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Kris Kobach has a death grip on Romney's Etch-a-Sketch.
You may not have heard of Kobach, but he is becoming a household name in the Latino community. He is Kansas' secretary of state, but more notoriously, one of the nation's foremost xenophobes and a key player in the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Kobach wrote the model anti-immigrant legislation adopted by Arizona (SB 1070) and Alabama. More recently, he's the guy who gave Romney the idea of "self-deportation"—harassing Latinos to the point their lives are so miserable that they decide to head back to their home countries on their own.
His presence as a Romney advisor has certainly been an issue in the Latino community, garnering a greatdeal of attention in the Spanish-language media. It's likely a factor in Romney's dismal numbers with Latinos—numbers so bad, that Romney has no path to victory if they don't improve. It's something he himself now acknowledges, hence the need to bust out that Etch-a-Sketch.
Reached by ThinkProgress this afternoon, Kobach said, “No, my relationship with the campaign has not changed. Still doing the same thing I was doing before.” Asked what that entails, he said, “providing advice on immigration policy.” “I don’t want to go into great detail, but I communicate regularly with senior members of Romney’s team,” he explained.
Kobach confirmed to me that the Romney campaign had privately assured him that his status is unchanged. "I’m still providing policy advice on immigration to the governor and his team," Kobach told me. "I spoke with them yesterday afternoon, and they confirmed that nothing has changed."
So to recap, Kobach has seriously damaged Romney's general election chances by becoming a lightning rod in the Latino community, yet when the nominee tries to distance himself now that the primaries are over, Kobach will tell anyone who's listening that the Romney campaign is lying and that he's just as important to them as ever, and he'll say it again, and again, and again.
Even here in California, I can virtually hear Romney's staff in Boston screaming, "Shut the hell up!"
Originally posted to kos on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:54 AM PDT.