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UPDATE: CNN updated its article with a statement from the Romney campaign:
Asked for clarification, a spokesman for the Romney campaign said Romney and Kobach have, in fact, met before at campaign events – but not in formal policy meetings. The aide said that in Monday’s radio interview, Romney was referring to policy meetings, which Kobach does not participate in.
So basically, Romney and Kobach have met but not at “formal policy meetings.” Hmmm. That’s odd, considering Kobach touts himself as an immigration policy advisor. It would seem to intimate that Romney just accepted Kobach’s policy directives without any discussion between the two.
Today, there’s yet another twist in the relationship between Mitt Romney and his immigration advisor, Kris Kobach. Mitt is claiming that he’s never met Kobach — “yet”, anyway:
Mitt Romney told an interviewer Monday that he has never met with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of tough immigration laws in Alabama and Arizona who says he has been counseling Romney for years.
Univision America Radio host Helen Aguirre-Ferre asked Romney, who spent Monday making a push for Hispanic voters, if Kobach is advising his campaign on immigration policy.
Aguirre-Ferre said “some Hispanics who are concerned” with Romney’s immigration positions, specifically his promise to veto the DREAM Act as well as Kobach’s involvement in the campaign.
Romney said he has not met with Kobach, whom the campaign has described as an “informal adviser.”
“As to the other individual that you mentioned, he may well be part of a policy team,” Romney said. “I have not met with him yet. And don’t know whether he is or he is not. So, sorry I can’t confirm that for you.”
We’d like confirmation – either from Romney or Kobach.
It seems odd because Kobach has played a key role in the Romney presidential campaign. The story began in January when Kobach endorsed Romney — and Romney proudly accepted that endorsement. From the Romney campaign website:
Mitt Romney today announced the support of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
“I’m so proud to earn Kris’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country. We need more conservative leaders like Kris willing to stand up for the rule of law. With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem.”
Romney adopted Kobach’s harsh anti-immigrant agenda, including the concept of “self-deportation.”
Last month, Kobach reasserted his pivotal role in the Romney operation when wrote the immigration section of the Republican platform. After Kobach succeeded in making the platform far more anti-immigrant, he reminded everyone of his close ties to the Romney campaign:
“These positions are consistent with the Romney campaign,” Kobach said. “As you all remember, one of the primary reasons that Governor Romney rose past Governor Perry when Mr. Perry was achieving first place in the polls was because of his opposition to in-state tuition for illegal aliens.”