I’ve heard a few people say that Romney was wise not to take a hard line against President Obama’s executive order on immigration because he should not take the campaign’s focus off the economy. (Others have argued that his soft response makes sense because of the Hispanic vote, but that’s not my focus here.)
I think this way of thinking about the campaign is mistaken. Yes, the economy is the top concern of voters and should be the main focus of the campaign. But I think voters expect presidents to be able to deal with a wide range of issues. Romney could talk about the executive order, or about Fast and Furious, without coming across as someone who obsesses about these issues to the exclusion of the economy. And he should.