Romney Steers Hard Right on Immigration; Huntsman Out After New Hampshire?

Today, Mitt Romney released a new video attacking Rick Perry as being “soft” on immigration. Romney is aiming at Perry’s support for a Texas state policy that permits the young people who came to the United States “illegally” as children to attend public universities paying in-state tuition. It’s not radical policy, but Romney’s criticism is yet another point—like Social Security—he’s using to draw a strong contrast with Perry. But doing so puts him to the right of the LDS Church-sponsored Utah Compact on Immigration Reform, underscoring a long-standing perception of Romney as an conservative opportunist and destroying the notion that Romney is actually a moderate at heart. 

It’s also being reported today that Jon Huntsman has once again reorganized his campaign, with the biggest news being his moving headquarters north to New Hampshire, where he’s currently drawing about 10% in the polls. In national polls, however, Huntsman hovers between 1 – 2%, raising some questions as to whether the Nirvana-quoting alt-Republican candidate will be allowed to participate in the October 18 debate. Huntsman’s headquarters had previously been located in Orlando, Florida.  

The move to New Hampshire may signal that Huntsman has given his campaign a shorter horizon and that Team Huntsman is devising an exit strategy that will salvage the candidate’s credibility. But why did he enter the race at all? That’s the question Mo-politicos are asking this week. Is he, like Mitt Romney, another Mormon son trying to fill his father’s big shoes, or even grander expectations?