I’m currently on a conference call organized by the Romney campaign with Sally Canfield, Governor Romney’s Policy Director, discussing the unveiling of Romney’s “Strategy for a Stronger America.”
Q: Reaction to Globe story saying Hillary’s health care plan similar to Romney?
Canfield: Governor Romney had a plan created for Massachusetts, based on what we faced in the state. It was the right plan for the state, wants other states to take different paths based on their circumstances. The only similarity between the Hillary plan and the Massachusetts plan is that they both use the words ‘individual mandate.’
Q: Immigration plan?
Don’t think the governor’s position has changed. Tried to shut off the magnets that have brought people into the country illegally.
Mentions state enforcement. Vetoed legisation to give in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants. He does not support the Dream Act (Durbin’s legislation, if I’m not mistaken). Enforce the border, and need an employer documentation verification system. Need biometric identifiers. Also need to encourage legal immigration.
Q: Any worries about national poll numbers compared to Iowa & New Hampshire?
Stephen Smith: If we had a national primary, we would be worried about national poll numbers…
Q: On Iran, does Governor believe we should promote regime change in Iran?
The only people who can change the regime in Iran are the Iranian people. Seeing outpouring of emotion from college-aged people.
Iran has claimed their nuclear program is for fuel, but even when Russia offered ways to bring natural gas into their country, they rejected it, suggesting that clearly something else is up.
Q: But should we be taking active steps as a matter of U.S. policy?
That’s something of a hypothetical that I don’t know whether I can answer. I can ask him… We don’t take any options off the table, but the first steps are the ones he laid out, economic sanctions, isolate Iran diplomatically, and reach out to the rest of the world. You’re starting to see some of our European counterparts take a much more aggressive stand on this.