David Plouffe said on CNN's "State of the Union" that even though congressional Republicans were sitting on their hands this summer to help elect Mitt Romney, a win by the president would send a strong message.
"The president has said the American people need to break the stalemate," said Plouffe. "If we can win this election in a tough economy, I think the message that it sends is, OK you are beginning to see some compromise, potential coming out of the Republicans."
Appearing on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Plouffe said Republicans in Congress had basically decided not to do anything until after the November election, which basically created a situation in which the president moved on an immigration plan to allow the children of illegal immigrants to stay in the United States without the GOP.
"We still need a permanent fix," said Plouffe. "The president would sign the DREAM Act tomorrow, the next day, the day after that. Ultimately the only way to fix this, is for congressional action."
Plouffe said GOP challenger Mitt Romney wasn't offering much in the way of an immigration plan and was basically following the lead of the Republican wing of Congress. "Eventually Gov. Romney is going to choose a vice presidential candidate, but his running mate really, from a policy standpoint, is this congressional Republican agenda."
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the co-chairman of Romney's campaign, countered that Obama had a Democratically-controlled Congress early in his administration and failed to enact meaningful immigration reform.
"Gov. Romney has said, 'We need to find a reasonable solution for children who come to this country through no fault of their own," Pawlenty said. "He has spoken about, of course, enforcing borders and having employment verification, but as to this issue, he's expressed an openness to try to have a permanent long-term solution."
Plouffe told interviewers on CNN he was already seeing occasional signals the GOP would be open to considering tax reform that would raise government revenues despite an overall refusal to even think about increasing taxes. At the same time, Democrats were more open to changes in entitlement programs.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who ran for the Republican nomination on a staunch conservative platform, scoffed at the idea of compromising on what he saw as the overriding issue of big government.
"We need people who say that is the wrong direction," Santorum said. "We need a fundamentally new way of looking at things in Washington."
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