Mel Martinez wants his party to come to its senses on immigration policy. Since Martinez is a former U.S. senator and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, one would like to think his opinions would carry at least some weight, but whether he realizes it or not, it appears Martinez is being ignored.
This morning, the Floridian conceded his party "did the exact opposite of what we needed to be doing" for much of the last two years. Yesterday, however, Martinez told ThinkProgress he's optimistic Mitt Romney will be less extreme after the election.
For those who can't watch clips online, Scott Keyes asked the former senator whether Romney is likely to stick to his support for a self-deportation agenda. "I don't think so, no I really, really don't," Martinez replied.
This probably belongs in the "wishful thinking" category.
Martinez's argument is, in effect, that Romney is lying, but only to get elected. The presidential nominee doesn't actually believe the anti-immigrant stuff he's been saying, the argument goes, Romney's only pretending in the hopes that reactionary voters will be fooled into supporting him.
Remember, this is supposed to be a defense from a Romney supporter.
The truth, however, is readily available and impossible to ignore.
The newly-released Republican Party platform, which Team Romney helped write, endorses a self-deportation agenda. It also calls for "double-layered fencing" along the U.S.-Mexico border, and opposes any efforts to extend pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States.
For his part, Romney has also vowed to veto the DREAM Act, sees Arizona's SB1070 as a national "model," and is palling around with Kris Kobach, among other things.
Martinez's argument boils down to: don't worry, Romney's only pretending, and once he's done deceiving American voters, he'll be far more reasonable. It's not exactly a persuasive pitch.