Why did Mark Shields Call June 15 "the Worst Day of Romney's Life"?
This is how yesterday, Friday, June 15th was characterized by columnist Mark Shields on the PBS Newshour. He offered one of the best, concise summaries of how Romney got thoroughly pwned by President Obama with his decision to stop deportations of some young undocumented immigrants.
In responding, MItt Romney was slow off the mark, equivocal. With this decision, President Obama paints Romney into an uncomfortable corner where he has no moves. He made Romney squirm and put him squarely on the defensive.
In the timing of the announcement he concluded that it put Mitt Romney into the proverbial no-win situation, with no good choices or counter argument.
Watch Shields, Gerson on the Politics of Immigration, Watergate on PBS. See more fromPBSNewsHour.
Judy Woodruff asked Mark Shields what the President's decision to give children of illegal immigrants 'a break' meant, politically speaking.
But, very bluntly, this is the worst day of Mitt Romney's life, as the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. Being president means that you are at a negative end when there's bad job numbers. But being president when you can take an affirmative action that makes your opponent squirm, even though it is an action that is totally consistent with where you have been in a policy sense -- and this for Mitt Romney is a character issue, because in 2008, 2012, he ran to the hard right of John McCain, of Rudy Giuliani, of Mike Huckabee there 2008, and of Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry in 2012 on the immigration.
He embraced the Arizona -- controversial Arizona state law. He said he would veto the DREAM Act. And they're looking at the fastest growing constituency in the country. And he really is scrambling now to get back.
What does Mitt Romney do? Does he reject the president's action? Does he promise to repeal it? Does he promise to honor it? Does he support legal challenges against it? He -- I thought he was terribly slow off the mark today. His answer was equivocal.
Mitt Romney's slow response to Obama's announcement should cast doubt on his abiility to respond to a crisis in a timely fashion.
It reminded you of the 3:00 in the morning phone call. What does a president do? Is he going to have to poll his consultants when that happens? I just think this is really dangerous, dangerous territory. And the White House effectively changed the entire terms of the debate and the narrative, where they have been on the defensive and losing, and put Romney I think squarely on the defensive, where he is squirming.
Does this complicate the issue for Mitt Romney? Instead of a highly anticipated first non-Fox interview this weekend where Romney would have had free rein to vaguely ramble aboutwhatever he chose, unchallenged by the marshamallow known as Bob Schieefer, his advisers are now no doubt scrambling to prepare answers to the questions they know he will be forced to answer.
I mean, Romney has never really been held accountable for his -- you know, his position -- creative changing of his positions. And this is one where he is on the record. Now, what does he do at this point? I mean, he -- they did it at a perfect time. He's making his first non-FOX News news appearance this weekend on Bob Schieffer's "Face the Nation."
You know that that is -- on CBS -- he is going to be asked about it. So, it's going to be kept alive all weekend. And it's going to be well, Gov. Romney, you said this. You didn't say that. Where do you stand?
And on the importance of forcing the Republicans to argue process rather than policy, where they are reduced to squawking about the President acting like a dictator and subverting the Constitution:
It's a change in procedure, and how he's doing it, rather -- acting through the executive branch, rather than legislatively. I think any time when you are reduced to arguing process, which is what the Republicans basically did today, you are on the losing side of the argument. They don't want to argue substance here.
And Mitt Romney has to decide who is his new best friend? Is it Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona, or is it Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida? He's really -- I think he's in a bind and it's not going to go away.
LOL - and this quote sums up nicely Mitt Romney's predicament:
We were going to talk about the economy today, but then this came up.
For Mitt Romney, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.