Mitt Romney had the harshest immigration policy in the GOP field, and one of the nation’s most influential anti-immigration activists, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, as a key unpaid adviser on the issue. Kobach is the author of Arizona’s and Arizona’s controversial immigration laws.
When Kobach endorsed the former Massachusetts governor, Romney said in a press release that he was excited to have “Kris on the team.” “I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration,” Romney added. Romney also campaigned with Kobach in South Carolina.
But Politico’s Glenn Thrush reports today that the Romney campaign appears to be distancing itself from the controversial adviser as it pivots to the general election and seeks to appeal to Hispanic voters:
When I asked Boston if Kobach was still an “adviser,” a Romney spokesperson emailed back: “supporter.”
However, Kobach disputes this claim. Reached by ThinkProgress this afternoon, Kobach said, “No, my relationship with the campaign has not changed. Still doing the same thing I was doing before.” Asked what that entails, he said, “providing advice on immigration policy.” “I don’t want to go into great detail, but I communicate regularly with senior members of Romney’s team,” he explained.
He said he didn’t want to respond to the Thrush’s report, as he hadn’t read it yet.
“Como se dice ‘Etch a Sketch’ en espanol?” Thush quipped.
Kobach tells the National Review that the campaign confirmed to him that he’s still an adviser and “nothing’s changed.”