Howard Dean: Obama's new immigration policy is "a brilliant move"

(CBS News) Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean praised President Obama's new policy to provide work permits to children of undocumented immigrants, saying it's good policy and good politics.

"This is a brilliant move on the president's part, because Governor Romney is on record as saying he would veto the DREAM Act," Dean said on "Face the Nation," referring to the Democrats' legislation to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth.

"If he says anything in favor of what the president did, he will alienate the right wing, which has been his problem all along; and if he denies what the president has said, he digs a deeper hole with Latinos," Dean said.

"I think this is the end of the road for Governor Romney," he concluded.

However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said the president's move was "breathtaking."

"I don't think it's a brilliant move when the president of the United States tells a federal agency stop enforcing the law," Graham said. "I do believe it is breathtaking that a president of the United States would say 'stop enforcing the law.'"

On the same program, Romney said the president's plan is a "stop-gap measure," but refused to specify what he would do to address immigration, instead saying he would "work with Congress."

"What I would do, is I'd make sure that by coming into office I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the children of those that have come here illegally," Romney said.

Meanwhile, Graham said the president's move was purely politics, and pointed to the president's super majority in Congress during the first two years of his term: "He promised immigration reform in his first year, 2008. He had 60 Democratic senators, a big majority in the house, and he did nothing," Graham said.

He added: "I think President Obama's decision here is political, hasn't fixed immigration, is breathtakingly getting around the law, and I think we'll see by most Hispanics as too little, too late."

Governor Dean said "people like to see what the president did," and shot back at Graham, saying, "What's breathtaking is a Republican senator who had a hand in killing all the immigration legislation is now complaining that the president couldn't get immigration reform through."

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

Comments

Follow Us

Face on Twitter