By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
Romney had avoided bringing up the topic in remarks to supporters at the eight other rallies he has held since Obama announced Friday that the administration would halt deportations of many young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.
At the Davenport rally, Romney led up to the immigration attack by accusing Obama of neglecting the economy and the deficit while going to work on Obamacare, organized laborâ€™s effort to expand its ranks and the banking overhaul known asÂ Dodd-Frank.
â€œHe went after all the things that he and his liberal friends had been trying to do for years,â€ Romney told a few hundred flag-waving supporters here at a Mississippi River waterfront bandshell rally, where his campaign was shooting TV commercials.
â€œHe was going to deal with immigration, he said, in his first year,â€ Romney added. â€œHe was going to focus on that. Did he do anything on immigration while he had a Democratic House andÂ Senate?â€
â€œNo,â€ the crowd shouted.
â€œNo,â€ Romney continued. â€œThis is a president whoâ€™s said one thing and done another. And I gotta tell you, weâ€™re going to have a very different course. Because the path heâ€™s taken us on is the path toward Europe.â€
In aÂ Fox NewsÂ interview, Romney dodged the question of whether he would reverse Obamaâ€™s deportation policy, just as he did in an interview that aired Sunday on CBSâ€™s â€œFace the Nation.â€
Romney told Fox he did not want to play political football with â€œthose people who come here by virtue of their parents bringing them here, who came in illegally.”
Romneyâ€™s remarks at the rally were significant, because he has otherwise focused intensely on the economy on the first four days of a small-town America tour that concludes Tuesday in Michigan.
The timing of Obamaâ€™s announcement on Friday –Â just as Romney was kicking off his tour in Stratham, N.H. — forced Romney to address the issue in comments to reporters, shifting the focus of campaign news from the economy to immigration.
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