Today marked Mitt Romney's first appearance on a non-Fox News Sunday talk show, and there was a lot to cover. The Republican candidate made his lamestream media debut on CBS's Face the Nation, where host Bob Schieffer tried — and basically failed — to get him to say whether or not he would undo President Obama's immigration policy change if elected. Romney, who has so far declined to comment on the merits of the plan, was apparently quite determined to not answer — Schieffer asked the question no fewer than five times — though he was willing to call the president's move a "political" one:
"I think the timing is pretty clear. If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months."
Also on the agenda was his take on Europe's increasingly precarious financial situation, which was unsurprising. Basically, as you already probably know, there will be no bailout from President Romney:
"We’re not going to bail out the European banks," he said. "Europe is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if they choose to do so," he said. "Obviously, this is going to depend enormously on Germany. But they and others will have to make that decision but we don’t want to go in and start providing funding to European banks."
Meanwhile, he stood by his primary season promise to reject the hypothetical $10 in spending cuts-for-$1 in tax increases deal proposed at this August's Republican presidential debate. Asked whether he still opposed new taxes "under any circumstances," Romney responded, "I do feel that way." He explained:
"Government is big and getting larger and there are those who think well, the answer is just to take a little more from the American people. Just give us a little more. And there are places that have gone that way. California, for instance, keeps raising taxes more and more and more. And funny thing, the more they raise in taxes, the deficits get larger and larger. The only solution to taming an out of control spending government is to cut spending. And my policies reduce the rate of spending, bring government expenses from 25 percent, federal expenses, from 25 percent of the economy down to 20 percent and ignite growth of our economy. That’s the way that we’re going to balance our budget, is getting people back to work with rising incomes again, so we’re going to get bigger tax revenues as a result of that good news.”
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he addressed the issue of his wife Ann's sometimes talked about horse, Rafalca, who just qualified to compete in the dressage competition of this July's Olympics. Apparently, Romney has "a campaign to attend to," which means he won't be able to show his support in London. After helpfully admitting that "not many people are familiar" with Rafalca's sport (which is a little like ballet but with horses), he awkwardly drew a connection between Ann and one of our nation's most compelling First Ladies. Of his wife's love for her animals, he said, " I joke that I’m going to have to send her to Betty Ford for an addition to horses." Dark.