From an editorial Thursday in the Washington Post:
If only he were Hispanic, Mitt Romney mused in his secretly recorded comments unearthed by Mother Jones magazine, his electoral prospects would be so much brighter. I say that jokingly, said the Republican presidential nominee, who plainly wasnt joking at all, but it would be helpful to be Latino.
Looking at his poll numbers, the reasons for Mr. Romneys wistfulness and for his angst about Hispanic votes are apparent. Among that fast-growing segment of the electorate, President Obama enjoys better than a 2-to-1 lead over Mr. Romney, roughly the same margin that helped him win key swing states in 2008.
If Mr. Romney really wants to make inroads into Mr. Obamas lead among Hispanics, what he needs is an immigration policy that is fair, cogent and economically rational. That would be a refreshing change from his stance of the past six months, during which he first embraced harsh rhetoric and draconian policies, then tried to fuzz it away at the margins.
He remains stuck with the more punitive policies that he favored during the GOP primaries, when he said he would push illegal immigrants to self-deport by making it impossible for them to work; vowed to veto the Dream Act, which would grant legal status to undocumented young people who were brought into the country by their parents; pledged to complete the 2,000-mile border fence along the Mexican border; and cozied up to Arizonas draconian show-me-your-papers law by promising to drop the federal litigation against it. Mr. Obama, for his part, has failed to make progress on his 2008 campaign promise to enact sweeping immigration reform that would include a pathway to citizenship.
But he is right that the main hurdle to a meaningful deal on immigration one that would tighten enforcement and acknowledge reality by extending some form of amnesty to 11 million undocumented immigrants is the uniform opposition of congressional Republicans, including those who once favored such an approach.
As for Mr. Romney, saying he would solve the problem is not the same as presenting a blueprint to do so. By fudging specifics, he has made clear that he has no policy at all and indicated that a Romney presidency would turn a blind eye to the nations broken immigration system.