Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney addressed a Republican audience Wednesday at the University of Miami in a 45-minute televised meet-the-presidential candidate forum on Spanish-language Univision.
In the forum, Romney defused recent controversial comments revealed in video footage of a private fundraiser in May. Host Maria Elena Salinas asked Romney about his remarks about the “47 percent” of voters who support Obama right off the bat. Romney responded with a different approach than he has previously, stating, “this is a campaign about the 100 percent. And in the last several years you’ve seen greater divisiveness in this country. We had hoped to come back together but instead you’ve seen us pull apart. And politics has driven us apart in some respects. So my campaign is about the 100 percent of America. And I’m concerned about them.”
Salinas next asked Romney if he would maintain Obama’s deferred-action policy, which offers temporary relief from deportation to young people brought into the country illegally by parents or others. Romney repeated his past criticism that Obama’s action was temporary and that if elected president, he would push for comprehensive and permanent immigration reform.
With Romney failing to directly answer the question, Salinas finally said: “Are you going to deport them or not? Yes or no?” Romney responded, “We’re not going to round up people around the country and deport them…”
When reminded of a previous comment in which he called on undocumented immigrants to “self-deport,” Romney said, “I believe people make their own choices as to whether they want to go home. And that’s what I mean by self-deportation.” Romney also voiced his support of a provision of Arizona’s SB 1070 law that allows employers to check the immigration status of job applicants.