On Fox News Sunday this morning, host Chris Wallace asked Bill Kristol, a leading GOP pundit and apologist for the Iraq War, how he felt about President Obama’s recent announcement that the Department of Homeland Security would halt deportations of many undocumented students. Wallace probably did not expect the answer that he got:
KRISTOL: I think its a sensible policy. I think it would be much better if that were the law of the land, and I think the president’s pushing the edges of prosecutorial discretion in saying we’re not going to enforce a law in order to leave these people in the country. But I think it’s the right thing to do, actually.
Notably, this is a significant shift from Kristol’s previous attitudes about President Obama’s immigration policies. Two years ago, Kristol falsely accused the Obama Administration of being “reluctant” to enforce immigration laws, when in fact deportations are at record highs under President Obama.
Kristol’s transformation, however, closely maps the GOP’s efforts to paper over their recent anti-immigrant positions as the November election draws nigh. During the primary, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned with the former hate group attorney that wrote Arizona and Alabama’s harsh immigration laws — on Martin Luther King Day. This morning, however, Romney twice refused to say whether he would reverse Obama’s recently announced pro-immigrant policy. As Kristol put it this morning on Fox, the Republican standard bearer’s hardline past on immigration is a “big problem for Romney.”