It's about three weeks since President Obama announced his administration would begin enforcing the goals of the DREAM Act. What does Mitt Romney think of Obama's policy? Oddly enough, we still don't know -- he and his campaign refuse to say.
What's more, it's been more than a week since the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona's anti-immigrant law, striking down nearly all of the odious SB1070. What does Romney think of the ruling? We don't know that, either -- Team Romney consider the candidate's opinion a secret.
Last week, when Romney chatted with a far-right website, he seemed to briefly take a position on immigration, but campaign aides quickly walked it back, saying he misspoke.
What on earth is going on here? The Republican reportedly told some Republican elites last week he's worried about vote totals, but he's also trying to avoid looking like a "flip-flopper."
Romney said the Hispanic vote is important, noting he has Sen. Marco Rubio on the trail for him and that one of his own sons speaks Spanish, but indicated he is not going to change positions from some of what he said in the primaries.
"I know I took some positions in the primary that are" hard to contend with in a general, Romney said, according to two sources.
"I am not going to be a flip-flopper," he added, according to one guest. He talked more about the various concerns that he has to balance in terms of competing constituencies who have different views -- and noted, two sources said, the precise percentage that Hispanic voters make up in the swing states, a figure that was less than 20 percent.
It would appear, then, that Romney is effectively giving up on the Latino vote.
As Rachel recently explained, during the GOP primaries, the former governor positioned himself as one of the most anti-immigrant competitive candidates in decades, vowing to veto the DREAM Act, endorsing "self-deportation," and palling around with Kris Kobach.
Going forward, that leaves Romney with a choice: abandon every position he took a few months ago in the hopes of winning some Latino votes in key swing states, or keep his primary positions while hoping his Spanish-speaking son and awful Floridian surrogate help mitigate the damage.
The Republican is apparently prepared to go with Door #2.
Even some of his allies are unimpressed.
A prominent Hispanic Republican and Miami power broker accused Mitt Romney of lacking leadership and compassion in his approach to immigration in an interview with BuzzFeed this week, and warned that elements of the Miami party machinery won't engage on election day without a more expansive Romney plan on immigration.
Rep. David Rivera, who represents the southwestern tip of the Sunshine State, is the only Latino Republican in the House who's not on Romney's Hispanic Steering Committee, kept at arm's length by the presidential candidate because of a set of investigations into his personal finances. He recently introduced legislation that would give amnesty to some immigrants who came to to the country as children. And he said he has yet to see a serious, satisfying proposal from Romney on the issue.
Don't worry, Republicans. Latino voters are only the fastest growing voting constituency in the country, and may well make the difference between winning and losing in states like Florida and Colorado. Mitt Romney deliberately alienating them with an unpopular agenda and evasive answers shouldn't cause any trouble on Election Day, right?