February 21st, 2008
08:47 PM ET
15 years ago

Schneider: Clinton, Obama back away from border fence

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - CNN's John King asked Clinton about a Senate vote that isn't likely to play well with the Latino community: her support for a border fence between the United States and Mexico.

But Clinton quickly reminded voters Obama also voted for the fence. She doesn't want to be on the losing end of this issue.

Does she still continue to support a boarder fence? Clinton didn't really say: her position seems to be that after a careful review, it may work in some places. She is clearly backing away from this vote.

Meanwhile Obama quickly said he agrees with Clinton on this issue, and that fences may work in some areas.

Neither candidate wants to be on the wrong end of this hot issue in the Latino community.

Related: Watch Clinton and Obama discuss a potential border fence

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Harriet

    HOW in the world can Senator Obama be the champion of change if he keeps saying that he agrees significantly with Senator Clinton? Change from Preident Bush...yes...but he is so aligned with Clinton that he is clearly running a personality contest than one based on real differentiation.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. Helen Fisher

    I am impressed with Senator Obama's response regarding bilingualism and bilingual education. However I wish he or another candidate would help people understand the data that shows that immigrants (legal and otherwise) want to speak English. However:
    1. bilingualism means more than just speaking another language. It means read, writing and speaking two languages.
    2. when immigrants parents are working two and three jobs, it is very difficult to find time or the location where they might be able to learn to speak, write and read English.
    3. most immigrants are afraid to have their children become bilingual for fear they will be deported because it will be clear that their children are speaking another language other than English thus causing authorities to question their citizenship. Therefore, it is important that we help parents understand that bilingualism is a positive and to feel secure that they will not be deported if their children speak two languages.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. Stanley, PA

    Style and procedure is the differenc that matters. It is long past time we get someone in ofice that really wants to work to get things done and not work to distroy people that disagrees with their position.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |

    we all have to remember that not only spanish people leave in the US, there are alot of French, Chinese etc people living there, but I dont think that the spanish reporter John King should ask about, would spanish ever be part of the main language of the US.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  5. dodo

    they are the same. we just have to vote on who speaks and dresses better...

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. Aaron King

    What is so wrong with having a border fence and or some other types of control measures? Neither candidate has addressed the national security issue with having a porous southern and northern border.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. wilma

    Regardless of party...i hate SMIRKS. Hillary sets thru the debates &
    always tries to stare down an opponent with a nasty, ridiculous
    SMIRK on her face.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. Scott in Tulsa

    Both chickened out on the border fence. America wants a fence, secure the border, then we'll talk about the rest of the illegal immigration reform laws.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. nadine

    why doesn't any one ask both Clinton and Obama why they want to be President of America?

    Obamab is very young why is he so impatient ? Does he want to be the first black american President?

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. help hillary

    Someone from the Clinton campaign needs to tell Hillary that nodding in agreement to Obama's points is NOT an effective strategy.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. Tom Brucia

    Nobody has suggested sub-contracting out fence construction to those with a proven record of accomplisment: the North Koreans. The DMZ has worked for over 50 years and no North Korean emigrates into the South through this engineering miracle!

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Jim Palm Springs, California

    Obama is nothing but a mimicker of what Clinton says and tries to fill in where Clinton leaves off to make it sound better. Why can't they do a debate separately? Clinton is far more intone with the people!

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Tom Dietz

    Sounds a lot like pandering to the Illegals that have registered to vote in TX.

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. Hemphat

    John King is very disappointing. CNN needs to let Lou Dobbs ask a few questions. So far this debate is just one lobbed softball after another.
    I'm not surprised by Jose Ramos poor performance, but I did expect more from the John King. He needs be sent packing to the next hurricane to cover it and not politics.

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. johnny

    why doesn't anybody talk about the helping of ex-offenders who are trying to do the right thing and get their lives together, but can't because noone wants to give them a chance. i feel that in order to stop recidivisim you would have to try to give them a second chance. i am in that category where i committed a crime when i was a child and am trying to get a job for the last month and it is hard because noone wants to help and give me that second chance. what do i do?

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. Betty

    It concerns me the both candidates do not seem to be aware that these illegal imigrants are not just staying in the border towns of Texas and Mexico but they are moving through out the country. Should a hand full of people and buisnesses – probably many who came here undocumented be making a decision for the remainder of the country?

    Also, it is uninformed if they think the only reason they are coming is for a job. Many are trafficing in illegal substances... not all but many.

    If Senator Clinton is so against having English as our offical language I look forward to her learning some of the over 100 languages that plague the NY City School system. Clinton should stop running for the foreigner's vote and start running for Americans.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Chris

    So if you question Obama you are discouraging the people??

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. M wilcox

    the gov. will never change unless this done.To many old way, no new ideas!!!!!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Debbie

    I'm sick of this whole fence/immigration debate the way the politicians are discussing it. The candidates and the interviewers are ignoring the question that the American people have spoken and we don't want Amnesty which is what 3 of the 4 remaining candidates keep talking about. If they've committed a crime they go back ... what part of crossing the border illegally is not a crime? Why can't we make English the official language? When I go to other countries I don't expect them to speak English; I expect it to be a problem anywhere but in Britain. Why do we have to cater to Spanish speaking individuals? The only reason we have the huge Spanish population instead of Russian, or Italian or so many others is because Spanish speaking individuals can walk across and unprotected border when the others can't ... unless they enter Mexico or Canada first. I've got nothing wrong with helping Mexico create more jobs as long as they don't take ours to do it ... I've been laid off before because the company I was working for sent work across the border because they wanted cheaper labor. Have Mexico create jobs for Mexico not US companies.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Nicole, Annapolis, MD

    Did Hillary say that she doesn't know a foreign language? Clearly I didn't hear that right...

    How can a woman who can afford to contribute $5 million dollars to her own campaign not have enough money or resources to learn a foreign language?

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Scott in Tulsa

    Glad to see they both supported the use of the English language in the U.S., although somewhat weakly.
    If we have fallen down on the job in our country it is in teaching the English language.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  22. Babs

    It just goes to show that neither senator have the guts to stand up for what is right! They are too concerned what is best for their respective political futures instead of what's right for the security of our country.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  23. Gad

    currently talking about silliness in politics, thank-heavens Mr. Obama gets back on topic, about what we need to make this country great again. Let us get beyond pettiness.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. Peggy

    Obama can't seem to be pinned down on anything and just repeats what Clinton says. He is like cotton candy-all fluff and no substance.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Rudell

    I think that ether one will do a GOOD job, As in pleasing to our Lord our Father.

    February 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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