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Romney: Punish states that let illegal immigrants get licenses

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  • Romney: Would punish states that issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants
  • Romney: Would push U.S. to be independent of foreign oil within 20 years.
  • Romney: Would make President Bush's tax cuts permanent, get rid of estate tax
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By Martina Stewart
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said this week that if elected president he would punish states that provide illegal immigrants with tuition breaks or those that issue them driver's licenses.

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GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to Headline News' Glenn Beck last week.

As president, Romney told Headline News talk show host Glenn Beck, he would reduce federal highway funds to any state that issued driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

The former Massachusetts governor got in a dig at GOP rival former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee while explaining his view on tuition breaks for undocumented workers.

"If you have a state like Mike Huckabee's state in Arkansas that fights to give people a tuition break if they're an illegal in their state, you say, 'no, you're not going to do that,' " Romney explained. "If you do that, we're going to cut back on higher education funding."

Huckabee has disputed similar claims. In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer earlier this month, Huckabee said, "You don't punish a child for the crime of a parent." Huckabee added that the Arkansas tuition program also required illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship.

In a similar vein, Romney repeated his attacks on former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, calling New York City a "sanctuary city," and promising as president, he would reduce federal funding to such cities. Video Watch Headline News' Glenn Beck interview Mitt Romney. »

During the interview, the White House hopeful defended the health care plan he implemented as governor of Massachusetts as anything but the "road to socialism."

Romney also promised that as president he would push to have the United States "entirely" independent of foreign oil within 20 years. That plan includes building more nuclear power plants and using more liquefied coal with sequestered carbon dioxide.

"Once we let the world know we're committed, the worldwide markets are going to change because America is going to be on a pathway to getting itself off of foreign oil," said Romney, a Harvard MBA who was a successful businessman before entering politics

On the economic front, Romney told Beck he would make President Bush's tax cuts permanent, institute a tax-free savings plan for middle-income Americans, and get rid of the estate tax. Asked about the subprime mortgage mess, Romney explained that "the credit crisis is something which could spread throughout our economy," adding, "I hope it does not."

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Beck declared Romney's Mormon faith off-limits, starting the interview: "I've decided that as soon as the rest of the media asks Sen[s.] [Orrin] Hatch [R-Utah] and Harry Reid [D-Nevada] when they're going to give a speech on Mormonism and how it affects their job, I'll ask you that question. In the meantime, why don't we talk actual issues."

Beck, himself Mormon, joined the church and embarked on a career in talk radio following a bout with alcoholism and drug addiction, according to his online bio. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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