Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is waiting on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to take the lead on President Obama's decision to stop deporting the children of illegal immigrants.
McConnell is one of the president's strongest and quickest critics, but the GOP leader is being unusually quiet until Romney makes his position clear. He says members of his caucus are “withholding judgment” until the former Massachusetts governor takes the lead.
From The Washington Post:
“I think we’re going to wait and see what governor Romney has to say, and we’re going to be discussing his views on this,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday. “I think many of us may have similar views. Others may not.”
McConnell said he was deferring to Romney because the former Massachusetts governor is “the leader of our party from now until November — and, we hope, beyond.”
But McConnell’s reticence also reflects broader confusion and division within the GOP over how to react to Obama’s move. Many Republicans have criticized Obama over how he made the change — saying that the president lacks the Constitutional authority to make this decision, or that his short-term solution will make a long-term solution to the same problem less likely.
Romney is set to meet with a group of Hispanic leaders later this week, but Democratic lawmakers and Obama campaign officials are chiding McConnell for how long it will take Romney to decide. “I can’t imagine that he’s going to get an answer very soon,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., told The Hill. “Romney has had four, five days and he was asked four different times on the [Bob] Schieffer [Face the Nation] program this weekend what he wanted to do and he wouldn’t answer.”