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New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez on Romney's Immigration Plan: “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?”

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New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is one of the names bantered about as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney. She’s a Latina from a swing state, and Romney has a serious deficit with Hispanic voters. But Martinez appears to have taken herself out of the running yesterday by trashing Romney’s immigration views, which she did in a national publication. From Newsweek:

As we sit down at a local Starbucks, I ask about immigration. It’s a topic she has been reluctant to discuss since winning the Republican primary in 2010, so what comes next is surprising: a battle plan that contradicts nearly everything the GOP has been doing and saying since 2007, Romney’s “self-deportation” strategy included. “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?” Martinez snaps. “I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why.”

As Governor, Martinez hasn’t been a great champion on immigration.  The article notes:

“In New Mexico, she’s taken a lot of heat from Latinos for repeatedly pushing to repeal a state law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.”

However, she knows that Romney’s got a problem. Martinez does offer a range of solutions for Romney, but her ideas are never going to gain traction as long as anti-immigrant and “informal advisor” to the Romney campaign, Kris Kobach, continues to set the GOP’s immigration agenda. (Which he does).

If Martinez was trying to make a point, she made it. Her interview trashing Romney’s immigration views was picked up by The New Mexican under the headline, Martinez Hits Romney’s ‘Self-Deportation’ Idea:

Gov. Susana Martinez, who has insisted she isn’t interested in becoming presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate, criticized his stance on illegal immigration during a recent Newsweek interview.

Political blogs picked up on the article Monday, in which she took aim at the “self-deportation” idea promoted by Romney.

Huffington Post’s headline declared Susana Martinez Slams Mitt Romney’s Immigration Strategy while Think Progress noted Potential VP Choice Slams Romney’s Immigration Policy: ‘Self-Deport? What The Heck Does That Mean?

We suspect Martinez actually knows what the heck self-deportation means. We think that, in a state that has the highest percentage of Latino voters, she’s trying to create some distance between herself and the radical immigration agenda of her party’s nominee.