President Obama gave GOP challenger Mitt Romney a gift-wrapped opportunity when Obama declared that even without congressional authorization, roughly one million illegal aliens would be protected from deportation and would become eligible to apply for work permits.
The American people have said no to amnesty, again and again, and Congress has refused to pass it. With public sentiment against Obama's plan, Romney had a golden opportunity to rebuke the president's abuse of power and promote respect for the rule of law.
Unfortunately, Romney not only failed to issue an unambiguous condemnation of Obama's actions, but he actually reined in a high-ranking member of his campaign who suggested that Obama's misguided order would likely be rescinded under a Romney presidency.
The Telegraph newspaper in London reports that Ray Walser, co-chairman of Romney's Latin American Working Group, said, "My anticipation is that he would probably rescind this directive were he to be elected in November."
That's good to hear -- although it would have been more effective had Romney said it. Instead, Romney has declined again and again to say personally what he would do about the order if he became president.
"There needs to be a long-term solution so [illegal aliens] know what their status is," he said on CBS.
But we already know what their status is: They are in the United States unlawfully. And we know what to do about that: Uphold the law, rather than ignore it. Dry up the sources of jobs for illegal aliens by enforcing laws that prevent employers from hiring them and stop attacking states that have been forced to enact their own laws in the absence of federal action.
But Romney, apparently seeking to attract Hispanic voters, has remained vague at best.
And worse still, Walser was called on the carpet after suggesting that Romney would rescind Obama's order.
Contacted again by the Telegraph, Walser said "he had been asked to have his comments disassociated from Mr. Romney," the paper reported.
"I've now had a little conversation with people from the campaign, and they are concerned that I was not speaking in an authoritative voice," he said. "They would really prefer that if you're going to quote the Romney position, you get it from someone other than me."
Fine. Let's get it from Romney himself, and let's clear up any concern that he may pursue immigration policies that will alienate the conservative voters he must have to win in November.
To reprise some advice British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reportedly gave to President George H.W. Bush on dealing with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, "Don't go wobbly," Mitt.