a time. the administration identified some 800,000 young people who would fall under the auspices of this new rule so the question
becomes how many people will voluntarily come forward, register for two years and count on the next administration, whether it's republican or democratic, to carry forward with this policy and not identify them and move to deport them. there is some risk involved here. however, the perception of this is jubilation from what we've seen among hispanics and latinos and three of those swing states where their vote is growing, becoming more influential, colorado, nevada and florida. >> i asked secretary napolitano about that very point, what about the possibility that a new administration could come in or congress could roll this back. congress could pass a law saying the government can't do this anymore, then if you've been here illegally, you basically raised your hand and now there's a record of you. i asked her if young people should be in any way concerned about that. she said no, she's encouraging them to come forward. it is a two-year period. now, according to administration
officials, even if there is a change in power at the white house, once the government grants that two-year period, they say it can't be invoked, it is inviolate for two years but what happens after that, they can't guarantee. >> pete williams, mike viqueira, thank you for the substance. much appreciate it. live coverage of the president's rose garden announcement is minutes away. stay with us. last time i was at a sleepover my parents had kraft mac & cheese without me. so this time, i took precautionary measures. looking for these? [ rattling ] [ male announcer ] kraft macaroni & cheese. you know you love it. sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right?
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clarissa martinez de castro. thank you for joining us. obviously an historic day. i have a question for you about deportation. i was stunned by this. i read it this morning, deportation, 400,000 people deported a year in the obama administration. that's the most since the 1950s. obviously this announcement at least partly, politically wise, is aimed at saying to latino voters we are looking out for your concerns, we understand your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations, and we are doing much more than republicans but against that number, 400,000 deportations, is it enough? >> well, you are absolutely right. this administration has deported more people than any previous administration and yet if you listen at the debate and particularly those voices that are saying that there's no enforcement happening, they just keep moving, upping the ante on this front. so the reality here is that the administration announced last year that in the carrying out of these deportation policies it
would prioritize national security and public safety, something i think we can all support. the announcement today is defining and a step in the right direction in the sense that the implementation of that announcement last year has left much to be desired. the announcement today really puts a fine point on the fact that it is the legitimate use of the white house's prosecutorial discretion to achieve a policy goal that members of both parties support. for children and youth who know this country as their own. >> i have a question. marco rubio, very prominent republican, cuban-american republican senator, put out a statement in response to the president's expected announcement which just to repeat, we expect any moment now his expected announcement on this policy, saying this is good news for families, latino families, but it's a short-term fix to a long-term problem, and not just that, but it's a
short-term fix that could complicate getting to a longer term solution. do you agree? >> i agree with the first part, because the reality is that what rubio had been floating up until now was something very similar which indeed, the white house has the legitimate tool at his disposal to do. he was proposing to do it legislatively. there is no need to do that. he is absolutely right that this is not a permanent solution. this puts it right at the doorstep of congress, because the permanent solution that our country needs is in congressional hands. so i do hope that with this move by the white house, it actually clears the path for people like senator rubio to come forward and craft that legislation that will give us the permanent solutions only congress can provide. >> now, these decisions, particularly when we're under 150 days from an election, are never devoid of political concerns. i want to show an nbc/telemundo
poll among hispanic voters. president obama, 61%, mitt romney, 27%. it was conducted in the middle of may. does this decision move those numbers at all, in your estimation, and should it? >> well, we know that the biggest issue for latino voters is the economy, but we also know that immigration is deeply personal because it affects family, friends and frankly, the way we are perceived overall regardless of our immigration status. it is an overwhelmingly supported issue, relief for innocent young children and youth. it's an overwhelmingly supported issue by latinos but frankly, it has overwhelming support across the american electorate. so really, it is a no-brainer. >> thank you so much for your time. obviously an important day and thanks for your perspective. >> thank you. earlier this year, a lightning rod developed in
women's reproductive freedom and she was targeted by rush limbaugh. on this program, andrea mitchell interviewed her moments after president obama had called her. take a listen. >> the stakes have been raised pretty high but what did he say to you? >> he encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of american women and what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud and that meant a lot, because rush limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. >> sandra fluke, who recently graduated from georgetown law school, joins us. first of all, congratulations. you endorsed president obama yesterday. obviously without knowing about this immigration decision. tell me how it lands in your mind. is this the right thing that he's doing? >> it certainly doesn't change my decision to endorse him. if anything, it makes me even
more certain that it's the right call. this is the kind of leadership i think we've continuously seen from president obama. he's stepping up and doing the right thing for millions of young children, even when congress has stalled and refused to act, and that's really why i trust him. i think he has a vision for this country and he does the right thing when a call needs to be made. >> sandra, i have a question. you have become obviously a very high profile figure, maybe not of your own wish, but it's happened, and the question is, has the obama campaign talked to you about an official or formal role in the campaign, whether that's on staff or whether that might be a speaking role at the convention? i'm spitballing here. have you had any conversations like that with them? >> you are spitballing. i haven't had any of those types of conversations. i of course talked with them briefly about the fact that i was planning to endorse the president, but those are the only conversations that i've had. i'm really guided by my own
personal views and morals and concerns about the policy questions that face the country in making these types of decisions. >> sandra fluke, thank you for making the time. >> of course. president obama has just arrived back to the white house. there it is, in case you didn't know what it looked like. we expect to hear from him any minute now on his new immigration policy. a major move, just a few months before the election. stay with us. nicholas brand of seattle wanted to start a window washing business. to stand out, he wore a scottish kilt his wife made for him, called the company men in kilts and went door-to-door offering his services. that attention-grabbing idea now has grown to seven franchises with more in the pipeline. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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there it is ! there it is ! where ? where ? it's getting away ! where is it ? it's gone. we'll find it. any day can be an adventure. that's why we got a subaru. love wherever the road takes you. wow, there it is. are you looking at live pictures of the rose garden. there it is. magic of television. that is where the president will be speaking any moment now. we've got the press pool gathered. we expect it to be literally moments from now. until he does speak, major garrett joins me, white house correspondent for national journal. ruth marcus is my colleague, and susan page is "usa today" washington bureau chief. thank you for being here.
thanks for your patience, major. you spent a lot of time waiting around for the president of the united states. i don't want to overplay how important this is but given immigration, given the hispanic vote, given how close we are to an election, this is not an insignificant moment. >> the question is deportation has been a contentious issue among latino voters and those lobbying the white house for a very long time. i think this policy change reflects the advocacy of the new domestic policy chief inside the white house, formerly a prominent advocate on the outside representing pro-immigration groups toward the white house. that's one thing that strikes me. second, i think it creates for mitt romney campaign, the beginning of this bus tour, a possibly contentious conversation about immigration issues which they would rather not deal with. >> steps on the mitt romney bus tour. we spent the last hour talking about immigration policy, not mitt romney traveling the swing states. >> precisely. one last thing, it puts marco rubio, still undefined, still we're waiting for legislation in a completely different icebox
now. it was feeling warm and hot and maybe he would be a leading voice for the republicans and the romney campaign on this. i think this freezes him out for a good long while because much of this reflects at least what he's discussed publicly about what his intentions were. >> susan, we had clarissa on. this deportation, i was struck when i read it in the "new york times," 400,000 people deported every year, most since the 1950s. she seemed to say this is a nice first step but this deportation problem is a larger problem. president obama doesn't have a hispanic problem in any meaningful way, he's up 30 points on them. what is the political ramification here? does this announcement today zero out concerns, disillusionme disillusionment, maybe less excitement for obama by the latino community? >> it's what he could do on an issue that tugs to the heartstrings the most of the illegal immigrants in this country and the situations they find themselves in. it creates a big problem for mitt romney. you heard kevin madden on your
show talk about the process, the process -- >> capitol hill, right. >> is this in fact the right thing to do -- >> i asked him directly, are republicans, is what mitt romney outlined in the republican primary a sufficient answer for republicans -- >> they're going to have to say more about what the policy itself, and i'm sure they're trying to figure out, and marco rubio, the fastest rising hispanic political star in american politics today, whatever he says in his statement today was kind of on the one hand, on the other hand, whatever he says, the fact that this is a policy he was pursuing gives president obama some real cover and continues to create these complications for mitt romney. >> ruth, you and i, we have the informal conversations. there is actually not lights and cameras at the "post" about this. we were talking about president obama's economic speech yesterday not knowing this speech was coming, just looking at the rose garden, waiting for the president to walk out. >> the minute i open my mouth. guaranteed. >> this has been a tumultuous
week. we thought yesterday was the big news on the economy. this may end up being the bigger news. it sounds like this is more solid political ground for this president. agree or disagree? >> i absolutely agree. i think win more voters with this message or certainly get more of them to the polls with this message than with yesterday's message because it doesn't just tug at the heartstrings. i know you didn't mean it this way, of illegal immigrants. it's the kind of thing that most people i think many people -- >> sort of that common sense young people, they didn't do anything. >> it's not their fault. they didn't sneak across the border of their own free will. i actually would like to say something on kevin's side on the process question. which is there's a legitimate question about the president's authority and the wisdom of doing this end run around congress. democrats don't like it when republican presidents ignored laws and did end runs around laws. congress are the ones who get to write the immigration laws.
is this prosecutorial, is this an exercise of prosecutorial discretion or an end run around the laws? >> my question, i think that's totally valid. my point there was in a political context, i tend to think your average undecided voter does not follow every jot of how these things work. it is a legitimate point. marco rubio mentioned this is an end run around congress. can mitt romney seize on this? because they are in a little bit of a box on the politics of immigration. can they broaden it out to say this is about a president doing things by executive fiat and there are three branches of government for a reason? >> i think they will be in a process plate for 24 to 48 hours until they figure out what policy they would offer as an alternative, if they are going to have an alternative and the process argument is a safe harbor. i agree with you on independence, that is not something they will get into. some swing states, republican voters who disagree with this policy might start branding it amnesty by fiat. that will not be helpful.
most of those voters who would been predisposed to be against the president anyway but on the energy side, it will intensify their desire to fight this issue out. >> susan -- >> it will apply pressure on the romney campaign as they try to figure out where they will come down on a policy response. >> there is very rarely -- i feel there's very rarely on issues that are this hot button, very rarely a 100% winner in anything. susan, the thing that keeps cropping up to me and republicans bring up to me politically on this, is look, there are plenty of independents out there who may not know every little bit of this policy and how it will work but will say wait a minute, these people, the law was broken at some level, whether by their parents, regardless, why are we saying this is now okay? is that spin or is that something that can legitimately be prosecuted once they move beyond the process argument, is that something that can be -- >> sure. you can make that argument and it's true. these kids are here illegally
and they are subject to being deported because of that. but you know, your own paper ran a story a couple days ago about one of these young people who is graduating from high school, her parents brought her when she was very young illegally, she's done all the right things, she's studied hard, been a good student, she was about to be deported and what happened the minute that story ran? they reversed the policy. they said they wouldn't pursue deportation against her for humanitarian reasons. that's i think what the democrats think will happen when you focus the spotlight on these kids. >> just to reset, we are looking at the rose garden there. we are waiting, waiting, mr. president, i know you're watching and waiting, don't want to interrupt me in this program, i appreciate that. come out whenever you like. we are awaiting president obama's comments on immigration policy. we expect obviously a major announcement and a shift in position. ruth, what i was fascinated by, i interviewed kevin madden earlier, senior advisor to the romney campaign, i asked him a lot of questions about immigration. within two sentences, he's good at his job, within two sentences he brought the conversation back
to the economy. obviously president obama would prefer to talk about immigration than the economy, particularly right now when we are dealing with the loss of jobs, 8.2% unemployment. thinks a one day story? is this one-day story? a weekend story in a longer-term story? if the economy is won in the -- is this 1 or 5, 6 or 7 in terms of importance. >> it's between 1 and -- and it depends on for what voters, or voters for whom it will be motivating against and for. it's -- it's awfully interesting because of the heartstrings aspect. i didn't answer your question before about the president's speech. i wasn't trying to dodge. i do think that it was interesting. we had these duelling speeches this week in which each
candidate explained his vision of why the and presented very duelling visions. but the stakes were set, but also the clashing visions were very much set. smaller government/larger government. one of the things the president said that was interesting was the question of whether the way forward and the ability to break the stalemate is in voters' hands. i would actually question the accuracy of that statement, because a vote alone, a single election alone as my colleague dana milbank reported, is not going to break the current stalemate. i think the nightmare scenario, both parties waiting for the american people to tell them what they want. i'm not sure the american people know what they want.
we will be back. we will be back, and yes, folks, there it is, the rose garden. >> still there. >> the rose garden is there. you're looking at two different angles, again the magic of television. we now expect 2:00 p.m., less than ten minutes from now. 2:00 p.m., the president to come out and make what is a major policy shift that as both political and policy discussions, we will be mac moment tear. this message. back from the worst economic depression. almost 4.3 million new jobs we're still not creating them president's jobs plan firefighters, police officers, work. right now. wealthiest americans congress refuses to act. tell congress we can't wait.
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susan marcus. major, you wanted to make a huge point. >> we hadn't heard it before, was voters, you can break the stalemate. the president said everything else is just a distraction and noise, okay? today illustrates how the president is positioned to make stale mates by himself without waiting for voters, for committees, filibuster votes, he has the power if so motivated and moved. so there's something a little contradictory about what he said yesterday and what he's doing today. >> i would say there's a lot of people, too, who say wow, it's tough ton an incumbent in this atmosphere, it is true, because you own everything, but to your point, mitt romney cannot change policy. he cannot do this. he can talk about it, and the
president can only do that. so, susan page, as we wait, i continue to be intrigued by what mitt romney says. i've gone on live television for the last hour. i may have glanced at my phone, i've not seen anything yesterday, but this is not an easy circle to square if you're mitt romney. what do you think he says about this proposal? >> i think he appropriate talks about the process, which i do not think wins you an election, but as major said, it may buy you some time. >> how a bill becomes a law. >> mitt romney said he would look at the rubio proposal and consider it. it's notes on though he's ruled out this policy approach, this substantive approach for dealing with the thousands of kids brought here illegally, in and out getting out of the high school and heading into these terrible problems. >> but thematically, ruth, i
watched painfully at times the 272 republican debates, i think that's the right number. mitt romney very clearly carved out territory. i say to people if you want to know about the republicans' immigration policy, newt gingrich and rick perry were two moderate voteses on the policy, how does he get away from saying you said x about immigration here and now you're taking y position? >> i think that's exactly the point i was going to make. in the debates, he said that he opposed the d.r.e.a.m. act, opposed the notion of giving these kids in the country -- now granted it was slightly different, because it's quite different. >> quite different. >> but people who are really going to make that distinction -- >> it was one of the big criticisms of the durbin version that it provided a path. this does not do so, and the rubio proposal does not do so. >> and i would say carefully
crafted by the white house. >> as pete williams said, as far as they could go within the parameters of administrative changes that you can do without seeking or object teenage approval. >> and we expect the president any second. thanks for sticking with me. i'm chris lizzo, i want to throw it over to tamron hall, who will take us through the press conference. >> we're z any minute now the president will be speaking from the rose garden to announce his administration will stop deporting some undocumented immigrants in this country who were brought to the united states as children. they will also be eligible to apply for work permits. this is a bold election shift in the nation's policy tacked booth the president as standses. let me bring in pete williams, also white house correspondent mike vique