BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- Mitt Romney repeatedly refused in an interview aired Sunday to say that he would overturn President Barack Obama's new policy allowing some young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. He said Obama's decision was political, whereas senior White House adviser David Plouffe said it wasn't motivated by politics.
The Republican presidential candidate was asked three times in an interview on CBS' Face the Nation whether he would overturn the executive order issued Friday if he's elected in the fall. He would not answer directly.
"It would be overtaken by events," Romney said when pressed the second time by moderator Bob Schieffer during the interview taped Saturday while the former Massachusetts governor's bus tour stopped in Pennsylvania.
He explained that the order would become irrelevant "by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution, with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals such that they know what their setting is going to be, not just for the term of a president but on a permanent basis."
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Romney's Rust Belt tour swept through Ohio on Sunday. He attended a Father's Day pancake breakfast with two sons and five of his 18 grandchildren. He told a rain-soaked crowd that the weather was a metaphor for the country and that "31/2 years of dark clouds are about to part." At an event in Newark, near Columbus, Romney told a cheering crowd that the president's slogan had changed.
"Last time when he was running for president his campaign theme was hope and change. This time he's hoping to change the subject because the American people are not happy," Romney said, speaking for about nine minutes as Occupy Wall Street protesters yelled from a sidewalk.