Obama camp pushes for Latino vote
April 18th, 2012
01:01 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama camp pushes for Latino vote

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's reelection campaign unveiled a new "Latinos for Obama" initiative Wednesday and sought to portray Republicans as pushing "snake oil" policies harmful to Latinos.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Republicans – including the party's presidential contenders – spoke on immigration using "a pejorative language that goes directly to our community."

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"The reality is we look at this as the civil rights issue of our time," Menendez said on a conference call with reporters. "All of us who are United States citizens, even those who are legal permanent residents - it's not that we individually have a problem with immigration, but millions of our family members and others in our communities do."

Republicans, he said, are "fundamentally wrong" on issues important to Hispanic voters, including the DREAM act, a path to citizenship for young people who pursue military service or higher education which has failed several Congressional attempts. The bill is favored by more Democrats than Republicans, and likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney has said he favors a proposal which allows for permanent residency, rather than citizenship.

Menendez said an Obama victory, plus a strong showing in House and Senate races, would provide Democrats "a good chance of getting comprehensive immigration reform done in the early part of the next administration of President Obama."

Menendez was joined by San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, and Obama campaign co-chair Lynette Acosta.

Castro criticized Romney for touting a strict Arizona immigration bill, saying he would be "the most extreme nominee that the Republican Party has ever had on immigration."

"I think you see a model in Arizona," Romney said in a CNN debate. "They passed a law here that says that people who come here and try and find work, that the employer is required to look them up on e- verify. This e-verify system allows employers in Arizona to know who's here legally and who's not here legally."

The Obama campaign said Wednesday they were airing Spanish language television and radio advertisements in the battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, and Nevada.

On Monday, the Republican National Committee announced state directors for six swing states who will lead Republican efforts to earn Latinos' votes. The states are Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.

Exit polling from the 2008 election shows Obama winning 67% of the Hispanic vote. with Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona taking 31%.

Also see:

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Romney campaign 'bracketing' aims to 'step on president's message'

Dems, Republicans make their picks in election to replace Giffords

CNN Poll of Polls: All knotted up between Obama and Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Robert Menendez
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Will Mittens do a political ad in Spanish asking all latinos to self deport?

    April 18, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "....Mitt Romney has said he favors a proposal which allows for permanent residency, rather than citizenship. "
    -------------–
    Wouldn't that create an entire demographic of second class citizens who would never be able to vote?

    April 18, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Republicans pander to Latinos once every four years – spending the rest of the time treating them like unwanted criminals. This is a no-brainer for all Hispanic voters.

    April 18, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. noel

    OBAMANOS!!! Please give us an American citizen for president!!! OBAMANOS!!!

    April 18, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    noel wrote:

    OBAMANOS!!! Please give us an American citizen for president!!! OBAMANOS!!!
    -------------–
    What is that question Bill O'Reilly likes to ask? Oh, yeah. Pinhead or Patriot?

    April 18, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    I can't wait for Romney and/or his so-called "we-don't-coordinate-our-activities" Super-Pacs to try and avail themselves of the spanish media to proliferate their lies and slime the president. They're going to have a rude awakening. You can't buy us.
    LTINOS PARA NUESTRO PRESIDENTE OBAMA.

    April 18, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. California Conservative

    Pushes = Pander

    Obama is quite pathetic to say the least.

    April 18, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Pardon. LATINOS PARA NUESTRO PRESIDENTE OBAMA (@work!).

    April 18, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    Is Obama going to be honest and tell the Latino community he has deported record numbers of hispanics???

    Or is he going to promise them citizenship, which he cannot deliver?

    The Democrats have played the black community like chumps for DECADES. Now it looks like Obama will try the same thing with hispanics.

    April 18, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Nital

    We need Hispanics that care about what is best for the United States – Which Romney will carry. The others he cannot win but that will not matter. He needs to stand true to his illegal immigration perspectives and attrition and this will work the best in the long run – take away the benefits and many will go home

    April 18, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. ST

    It is not a secret, Hispanics have been turned off during GOP nomination campaign. Romney went more to the right without thinking there is also the General election ahead. A smart leader always think ahead of time. I do not see what kind of repair work Romney has to do to extend his appeal to Hispanics.

    April 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Is the Latino vote a threat to Republicans or is there a threat to our President. Americans should be very concerned and let everyone be aware, we are watching.

    April 18, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Once again, the News Media, including CNN is treating everyone from Latin America as a block. US Citizens from Puerto Rico have different concerns and feelings than folks from Cuba. Cuban have different philosophies than folks from the Dominican Republic. Dominicans have different philosophies than Mexicans. The list goes on and on. While there are people with Hispanic Names, they have different personal and political philosophies. The Cubans will always vote for the Republicans because the Bay of Pigs fiasco (which was planned by Eisenhower's people) happened during the Kennedy Administration, even though Castro's takeover of Cuba happened during that Eisenhower Administration, so it was obviously their failure, not Kennedy's. They are the only group that the Republicans actively court all the time. As far as the Repubs are concerned, the rest (including Puerto Ricans who are US Citizens) should go "home", unless they need them to build new condos, golf courses and shopping malls in the sunbelt. Then they can stay because they will work for less than most US Citizens, and will not complain if they get stiffed out of fear of deportation. How else do you think Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, etc. all got built up? Republican Money and predominantly Mexican and Guatamalan Labor.

    April 18, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Independent Voters

    Latinos will never vote for Romney he flip flop on the Dream Act..Romney is the biggest lier that hit politics.

    April 18, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Taran

    @anagram_kid
    As a hiring manager, if a potential job applicant sat in front of me in an interview and answered all my questions by pointing out their perceived failure of others, I would never hire them. People like this do not offer solutions, are disruptive to the work environment and are not productive.
    Obama 2012
    --------------------------------------–
    Rather incongruous don't you think??? What has Obama done for the past 3 plus years?? "It was Bush's fault" "I inherited this mess" etc.

    April 18, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Blue Collar Worker

    @Joe from Ct, The news media also treats all blacks in American as a block. You never hear the media say black working class Americans, but we always hear white working class Americans.

    April 18, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    The Truth wrote:

    Is Obama going to be honest and tell the Latino community he has deported record numbers of hispanics? ....
    ----------------
    What! Well, well, well. What do we have here? Is that a flip flop? A couple of months ago you were complaining about Pres. Obama doing nothing to stop illegal Latino immigrants from Mexico. Now, he has deported record numbers?

    Relax. We know you're being misleading. Obama has not "deported" record numbers, but that have "stopped" record numbers at or near the border crossing illegally. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm still holding out hope [and change] for you.

    April 18, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    What has Obama done for the past 3 plus years?? "It was Bush's fault" "I inherited this mess" etc.
    -------------------------------------------------
    If there were any lingering doubts as to your mental capacity you have,through your numeours and vacuous posts, effectively dispelled them.

    April 18, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Nital

    We need Hispanics that care about what is best for the United States – Which Romney will carry.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Delusion at its' best. but it's a free country isn't it ....Nital?!! That's what makes it so great.
    However, you DO realize that Hispanics are NOT the only immigrants that comprise illegal immigration don't you....Nital?

    April 18, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    For a dolt to ask if we are better off now than we were under the Bush Republican near depression 4 tears ago is pure Fox foreign owned media ignorance.

    April 18, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Taran wrote:

    Rather incongruous don't you think??? What has Obama done for the past 3 plus years?? "It was Bush's fault" "I inherited this mess" etc.
    -----------------
    You're right. Imagine that. Have you noticed that he's been saying that ever since the moment that he was inaugurated. Republicans have been blaming him everything since before he won the election. I recall several blogs about how Wall Street had dropped 777 points in a single day because; traders were scared of an African American president, GM collapsed because blacks moved up from Cadillacs to BMWs, and other equally ridiculous statements.

    April 18, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    Democrats have always used divisive class warfare tactics during campaigns. They couldn't get elected on their ideas that is for sure.

    Democrats see you as either a money or body donor. If you work or buld up wealth, you're a money source for their hairbrained lefitst ideology through taxes or union dues. Otherwise, you're a body donor, somebody that will vote for them once they promise to give you enough from the money donors.

    April 18, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    Menendez said an Obama victory, plus a strong showing in House and Senate races, would provide Democrats "a good chance of getting comprehensive immigration reform done in the early part of the next administration of President Obama."
    ---------
    Didn't Obama say he was going to address comprehensive immigration reform in his first term? What happened? (Cue up the "blame the GOP gang" here.) And Menendez... the vast majority of us have no problem with immigration... we have a big problem with ILLEGAL immigration, though.

    April 18, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "....Mitt Romney has said he favors a proposal which allows for permanent residency, rather than citizenship. "
    -----–
    Wouldn't that create an entire demographic of second class citizens who would never be able to vote?
    ---------
    Not if they came here legally in the first place. Why should they be rewarded with a franchise if they came here illegally?

    April 18, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    Rudy NYC - What! Well, well, well. What do we have here? Is that a flip flop? A couple of months ago you were complaining about Pres. Obama doing nothing to stop illegal Latino immigrants from Mexico. Now, he has deported record numbers?
    ==========================================================================================
    You don't understand the difference between Obama's complete failure to defend and protect our borders and his raids within the USA to arrest criminal illegal aliens?

    Relax. We know you're being misleading. Obama has not "deported" record numbers, but that have "stopped" record numbers at or near the border crossing illegally.
    ===========================================================================================
    Wrong again Rudy. You're really making a habit of it! Obama is arresting criminal illegal aliens WITHIN THE USA, not at the borders. He uses this as an excuse to not go after all illegals saying they pose no threat. So Obama has granted an administrative amnesty to millions of illegals.

    April 18, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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