Following up on his Iowa straw poll win, former Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign released an ad with the candidate telling a cheering crowd after the win, “If there’s ever a time we needed to see change in Washington, it’s now.”
Romney has increasingly been promoting himself as the candidate of change but could face some hurdles since he has supported a range of President Bush’s policies.
The former governor has spent much of the week since his victory in Iowa focusing on immigration, arguing for more secure borders, enhanced enforcement of existing immigration laws, and the need to end what he calls sanctuary city policies that encourage more illegal immigration and weaken border security efforts. On a visit to San Diego and the U.S.-Mexico border, Romney praised the Bush administration’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration but said more needs to be done.
Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani have been exchanging barbs over immigration since Giuliani released a new plan aimed at limiting illegal immigration last Tuesday. While campaigning in South Carolina last Wednesday, Romney told the Spartanburg Herald Journal, “Mayor Giuliani hopefully will explain why there’s such a dramatic departure from his position as mayor, where he said he welcomed illegal aliens to New York, and that they would be in a zone of protection in New York City.” The Giuliani camp pointed out that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney did not punish sanctuary cities such as Cambridge and Somerville.
The subject remained immigration in New Hampshire, where Romney spoke at a campaign stop on Monday about his opposition to a pending state law that he said would prohibit state and local law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration laws.
On Tuesday, Romney intends to campaign in Reno, Nev. The Reno Gazette Journal reported late last week on a poll of likely GOP voters that showed Romney in the lead with 28 percent, though analysts cautioned that Republican poll numbers have been bouncing around.