(WASHINGTON) — Mitt Romney is on the defense regarding his stance on the immigration issue. President Obama’s decision to stop deporting many of the children of illegal immigrants tapped into public sentiment and a key issue for a key voting bloc. Up to now, despite being asked several times about it, Romney has declined to say whether he would repeal the president’s executive order. Romney has just said he prefers a “long term measure.”
But the Romney campaign says they will have “a few more things…to say about immigration” at the candidate’s speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials or NALEO tomorrow in Orlando. It will be an important moment as both the president and his chief challenger will address the group.
During a conference call with campaign aides Wednesday, there was a hint Romney may introduce some new language or policy regarding immigration in his address. But the Romney campaign focus will remain, as ever, the economy, according to his aides.
“The governor has addressed immigration over the last few days on his bus tour,” Romney Campaign Policy Director Lanhee Chen said. “As you may also know he’s speaking to NALEO tomorrow in Orlando and we’ll have a few more things there to say about immigration, but I think the one thing we should think about when we think about immigration and is impact particularly in the Latino communities is to think about how this economy has really failed the Latino community. There are almost 3 million Hispanics who are unemployed today. The unemployment rate amongst Hispanics stands at 11 percent. These are just statistics how poorly the economy has been performing not just for Hispanics, but really for all Americans so those are statistics that this president simply can’t run from.”
The Republican National Committee rolled out a similar message this morning with a web video that argues the poor national economy disproportionately affects Latinos. Tuesday evening in an interview, Romney also stressed that the president’s policies are hurting minorities.
When asked again for a preview of tomorrow’s speech or whether Romney may specify whether he would repeal the president’s measure, Romney aide Kristy Campbell also hinted there may be new information released.
“You will hear more from us kind of in the run up to preview the governor’s speech tomorrow,” Campbell said.
Chen said to “stay tuned” to Romney’s remarks.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN
Phil Mattingly, Tom LoBianco and David Mark, CNN
Jeremy Diamond, CNN