Romney Makes 'Face the Nation' Debut; McCain Worries About Big Donations

Mitt Romney talks immigration, bailing out Europe, health care and tax reform in huge interview with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation; McCain says he's worried about campaign finance scandals; Santorum talks immigration and his role in a potential Romney administration. 

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Mitt Romney made his first appearance on a non-Fox Sunday talk show. In a blockbuster interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS's Face the Nation, Romney repeatedly dodged questions over whether he would repeal the President's new immigration policy. Schieffer asked Romney directly if he would repeal the policy, but Romney danced around answering. "With regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is," Romney said. "This is something Congress has been working on, and I thought we were about to see some proposals brought forward by Sen. Marco Rubio and by Democrat senators, but the president jumped in and said I'm going to take this action, he called it a stop-gap measure. I don't know why he feels stop-gap measures are the right way to go." Asked again, Romney said the President is using the policy as election leverage. "I think the timing is pretty clear, if he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, than this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months," he said.

Romney on immigration:

Elsewhere in the interview, Romney said he wouldn't help Europe stabilize their financial system. "We’re not going to bail out the European banks," he said. "Europe is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if they choose to do so," he said. "Obviously, this is going to depend enormously on Germany. But they and others will have to make that decision but we don’t want to go in and start providing funding to European banks."

Romney also said he still wouldn't take the hypothetical $10 in cuts for $1 in tax increases plan proposed in an August presidential debate. "Government is big and getting larger and there are those who think well, the answer is just to take a little more from the American people," he said. "The only solution to taming an out of control spending government is to cut spending. And my policies reduce the rate of spending, bring government expenses from 25 percent, federal expenses, from 25 percent of the economy down to 20 percent and ignite growth of our economy. That’s the way that we’re going to balance our budget, is getting people back to work with rising incomes again, so we’re going to get bigger tax revenues as a result of that good news."

Romney on taxes:

On health care, he said it's unconstitutional for it to be mandated federally, but on a state level it's totally fine. "Well, I think federally it’s unconstitutional, but of course what I think is going to be will be surpassed by what the Supreme Court thinks, ultimately," he said. "But states have under their constitution the right to require people to either go to school, or get auto insurance, or in this case to get health insurance. … I hope the Supreme Court believes as I do that this is not constitutional but regardless of their decision, if I’m president, we’re going to stop Obamacare in its tracks and return to the 10th Amendment that allows states to care for these issues on the way they think best."

Romney also said he'd be too busy running his campaign to watch his wife Ann's horse compete in the 2012 Olympics. "She’s quite thrilled, and I’m sure she’ll be watching," he said. "I have a campaign to attend to so I wont be able to see it perform." Then he joked that Ann needs to go to rehab for her horse addiction. "She’s a real, I joke that I’m going to have to send her to Betty Ford for an addition to horses," he said.

John McCain said he's worried about the possibility of campaign finance scandals in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press. McCain was asked if he's worried about the insane amounts of money millionaires like Sheldon Adelson have donated to campaigns. "Well, I’m not only worried about him, I’m worried about many others, and I’ve always been concerned about the labor unions who take money from their union members and without their permission contribute to causes that they may not support,” McCain said. "So am I concerned about the incredible amount of money that’s washing around? Yeah." McCain said he didn't think Adelson, or any other donor, would have any influence with Republican nominee Mitt Romney. "Not anymore than other people who give lots of money. Not any more than the trade unions, the labor unions have. Not any more – the whole system is broken. It’s a wash. I don’t pick out Mr. Adelson any more than I pick out [AFL-CIO president Richard]...Trumka. So the fact is the system is broken. I predict to you there will be scandals and I predict to you there will be reform again," McCain said.

Independent Senator Joe Lieberman joined the chorus of people calling for the Obama administration to appoint a special counsel to investigate White House leaks on Fox News Sunday. "Frankly, I think Attorney General (Eric) Holder would do the administration and himself a favor if he appointed special counsels in this case because it would remove any appearances that anybody in this administration was trying to block a full-scale investigation," Lieberman said. Lieberman said that because one of the attorneys appointed by Eric Holder had previously donated to the Obama campaign, "no matter what he concludes, people are going to say it was biased." An independent special counsel would avoid any conflicts. "Special counsels, independent counsels before them, were created for situations exactly like this, where people might reach a conclusion that investigators, U.S. attorneys even working for the attorney general … cannot independently and without bias investigate officials of their own government," he said.

Rick Santorum criticized the President's immigration announcement on CNN's State of the Union, but wasn't exactly favorable to Mitt Romney's reaction either. Santorum said Obama "has not faithfully executed" the law with his immigration policy. "There's a difference between saying, 'I don't like the law. I wish, you know, I wish the law were different. But I'm the president. My job is to faithfully execute.' And he has not faithfully executed," Santorum said. Santorum said Romney needs to use this as an opportunity to "hammer on the president on this now habitual abuse of power," but so far his response shows he's, "trying to walk a line as not to sound like he’s hostile to Latinos." Santorum said Romney needs to take "very important states" into consideration with his immigration policies. Santorum also said he wouldn't be serving in Romney's administration should he win in the fall. "It’s pretty much a flat 'no,'" he said. "And it’s not because I don’t want to help Gov. Romney and I don’t want to be part of him having a successful presidency, it’s just for me it’s a matter of my priorities and my time of being a husband and a father. I have to take care of them."

Santorum on immigration:

Santorum on his role in a Romney administration:

White House senior adviser David Plouffe was grilled over the White House's role in the leak scandal by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "Listen, the president and his national security team, first of all, these are the folks who have waged a relentless and effective effort against al-Qaeda and its leadership, who decimated most of the top leadership, including bin Laden," Plouffe said. "This national security information is so critical for a president and his administration making the right decisions, nobody takes it more seriously than the president." Wallace asked if the President declassified information for David Sanger's book, to which Plouffe responded, "No, of course he didn’t." Wallace pressed Plouffe to say whether the President would sit down with the two U.S. attorneys assigned to investigate the leaks, but Plouffe wouldn't confirm it. "Everyone in our administration is going to cooperate with this investigation," Plouffe said. Plouffe also defended the President's new immigration policy. He described it as a, "prosecutorial discretion announced by the Department of Homeland Security, not a change in the law." He then attacked Romney's immigration policies. "Governor Romney has said he would veto the Dream Act," Plouffe said. "Governor Romney essentially said the 11 million people ought to just go home, they ought to self-deport. So this is someone you’re not going to be able to trust. President Romney, if he is elected, is not going to fix our immigration system."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.