Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 | 11:43 a.m.
President Barack Obama, ensconsed in a Lake Las Vegas resort, today continues preparations for his first face-to-face debate Wednesday with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
While Obama’s campaign remained tight-lipped in regards to the details of the president’s debate preparation strategy, Romney’s recent comments on immigration elicited a response in a Tuesday morning press briefing.
“The interview (Romney) gave also raised more questions about what exactly the policy is he would support,” said Jen Psaki, traveling press secretary. “He didn’t make clear if he has changed position on his commitment to vetoing the Dream Act. Does he still believe the Arizona law is a model for comprehensive immigration reform?”
In an interview with the Denver Post Romney said he would not revoke any work visas granted under the deferred action program.
“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased," Romney said. "Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."
The first debate is Wednesday evening in Denver. The president and his debate prep team – including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is playing the role of Romney – have been staying at the Westin Hotel in Lake Las Vegas.
“(Obama) is looking forward to heading to Denver tomorrow, to having the opportunity to speak directly to the American people to remind them of the choice in this election,” Psaki said, declining to give any specifics on the preparations. “That’s what his focus will be in the debate tomorrow.”
The president arrived Sunday in Southern Nevada and rallied supporters at an event at Desert Pines High School. Monday, he took time out from debate preparation to visit a campaign office in Henderson, where he dropped off pizzas for volunteers.
The campaign said Lake Las Vegas was chosen for a variety of reasons, including security.
It’s a “place where there is ample space and nice peace and quiet for the president to spend some time preparing for the debate,” Psaki said.
Lake Las Vegas, with a shuttered golf course and many vacant homes, is a vivid reminder for the president of Nevada’s struggles in the down economy.
“This is one of the states where every time (Obama) comes back here, he is reminded that he wants to continue to find ways to help the housing market improve,” Psaki said. “We’ve seen prices go up a little bit, not enough. As you know Nevada is one of the hardest hit states, that’s why they have benefitted so significantly from the president’s programs, in terms of investment. And Saturday the president’s radio address was all about housing, and how he thinks we need to make sure that people who are underwater who don’t have mortgages backed by the government have the opportunity to refinance and save themselves $3,000.”