"No, no, no," would have been the instant response of a smart campaign boss. When a guy best known for writing Arizona's notoriously racist, anti-immigrant law says
it's "identical" to the policies of the fellow you're trying to elect to the presidency, you want to sever that connection immediately.
Unless, of course, the party of that fellow you want to elect is filled with racist, anti-immigrant elected officials and rank-and-file voters. Then you have to put on your electoral calculus hat to see how many moderates and independents you might gain, weighing this against how many peckerheads you might lose by such severing.
You especially want to put some distance between that guy and your candidate if that guy is Russell Pearce, a recalled Arizona state senator, formerly one of notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies who beat his wife and forged his way out of a state job as well as palled around with white supremacists, one of whom was a neo-Nazi Marine-reject whom Pearce backed for a city council seat in 2006.
Making the connection between himself and Romney is exactly what Pearce did in an interview Tuesday. He said he's endorsing Mitt Romney in the November elections, in part because of Romney's position on illegal immigration:
"I don’t want to take credit for being there and helping him write it, but much of his policy was modeled—by people who I’ve worked with—after my legislation."
Romney backers might quibble and argue that their candidate hasn't directly endorsed Pearce's law. But the candidate's "self-deportation" stance is, as Felicia Sonmez writes, the "idea at the root of SB 1070."
So far, the Romney campaign itself is not arguing with Pearce's characterization. Still, apparently, running their calculators.