Romney and Immigration

8:00 a.m. E.T.

My “Morning Joe” colloquy with Dan Senor:

MARK HALPERIN: Go back to immigration. Obviously, Marco Rubio has been outspoken there, although he failed to come forward with a big plan during the campaign. Who are the other Republicans you think can or should step forward and be partners with the President on comprehensive immigration reform?

DAN SENOR: In addition to Marco, I think Ted Cruz could be a player. Obviously, Lindsey Graham and John McCain. I think people like Paul Ryan in the House. People who come out of a sort-of Reagan-esque, Kemp-esque, pro-growth camp within the Republican Party that tends to be very progressive on immigration. I think there’s a big opportunity for them to weigh in on the debate.

MARK HALPERIN: So, obviously, when people talk comprehensive reform, the big issue, a big issue, probably the biggest, is, is there a path to citizenship for people who are here? Governor Romney was very firm on that point. Did he leave the party, on immigration, in a bad place?

DAN SENOR: I think the party has been suffering on the issue of immigration for years. I think the problem transcends Mitt Romney. I don’t think his position helped the Republican problem but I think it predates him. I think the failure of McCain-Kennedy was something Republicans got blamed for. I think, in the 1990s, there were some really nasty debates and very few Republican voices willing to stand up on the side of immigration reform. So, I think we’ve been suffering. Look, there’s this sort-of nativist, isolationist, protectionist strand within the Republican Party that has been very active in Republican politics, across the country, for about 20 years. I’m sure Joe saw it in Pensacola and the Panhandle. It’s across the country and we have failed to deal with it. And, so, I think Romney’s position added to it but it was not the root of the problem.

Watch the video above.

Related Topics: Dan Senor, Mark Halperin, Mitt Romney, Morning Joe, MSNBC, 2012 Elections, Analysis, Immigration, News, Republican Party, The Page

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