Face in the News: Mitt Romney
(CBS News) "Face the Nation" anchor Bob Schieffer caught up with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, during his five-day bus tour through six swing states. The highly-anticipated interview was Romney's first appearance on a Sunday talk show aside from Fox News since the start of his campaign.
Some topics of discussion included healthcare, taxes, and the European financial crisis. But Romney's response on immigration received the most buzz.
Following President Obama's Friday announcement to cease deportation of hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants, Schieffer repeatedly asked Romney if he would repeal the order if he becomes President. Romney subsequently failed to directly answer the question.
First, he responded, "Well, let's step back and look at the issue." When asked a second time, he replied "Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution." Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast gave Schieffer kudos for his repeated attempts.
During the interview, Romney also said he believed the president's executive order on immigration was a political decision.
"I think the timing is pretty clear. If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months," he said.
With a decision on health care reform looming in the Supreme Court, Romney said that regardless of the verdict he would "stop Obamacare in its tracks and return to the 10th Amendment that allows states to care for these issues on the way they think best."
In anticipation of the G-20 Summit meeting today in Mexico where the European financial crisis is set to take center stage, Romney said he would be opposed to a bail-out. "Obviously, this is going to depend enormously on Germany. But they and others will have to make that decision but we don't want to go in and start providing funding to European banks," Romney said.
"I certainly don't believe that we should expose our national balance sheet to the vagaries of what is going to be happening in Europe. Europe is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if they choose to do so," he said. "We're not going to send checks to Europe. We're not going to bail out the European banks. We're going to be poised here to support our economy."
As for the U.S. banking system, he said that America's banks will be able to "weather the storm" from the euro zone crisis and voiced his opposition to the idea of another stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
In regards to Romney's anti-tax stance, Schieffer asked if Romney stuck by his opposition to a deficit reduction deal that included one dollar of new taxes for every ten dollars of federal spending cuts. Romney and seven other Republican primary candidates voiced their opposition during the Ames, Iowa debate earlier in the campaign.
Romney also refused to give any details on how he would pay for his $5 trillion over ten years tax cut plan. When Schieffer asked Romney where the revenue would come from, Romney responded, "Well, we'll go through that process with Congress as to which of all the different deductions and exemptions--" Schieffer pressed, "But do you have any ideas now, like the home mortgage interest deduction, you know, various ones?" To which Romney stated that Simpson-Bowles proved his plan to be "mathematically possible" with his proposal to limit exemptions and deductions for high income individuals.
Later in the broadcast, the National Review's Rich Lowry pointed out that Romney "has a great allergy to specifics and details."
Romney said that he wrote "Dad" on his notepad during the Republican primary debates earlier this year. "Each time, I wrote Dad at the top of my page reminding myself of the sacrifice that he made in his life for his family, for us and his passion for America."
Romney also talked about his wife Ann's horse going for the gold in the 2012 London Olympics. "She's quite thrilled, and I'm sure she'll be watching," he said. "I have a campaign to attend to so I won't be able to see it perform."
Watch the complete interview above.
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