2012 ELECTION

Mitt Romney immigration question lingering

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TROY, Ohio (AP) - Mitt Romney in an interview aired Sunday repeatedly refused to say that he would overturn President Barack Obama's new policy allowing some young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States.

PHOTOS: Mitt Romney campaigns in Chantilly

PHOTOS: Mitt Romney campaigns in Chantilly 18 Photos
PHOTOS: Mitt Romney campaigns in Chantilly

PHOTOS: George W. Bush, Barack Obama share stage during portrait unveiling

PHOTOS: George W. Bush, Barack Obama share stage during portrait unveiling 22 Photos
PHOTOS: George W. Bush, Barack Obama share stage during portrait unveiling

He claimed Obama's decision was political, while senior White House adviser David Plouffe said the move wasn't motivated by politics.

The Republican presidential candidate was asked several times in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" whether he would overturn the executive order issued Friday if he's elected in the fall. He refused to directly answer.

"It would be overtaken by events," Romney said when pressed for the second time by moderator Bob Schieffer during the interview taped Saturday while the former Massachusetts governor's bus tour stopped in Pennsylvania.

He explained the order would become irrelevant "by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution, with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals such that they know what their setting is going to be, not just for the term of a president but on a permanent basis."

Romney's Rust Belt tour swept through Ohio on Sunday, where he appeared with House Speaker John Boehner in the speaker's home district in Troy.

Protesters shouted throughout his abbreviated campaign speech there, yelling "Romney go home!" as Romney campaign staff moved speakers into the group of protesters in attempt to drown them out in return.

The protest came just a few minutes after top Obama adviser David Axelrod posted a tweet saying he's opposed to efforts to shout down Romney's bus tour.

Obama's Chicago campaign has been helping distribute information about protest events - former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell held a protest outside a Wawa on Saturday that prompted Romney to shift his tour to a different Wawa store than originally planned.

"I strongly condemn heckling along Mitt's route," Axelrod tweeted. "Let voters hear BOTH candidates and decide."

After the protests, though, Romney's event Sunday ended on a high note - he climbed into the front seat of a 1961 Rambler, the car that helped his father turn around American Motors.

George Romney's picture was in the old brochure still with the car. Romney sat in the front seat with the 20-year-old owner, Michael Scheib, who leaned over to tell Romney to "scare 'em, press them horn." Romney honked, and the surprised crowd laughed.

Earlier in the day, Romney attended a Father's Day pancake breakfast with two of his sons and five of his 18 grandchildren. He told a rain-soaked crowd that the weather was a metaphor for the country and that "three and half years of dark clouds are about to part."

At a second event in Newark, near Columbus, Romney told a cheering crowd that the president's slogan had changed.

"Last time when he was running for president his campaign theme was hope and change. This time he's hoping to change the subject because the American people are not happy," said Romney, speaking for about nine minutes as Occupy Wall Street protesters yelled from a nearby sidewalk.

In the TV interview, Romney suggested that Obama's decision on immigration was motivated by politics.

"If he felt seriously about this he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate, but he didn't. He saves these sort of things until four and a half months before the general election," he said.

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