8:26 am Jun. 25, 2012
On a Sunday morning marked mostly by talk of President Obama's new immigration policy, Democrats said that Mitt Romney has offered criticism of the president's plan without proposing any specific alternative.
"If Mr. Romney wants to come clean with what he's going to do, he ought to do it, but you gave him, last week, multiple opportunities to say whether or not he would veto this, he wouldn't answer it," said L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on "Face the Nation," referencing Bob Schieffer's interview last Sunday, when Romney refused to offer policy particulars about where he would cut government to pay for his tax cuts.
Former Minnesota governor and possible Romney running mate Tim Pawlenty tried to argue that Romney had been specific about his goals for the government, even if he hasn't yet engaged in the details.
"So he hasn't put out a specific plan to eliminate any of the particular deductions within the tax code, but he has talked pretty specifically about how he would reform, reduce, and slow down government spending overall and that would help put the country on a pathway towards a balanced budget," said Pawlenty, who tried to turn the criticism against the president for not offering a more specific plan to reform entitlements.
"I'll come to your house, Bob Schieffer, and mow your lawn if you can find President Obama's specific proposals on reforming entitlements in this country," said Pawlenty, reiterating an offer he made to others earlier in the campaign. (Schieffer lives in an apartment.)
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida talked on "Meet the Press," by talking about the need to be deliberate in crafting specific strategies to deal with a problem as broad as immigration, and he also refused to get too far into specifics with David Gregory about whether the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the U.S. would have to return home before they could be granted legal status.
"Again, the answer to that question depends on the environment in which it's being answered, and in this current environment, the options that we have available today to deal with 12 million people is very limited," was all Rubio would offer.
He did disagree with one specific Romney has offered, saying he didn't view the Arizona immigration law as a "national model," which were the exact words Romney used to praise the policy during the Republican primary.
As several of the talking heads noted on the roundtables, Romney's tactic of sticking with generalities until after the election will become increasingly hard to sustain, particularly in the case of health care, if the Supreme Court strikes down the law this week after intense political opposition to the law from Republicans.
But Schieffer couldn't get Romney's top adviser to budge.
"Look, this election does come down to the economy," said Eric Fehrnstrom, after very briefly noting that Romney had released a 140-page book with 59 specific policy proposals. "If people are satisfied with the way things are going, then I'm sure that will improve the reelection prospects of the president. But if they believe, as we do, that things could be better, that too many Americans are being left behind, that they're struggling to get by in this bad economy, then I think that improves the election prospects of, of Mitt Romney.
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