Topeka — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Monday said he and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who share greatly different ideas about immigration policy, can work together to elect presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"I think he (Romney) can embrace both of us and go merrily along to win the election in November," Kobach said.
The political relationship between Kobach, a Republican and national advocate for strong anti- illegal immigration laws, and Romney, who veered right during the primaries but now is trying to court Hispanic voters in the race against President Barack Obama, has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks in the national media.
On Monday, Romney was campaigning in Pennsylvania with Rubio, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate and has recently announced that he is forming a proposal that would help some undocumented immigrants to stay in the country legally.
Earlier this year, Kobach announced his endorsement of Romney and said he was an unpaid adviser to the candidate on immigration issues. Kobach has said he was the source of Romney's view that the answer to illegal immigration was "self deportation" through the passage of controversial laws that Kobach has helped write in Arizona and Alabama.
When Kobach announced his support of Romney, the former Massachusetts governor had high praise for the Kansan. "With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem," Romney said.
On Monday, Kobach said his role with the Romney campaign hasn't changed, describing himself as an "informal adviser."
Kobach said from time to time he sends Romney's campaign officials emails on developments in immigration policies and offers his advice. "He can either take my advice or reject it," Kobach said.
Meanwhile, Rubio has said he wants to craft a plan that would allow some young undocumented immigrants to stay in the country legally but deny them citizenship. Kobach said he could not evaluate the proposal until he sees specifics. Romney has declined to endorse Rubio's proposal.