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GOP strategist: Trump's immigration stance is "biggest risk" to Republicans in midterms

GOP strategist Dan Senor on Trump "chaos"
GOP strategist Dan Senor says Trump went "too far" on birthright citizenship 02:57

GOP strategist Dan Senor says the "biggest risk" to Republicans heading into the midterm elections is President Trump's handling of immigration issues, which he says convey "chaos." Senor served as a senior adviser to Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign.

"Where I think the president went too far is on this birthright citizenship issue – for several reasons. One, what he's proposing is unconstitutional. Two, he said sort of in a flip way, not coordinated with anyone in the congressional leadership,'I'll just do this by executive order'... and it just conveyed chaos," Senor told "CBS This Morning" on Friday, less than a week before election day.

President Trump continued making immigration his top issue at a rally Thursday where he discussed the migrant caravan. The president claimed the military will not tolerate violence at the border and any rocks thrown at the military will be treated like "a firearm."

Senor said that although Mr. Trump might have gone too far with his plan to sign an executive order removing the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens born on U.S. soil, the caravan of migrants headed to the U.S border does raise a legitimate policy issue.

"The idea that we should have a serious policy to make sure that doesn't happen here is legitimate. When thousands of people seem to be coming to the U.S., we need some kind of policy. My impression is from a policy standpoint that's legitimate and politically it's good," Senor said.

He also pointed to the European migration crisis as an example of what could happen if there is no policy in place to deal with the influx of Central American migrants moving toward the southern border.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, typically an ally of President Trump's, condemned his proposal to end birthright citizenship while campaigning for fellow Republicans this week. Senor doesn't see that as a big problem for the president. 

"Ryan both believes it's a mistake to pursue that policy and he thinks it's bad for the members whose seats he's trying to save. Ryan's in the middle of this 25-city tour right now trying to hang on to the Republican majority. So he had to respond, the president punched back. I think that's where it ends. The only reason it ends there is because the two of them basically have a good working relationship, so neither wants to escalate," he said. "There's just so much going on. I thought to myself, we've got five days left before midterms, my math is like that's about 34 tweets….We're in this constant flurry and this little skirmish with Ryan won't dominate."

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